The North Florida Ospreys Men’s basketball team capped off a 3-0 Canadian tour with a tough 85-81 victory over an improving Brock Badgers team.
The upstart Badgers come firing from the three-point line and took a 25-16 after quarter number. The Ospreys scored the first seven points of the second quarter and took a 37-34 lead to the locker room.
Both teams were unable to find any separation in an exciting third period that featured three ties, and two lead changes.
Badgers Jay Fleming knocked down a three-pointer with 2:24 remaining to give the Badgers the lead at 52-49, but a Matt Sauey buzzer-beating three-pointer gave North Florida a 60-54 advantage going into the final 10 minutes.
The Badgers responded with six three-pointers in the final period and eventually tied the game at 72-72 all with 4:24 left. Their comeback would fall just short thanks to clutch foul shooting from North Florida.
North Florida had three players in double figures, led by Smith who led all scores with a game high 29 points including six three-pointers. Travis Wallace (Marietta, Ga.) and Charles McRoy (Jacksonville, Fla.) chipped in with 11 and 10 points respectively.
The Badgers had three players’ record double digits. Didi Mukendi contributed with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists. He also knocked down 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Senior Andrew Ferguson (St. Catharines, Ont.) added 17 points and seven rebounds, while senior Mark Gibson (Toronto, Ont.) chipped in with 12 points. Brian Nahimana (London, Ont.) added a game-high 10 boards off the bench.
For the game, North Florida shot 46.4% from the field (26-for-56) including 50.0% from three-point range (9-for-18). The Badgers were 40.6% from the field (28-for-69) and 46.4% from beyond the arc (13-for-28). Brock also out-rebounded the Ospreys by a 45-34 margin.
Theo Davis (6-10, 220 lbs, Class 2005) from Brampton, Ontario and former standout high school player at Cardozo High School in Queens, New York made his Badgers debut and finished with 8 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots in 23 minutes of playing time off the bench.
Coming out of Brampton, Davis was considered as a potential NBA candidate and was recruited by several high NCAA DI schools, including Texas, UConn, Iowa State and Georgia Tech amongst others.
He averaged 18 points, 14 rebounds, 7 blocked shots and 5 assists as a Junior but was forced to bypass his senior season due to an illness in his family.
He also appeared in a Gonzaga Bulldogs uniform for four games before being forced back to Canada to tend to his family.
Davis, a former McDonald’s All-American nominee, is an impact player that can help the Badgers become a Top 25 team in the country and potentially challenge for a spot at the 2012 Final 8 Championships.