The nationally ranked tenth best team in the country, the Laurentian Voyageurs, displayed why they are so justifiably placed in that position on Saturday night as they took down the Brock Badgers by a score of 99-86.
The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair between both sides but the Voyageurs held a slight advantage as they entered the second quarter with a three point lead. They shot 44.4% from the field and leading the scoring was Litha Ncansia and Cedric Nga Mbiaba, both with four points each. But the second quarter was where the Voyageurs began to put some distance between themselves and the Badgers. They opened a 13-point lead with 2:34 left in the quarter but this lead was reduced to 12 points at the conclusion of the first half. It is important to note that the Voyageurs achieved a 64.7% shooting quarter which went a long way in establishing a 12-point lead.
However, the Badgers would not go away. They displayed a gutsy performance in the third by adding 30 points on 58.8% shooting and even managed to cut the lead to eight points with 4:15 to play in the quarter but the Voyageurs quickly snuffed out a comeback attempt as they stretched the lead to 14 points at the quarter's end with 61.1% shooting. Finally, even though the Voyageurs lost the fourth quarter 19-18, their early lead was not threatened in any way and they finished the match easily and came out with a comfortable win by a score of 99-86.
Kadre Gray was the leading scorer for the Voyageurs who added another 29 points to his leaderboard tally and was followed by Joseph Hlady with 16 points. The Badgers on the other hand were led by Kascius Small-Martin with 23 points and Godsman Kwakwah with 18 points.
Beating Brock was a big moment for Kadre Gray in his illustrious University career as he described it in the following manner in his post-game comments: "I felt a little bit personal. My four years here, never beaten Brock, so going home I slept about it, I thought about it a whole lot. This game was personal tonight. Just to show that we belong in this league and we have a lot of missions this season and Brock was part of the obstacle and we just had to go through."
Additionally, the Voyageurs locker room is full of energy and are laser focused on bringing the national championship back to Laurentian: "Just a whole lot of fun. We are a fun group. We just enjoy each other. I think that's the camaraderie you've got to have when you have a mission to win a national title. You see it in the NBA with the Golden State. They enjoy each other and that's why they play so great. So we're just trying to bring the same thing and I am a believer of God so I just try to bring that charismatic impression into the changeroom."
The Voyageurs are now on the road next weekend as they travel to the nation's capital where they will take on the top-ranked team in the nation, the Carleton Ravens on Friday, November 29. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 pm at Raven's Nest.