Brent Forster - RDC
The RDC Kings knew that it would be a battle Friday evening against the first place SAIT Trojans and in a game where momentum switched back-and-forth in the latter half, the Kings had their best offensive showing in the fourth quarter en route to a 93-84 home win.
The Kings were ready to compete from the opening tip-off and went on an 8-1 run that was capped off by a Solon Ellis three-pointer. The Kings continued to press and they had contributions from several student-athletes. Cody White hit a three ball and Eric Bakker connected from the field to help push the RDC Kings ahead 25-15.
In the second quarter, the Kings went up by 14 (37-23) from a Braiden Ousey bucket. Moments later, Omon Edobar created a buzz among the crowd with a dunk and at the half the RDC Kings held a 44-33 advantage.
The Trojans tried to climb back into the game and they reduced the Kings' 11 point lead to 3 in the third quarter. At the end of the quarter, the Kings were up 65-62.
The SAIT Trojans pulled ahead by 4 points (78-74) in the final quarter but the Kings bounced back. Dshawn Tyrell picked up a pair of dunks that ignited the crowd and Daniel Powell connected several times from the field. The RDC Kings outscored the SAIT Trojans 28-22 in the quarter and they earned a 93-84 victory.
Daniel Powell was named the player-of-the-game for the Kings. The fourth-year forward from Phoenix, Arizona stacked up 33 points and 22 rebounds. Gemie Muya-ntalaja received the honour for the Trojans and finished with 17 points, 2 assists and 14 rebounds.
Kings Basketball Head Coach Clayton Pottinger liked Powell's contributions, especially on the boards. "Danny is a tremendous defensive rebounder. That's what I like most about him," said Pottinger. "Against a team like SAIT that has a lot of good offensive rebounders, he was cleaning that up and taking away those opportunities."
Pottinger was pleased with the victory. "We are happy to get the win. Their roster is a bit depleted right now including Murphy Beya being out," said Pottinger. "On many levels, we know that this wasn't the true SAIT team but we will always take the win especially when we are looking to make the playoffs."
Looking ahead to Saturday's game in Calgary, Pottinger will make a few changes. "We want to make a few adjustments in the rematch. There were a few things that we did that allowed them back into the game when we had double digit leads," said Pottinger. "We have to make a few adjustments to make sure that we are playing with a little bit more intensity and focus over four quarters."
The RDC Kings shot 44.2% from the field and both teams picked up 60 rebounds. SAIT connected on 39.3% of their attempts from the field.
Saturday, the SAIT Trojans (13-2) will host the third place RDC Kings (10-6) at 3:00 p.m. The Kings are 7-3 in their past 10 games.