For the first time since 1992 and only the second time in school history, the Brock University Badgers are the Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s basketball champions.”This is going to be the best bus ride we’ve ever had,” Brock head coach Ken Murray said after the game. “We’re leaving to go home now, and I told them it could be the best six hours we’ve ever spent on a bus. What a great group of kids. I’ve watched them play since they were 12 years old, our key players, and they never gave up.”
Mike Kemp scored a game-high 23 points to lead No. 7-seeded Brock to a 64-61 win over the fifth-seeded Acadia Axemen on Sunday. Kemp scored 15 of his points in the fourth quarter to earn game MVP honours for the Badgers, who rallied from a 10-point deficit at Scotiabank Place to earn the win.
With 11 seconds left in a hard-fought fourth quarter, and the Badgers up by just a point, fourth-year forward Dusty Bianchin sunk a basket from the top of the key to put Brock ahead to stay. “I knew that the shot clock was running down and I had to put it up and the ball just fell through,” Bianchin said. “This was our last shot at the title and we can now call ourselves national champions.”
Brock forward Owen White had 12 points and nine rebounds in the final, and 59 points for the tournament, and earned the Jack Donohue Trophy as the tournament MVP.
Paulo Santana had 18 points to top Acadia, while Shawn Berry added 14.
Murray, in his 18th season at Brock, shared the victory with his son Scott, a fifth-year guard who was playing his final game in a Badger uniform. “I have been dreaming of this day since I was five years old and dad won his last championship,” the younger Murray said, moments after sharing a celebratory hug with his dad. “He was the first person I thought of when the buzzer went and I turned to him and just wanted to hug him.”
Brock earned its spot in the championship game by overpowering the University of Western Ontario 85-75.
The Axemen, who were seeking their fourth national title and first since 1977, advanced after upsetting defending-champion Carleton 82-80 on Saturday evening, spoiling the Ravens’ bid for a sixth consecutive CIS title.
More than 80,000 fans attended the three-day tournament, which was held in Ottawa for the first of three consecutive years. Halifax had hosted the Final 8 the previous 20 seasons.
-with a report from CP