By Michael Robinson
Following on the heels of the women’s victory before them, Algonquin’s undefeated men’s basketball team (13-0) carried out an unrelenting offensive against Fleming College (0-13), leading to a 90-53 triumph over the winless Knights.
The Thunder were led by Tyrelle Samuels’ 17 points with Derrek Mooney trailing a point behind, scoring 16 of his own. Njuguna Waiganjo was key to the Thunder’s excellent ball movement, dishing out five assists.
The Knights were led by Bailey Burton, who scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Starting the game with good defensive stops, Algonquin was off to the races with easy buckets. The match quickly turned from battle to massacre after the first quarter with the Thunder leading 19-9.
Entering the second quarter, the Knights grew frustrated with a failed attempt to make a cut into the Thunder’s growing lead.
Emotions ran high when the teams arrived to a score of 41-23 at half. Over 37 fouls were assessed across both teams, but there were no ejections.
While Algonquin closed the window for a Knights comeback, this didn’t leave the team off the hook according to head coach Trevor Costello.
“Defensively, we have to be better at keeping guys out of lane,” he said. “We have to be working harder in the post.”
Staying motivated while competing against a notably weaker opponent was a challenge for the Thunder. Sitting at the top of the OCAA Eastern Division standings, Algonquin is three wins ahead of its nearest competitor, George Brown (10-3), and another 10 from the Knights.
But the lacklustre challenge predicted by league standings afforded the men’s team to have some fun said Ryan Bradley, Thunder’s guard and forward hybrid.
“With a team like Fleming, who is probably the worst in the league, it’s kind of a tough game to stay motivated,” said Bradley, a third-year recreation and leisure studies student. “But we got everyone in with some minutes and experience.”
Assistant coach Achuil Lual agreed.
“I think it’s good for the bench guys to get on the court,” said Lual. “And for the starting guys to cheer on those who don’t get as many minutes as usual.
The men continued their league play in Toronto on Jan. 24, taking on the Seneca Sting (7-6) and then onto Barrie to play the Georgian Grizzlies (7-6) on Jan. 25.