Seawolves men give up 20 point lead in loss to Blue Devils

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The UNB Saint John Seawolve’s men’s basketball team were defeated in a surprising game by the visiting University of Kings College (UKC) Blue Devils on Saturday evening at the G. Forbes Athletic Centre.

“Essentially, we stopped doing what worked,” said head coach Peter Vincent after the shocking 73-69 win for the Blue Devils. “The game plan we executed so well in the first half – we just stopped doing what we were doing successfully.”

The game started off slow, with several missed shots from both teams. It remained close with both teams switching leads until late in the first quarter when the wolves went on a 7-0 run to take the lead 23-16.

Benjamin Tait (Quispamsis, NB), who has been a big factor in UNB Saint John’s successes this season, came off the bench after the first quarter to score six of his 13 points. Led by Tait, the wolves continued to push, and were able to end the second quarter with a 45-24 lead.

The third quarter started out strong for the Blue Devils, as they went on an 8-2 run before the Seawolves called a timeout. Steve Ryan (Mount Pearl, NL) hit a 3-pointer right out of the timeout, but Justin Bhangoo of the Blue Devils was able to respond with five points of his own.

The game remained at a stand still for two minutes, until some big shots from the Blue Devils brought them back within five points.

The Seawolves were able to pull away a bit, and ended the third quarter with a 56-47 lead.

The fourth quarter started with major lineup substitutions from both teams, and tensions were running high.

It looked as though the Seawolves would pull ahead, especially after a timely lay-up and foul shot from Ryan.

Unfortunately, they were unable to capitalize on the excitement, and the Blue Devils were able to hit three 3-pointers back to back to bring the score to 63-59, with the wolves leading by a mere four points.

Both teams landed a couple of jumpers, but were soon followed by another two 3-pointers from UKC, one of which was a foul, allowing Bhangoo to make it a four-point play.

UKC took the lead, up 68-67 with 1:39 left in the game. After a minute with no shots being made from either team, the wolves began to foul with the hopes of receiving the ball in return.

One of the referees then made a questionable call, and loud opinions on it resonated throughout the stands. The foul in question gave UKC another two shots, and allowed them to take control of the game.

“It happened and it’s frustrating, but they played well and deserved to win this game,” said Vincent after the game. “They made the adjustments that were necessary, and we decided we couldn’t manage.”

“The reality of the situation is that we need to be able to stop the adjustments the other team makes.”

Ryan was unstoppable for the wolves, going 4 for 6 from the 3-point line, and netting a season high 21 points. William Legere (Amherst, NS) also chipped in with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Tait came off the bench to add another 13. Bhangoo of the Blue Devils led all scorers with 24 points.

The Seawolves drop to 2-4 on the season, while the Blue Devils improve to 2-6.

“I’d like to end it on a winning note,” said Vincent about what is going to be the last game of the fall semester with the team travelling to Fredericton to take on the St. Thomas University Tommies on Sunday, December 2.

Tip off is scheduled for 4 p.m. in the Lady Beaverbrook Gymnasium. Games can be streamed online at acaatv.ca.