The Seawolves men’s basketball team kicked off their home season last weekend as they took on the Mount Saint Vincent Mystics in a rematch of last years quarter final which saw MSVU soundly beat UNB Saint John.
The UNB squad has changed a lot in the off-season and the team was hoping this would translate into a better showing against an experienced Mystics team.
Both teams played strong defense which resulted in a very close first quarter, ending with MSVU slightly ahead 18-13.
Midway through the second quarter, Liam Sipkema (15) managed a gentle hook shot and Hunter Gray (5) took advantage of a defensive mistake and squared away a high arching three point attempt to bring the Seawolves back within two points of the lead.
MSVU responded with three back to back offensive rebounds and a series of points which pushed them ahead by 9.
Saint John’s Keegan Gray (10) gave his team a boost with an incredible buzzer-beating three point shot to end the half down 35-29.
The Seawolves started the second half strong, forcing a turnover and capitalizing off of a steal by Will Legere (21).
From here both teams were locked in a defensive battle, and traded the few points that they managed to score.
The Mystics began to pull away with five minutes remaining in the quarter, scoring off a pair of steals by Ashton Slawter (14), leading Saint John by 9 points.
H. Gray(5) brought life back to the Seawolves as he drained his second three point shot off a rebound from teammate Legere (21).
The game slowed to a crawl as the officials called 10 fouls in two minutes, disrupting the pace of the game, and prompting shouts from the crowd to let the players play.
The Mystics Joel McCrossin(10) managed a jump shot in the last seconds of the quarter to put his team back up by ten points heading into the final ten minutes.
MSVU came out strong to start the final quarter with Slawter(14) making a massive 3 point shot after grabbing a defensive rebound.
The Seawolves K.Gray (10) responded, going end-to-end and answering back with his own three points.
The momentum shifted and the Seawolves defense came alive stopping the Mystics attacks for a consecutive 3 minutes to bring the game within 7 points.
Three unanswered baskets from MSVU all but sealed the Seawolves fate at the end of the quarter which saw a final score of 75-67 for the visitors.
“I think we felt rushed on a lot of our offensive set up. I think we swung the ball well and played good defense with good energy at the start,” said Seawolves Lars Moffatt, who is on the injured reserve with a broken foot and torn ligaments
Pre-season injuries have mounted for the Seawolves squad and in addition to Moffatt, last year’s ACAA rookie of the year, Matt Brown, is also injured.
“I think even with the key injuries that we have out it’s allowed other people to get alot more playing time. I think that Keeshaun Skeir (3) has done a really good job in the backcourt as the backup guard, I think Hunter Gray (5) has done a really good job at getting back into the groove…He is going to be a really good player with his length and size,” said Moffatt.
“I think it’s going to take us a few more weeks to get fully meshed. By the time Christmas rolls around we will be good to go.”
The Seawolves visit the Mount Allison Mounties November 13, for their first meeting of the season. Tip-off is at 5PM and the game will be streamed live at acaatv.ca.