Brandon University Bobcats head coach Gil Cheung has been preaching the importance of defence, especially for games when the Bobcats offence isn’t clicking.
He can now point to Saturday night’s 83-74 loss to the Regina Cougars (3-6) at the BU gymnasium as an example of why he has been emphasizing that point to the men’s basketball team. The Bobcats (4-6) had an off-day offensively, despite outshooting the Cougars 82-60. Only 34 per cent of the Bobcats’ shots fell for them, compared to half of Regina’s field-goal attempts.
"Defence is a big part of our game and when we’re on point, teams can’t beat us," said third-year forward Jordan Reaves, who led the Bobcats with 21 points. "When we have mental lapses, we’re not that good on ‘D’ and (Saturday) was one of those mental lapse days."
Cheung was happy with the Bobcats’ defence in the second half, but he was visibly upset in the second quarter when Brandon was outscored 33-19. The Bobcats were unable to stop the Cougars’ transition game, and Cheung felt it was mainly due to a lack of energy.
"The thing that was really evident there was a lack of urgency on our part, especially in transition," Cheung said. "We talk about Regina getting up and down and our communication and lack of urgency to get back and protect our hoop and protect our paint was evident. Giving up 33 points, we did a much better job the other three quarters, but it’s just a tough road to climb back."
Donovan Gayle recorded a double-double for the Bobcats, with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Ali-Mounir Benabdelhak also scored 12 points, while Michael Smith put up 10. Jared Janotta led Regina with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Paul Gareau put up 21 points, while Brandon native Sterling Nostedt had nine points and five rebounds for the Cougars.
Although the Bobcats trailed by double-digits for the majority of the second half, Cheung was happy to see his team battle back late to cut into the Regina lead to seven points in the fourth quarter.
"Give our guys credit," Cheung said. "They didn’t hang their heads. They got after it and we’re trying different lineups right now and hopefully we have a good week of practice and get ready for Winnipeg."
The Bobcats return to action on Thursday when they host the Winnipeg Wesmen (2-8) at the BU gym.
CAT SCRAPS: Fourth-year guard and Bobcats leading scorer Emerick Ravier missed Saturday’s game with a sprained right knee he suffered Friday … St. Francis Xavier head coach Steve Konchalski extended his CIS record for most wins as a men’s basketball head coach to 800 on Saturday with an 87-68 victory over New Brunswick. He surpassed former Bobcat head coach Jerry Hemmings’ 734 wins in 2009.