UKC Blue Devils win big in season opener (Updated)

Update: This story, the victim of some crossed wires on our part earlier this month, details the King’s men’s basketball team’s only win so far this season. They have since fallen short in five games, most recently 63-102 versus the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics.

The UKC Blue Devils men’s basketball team earned a hard fought 89-76 win in their home opener over the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus Rams on Nov. 6.

The enthusiastic home crowd rallied behind their team, and the support reflected in Blue Devils’ energy throughout the game.

“I think [the crowd] made it really easy for [the players] to be excited and ready to go,” said UKC head coach Peter McLaughlin.

After the women’s team cruised to a 76-54 victory earlier in the evening, the men’s team took to the court to try and do the same.

A hard fought and defensively sound first half was highlighted by a Doug Poole buzzer beater  from three-quarter court just as time expired, which cut the Rams’ lead to 37-36.

The Blue Devils came out strong in the second half, jumping out to an early lead a few minutes in and never looking back.

UKC’s lead was never below 10 points in the fourth quarter.

For McLaughlin, the difference between the two halves was mainly due to the lack of experience on this year’s roster.

“We kind of had to start everything from scratch on day one,” McLaughlin said. “So we’re short a little bit on experience, but we’ve got a lot of talent in our guys.”

The difference in play during the two halves was nothing new to McLaughlin, however.

“The few exhibition games we did play, it was fairly similar,” McLaughlin said. “We’ve had some slow starts and picked it up as the game’s gone on.”

A big part of the second half turnaround were the plays by Thomas Watson, who tallied seven points in under two minutes early in the third quarter to help the Blue Devils’ cause.

A vicious blocked shot by first-year guard Quinn Brown with under a minute to go in the fourth quarter brought the crowd to its feet and sealed the deal for the Blue Devils, who dribbled the ball out as time expired.