WELLAND, Ont. - The Sheridan Bruins men's basketball team (22-5, 13-2 OCAA) nearly let a game they had a firm grip on slip through their fingers - watching a 17-point lead evaporate - but made enough plays down the stretch to secure a hard-fought 91-83 win over Niagara.
"The coaching staff was pretty upset over some of the poor fundamentals we showed tonight," head coach Jim Flack said. "We give our guys a tonne of offensive freedom, but they have to meet us half way or it makes for terrible basketball. It also makes for early post-season exits, so they better clean it up immediately."
The Bruins were able to build a big lead early - up 22-6 after one - thanks in large part to a struggling Niagara, that connected on just one of 16 attempts from the floor.
Their poor shooting was unlikely to continue however, and it didn't, as the homeside made nine of their 19 field goals in the second quarter, trimming the Bruin lead to 13 (44-31) at the half.
An 11-0 Niagara run made it a one possession game - Sheridan up 48-45 - with 5:59 remaining in the third quarter. They would eventually pull level and held slim leads late in the third and early in the fourth.
Niagara would never get closer than to within three and the Double Blue connected on eight of nine free throws to cement the victory.
The Bruins wrap up a stretch of four games in 10 days - all against the top four teams in the OCAA West - when they host the division leaders from Redeemer (13-1 OCAA) on Feb. 3 (6pm).