The Brandon University Bobcats men’s basketball team showed some growth in Thursday’s exhibition game against the Western Mustangs at the Healthy Living Centre.
The veteran-laden Bobcats showed they can bounce back after facing adversity as they earned an 82-66 victory and improved their pre-season mark to 2-2.
It wasn’t the prettiest beginning for Brandon with the players coming out with a low energy level, and it showed as they trailed 23-16 at the break. However, the team regrouped and outscored Western 24-10 in the second frame and didn’t give up the lead the rest of the way.
“It was very important (to bounce back),” said Kenonte Ramsey, who led the Bobcats with 16 points. “The way we started wasn’t good so we figured we’d come out in the second quarter and push it to the max and go out there and get it. … This year I guess we’re just more mature as a team and we can turn it on and get after it.”
Brandon had a very balanced attack with five players reaching double-digits in points.
Ali-Mounir Benabdelhak had 15 points, Emerick Ravier put up 14 and Jordan Reaves added 13 and team highs with eight rebounds and seven assists. Ilarion Bonhomme had 10 points, while Turell Scott wasn’t far behind with eight.
Bobcats head coach Gil Cheung felt Brandon’s slow start came from his players trying to run the plays instead of making them, but he felt the bench players, like Ramsey, provided a spark that got the team going. While he was impressed with his team’s performance in the offensive end, Cheung admits they have a lot of work to do in defensive side of the court.
Although Brandon didn’t lose the rebounding battle by much —35 to 33 — Cheung is concerned with his team’s ability to deal with a physical team on the glass. Brandon gave up 14 offensive boards and Cheung expects a much tougher team on Sunday night when the Bobcats host the Windsor Lancers at noon.
“I would say right now Windsor is probably a final four team,” Cheung said. “They beat Carleton last year, they’re well coached and have one of the best players in the country. It’s definitely going to be a challenge. If we had trouble with these guys on the glass, it’s going to be a long, long Sunday afternoon.”
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 11, 2013