(London, Ontario) – On Wednesday evening in front of a packed Glenn Johnston Athletic Centre, the Fanshawe Men's Basketball team (1-2) fell to the St. Clair Saints (4-0) in their OCAA home opener by a score of 82-79.
The teams exchanged baskets in the opening quarter, as the Falcons got points from forwards Alfred Johnson (London, ON) and Hanani Ujullu (Kitchener, ON). Fanshawe controlled the boards to start the game, grabbing 15 rebounds to St. Clair's seven. At the end of the first frame, the red and white held a slim 18-16 lead. In the second quarter, a triple from John Akende (Toronto, ON) excited the home crowd. Local rookie shooting guard Marko Maletic then had a shot clock buzzer beater floater for the Falcons. Unfortunately, the Saints were able to find their way to the rim on a few more occasions and held a 38-31 advantage going into the halftime break.
In the third, Fanshawe was able to cut their deficit to three after a smooth three-pointer from Maletic and a put-back from Akende. St. Clair would not let up, and scored on consecutive trips to maintain their lead. A strong take to the rim from Johnson and free throws from D'Andre Austin (Toronto, ON) kept the game within reach for the Falcons. After the third quarter, the score was 63-58. Key defensive stops from the Falcons led them to transition points from Ujullu. Austin then tied the game with a big shot from behind the arc. In the final two minutes of the game, Fanshawe ran into foul trouble and St. Clair capitalized at the free throw line. Down three with five seconds remaining, the Falcons missed the last second attempt and dropped an exciting 82-79 game. Maletic had a game-high 26 points, while Ujullu led the team with nine rebounds.
Next up, the Falcons will host the Canadore Panthers (0-3) on Saturday, November 2 at 6pm.