Photo Credit: Humber Hawks
Lequan Hylton's game high 25 points combined with Van Hutchinson Jr's team leading sixth double-double proved too much for the CCAA's No. 7 ranked Humber Hawks on Wednesday night, as the No. 3 ranked Niagara Knights captured an impressive 75-63 road victory in OCAA men's basketball action.
The highly anticipated matchup lived up to expectations, as the game saw a total of ten lead changes, all of which came in the first half.
A dominant second quarter saw Niagara outscore the Hawks 27-19 and carry a 42-33 lead into halftime. The Knights shot a blistering 46.2% in the first half. The nine point lead proved too much for the Hawks to overcome, as the Knights held strong, weathered a third quarter fury, and increased their lead down the stretch.
Despite several outstanding offensive performances, Niagara Knights men's basketball head coach Keith Vassell was quick to praise his team's prowess on the defensive end of the floor. "I'm really proud of this team today. We came into this game prepared, and overall it was a great team effort. We made plays to stop them from rallying back. Our defense was the real MVP of the game."
Hylton's (Mississauga) 25-point performance fell just one short of his season high 26 recorded on November 25th against the Redeemer Royals. The third-year guard has enjoyed a break out 2016-17 season averaging 16.6 points-per-game.
Hutchinson Jr. (Nassau) has consistently filled the stat sheet for the Knights. Against the Hawks the six-foot-four guard turned in 19 points and 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals. Hutchinson Jr. joined the Knights in September after playing for one season at Northern Oklahoma Tonkawa, a U.S. based junior college. He is averaging team highs in both points (16.7) and rebounds (9.8) per game for the Knights.
The win moves the Knights to 9-1 on the season and into sole possession of second place in the OCAA West Division. The victory also sets the stage for one of the biggest regular season OCAA matchups in recent memory on Friday, January 27th when the Knights play host to CCAA's top-ranked Sheridan Bruins (9-0). Tip-off is set for 8:00pm at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre.