Struggling like it’s 1978 for the winless men’s basketball team

by | Nov 11, 2019 | Sports, Varsity

David Pastor, Sports Reporter

Space Invaders were hot in 1978. Humber men’s basketball, not so much, when they started 1-4 that year towards a 4-18 season.

They’re off to a similar start when they dropped their fourth straight game — including the Nov. 6 home opener— to Fanshawe Falcons 94-88. The loss also marks Humber’s men’s basketball team first home game loss since Jan. 19, 2018, when they fell 103-97 to the Lambton Lions. 

Last season Humber won all nine home games and had won 13 straight games at home dating back to the 2017-18 season.

Their overall record last season was 18-2.

“We can’t put consistent 40-minute efforts together,” Humber’s head coach Samson Downey said after the Fanshawe game. “(We played a) great first half and then in the second half there was a huge drop-off especially in the fourth quarter.” 

The Hawks started off strong going into the third quarter up 64-61 before Fanshawe outscored Humber by nine points in the fourth. 

Jaylen Morgan, Humber’s starting forward had 15 points, eight rebounds and two assists in the loss to Fanshawe on Nov. 6 (David Pastor)

Last year’s Provincial finalists and National bronze medalists are off to a rough start after losing their first four games of the season to Redeemer 91-86, division rivals Sheridan 85-82 and Mohawk 82-80. 

Downey said he isn’t too concerned with the team’s slow start and has faith that they can make a push late in the season. 

“The losses haven’t been huge loses, they’ve been close games and it’s a long season,” he said. “It’s tough not winning games early on but we’re playing towards March.”

This year the team has been held back by injuries, which is what has been the Hawk’s biggest concern to start the new season.

“Early on there was a rash of injuries that contributed to our slow start,” Downey said. “We’re slowly getting healthy and getting everyone integrated and we’re playing a little catch-up.”

Kevin Otoo, Humber’s second-year guard, went four-for-nine with 11 points, five rebounds and a steal in 20 minutes against the Falcons.

Otoo said the team needs to keep practicing, tighten up on defense in late minutes of the game and take it day-by-day. 

“We’re doing something wrong in the crunch [last minutes of the game], we’re just making mental mistakes,” he said. “We just need to clean those up and we’ll be good to go.”

For his career, Otoo is currently averaging 12 points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal per game. 

“We need to stick together and remember our one goal is to win the national championship, so as long as we can stay together, we can do that,” he said. 

Humber’s next game is against the Canadore Panthers on Saturday, Nov. 9, as the men’s basketball team looks to avoid going 0-5 for the first time in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association era. 

The men’s next game is on Nov. 9 against the Canadore Panthers.