In the final matchup of the day, the Belmont Bulldogs had an intense game against the Vancouver College Fighting Irish.
College’s Jack Cruz-Dumont opened up the scoring with an easy 3.
However, who some would say are the ‘underdogs’ of the tournament, the Bulldogs showed their strength in numbers by utilizing a variety of players to lead 9-3 early in the first quarter.
With much of the ball possession split between sides, the scoreboard reflected a fairly even scoreboard. But at the end of the first, Belmont led 18-15 over Van College.
Much of the next quarter followed suit with both teams moving the ball well and dropping layups like it was no one’s business.
College stepped it up though, taking the lead by 5 points at the four-minute mark. They relied heavily on Cruz-Dumont to keep them in this back-and-forth matchup.
The Bulldogs were able to fight back and take the lead at the half 31-29.
Belmont began the third with a nice little layup to continue their climb, but Van College showed their strength in the key by taking a slight lead 38-37 over the Dogs.
Again, Belmont brought the pressure late in the quarter to take the lead by a promising 46-40. Irish’s Cruz-Dumont was called on his fourth foul, prompting him to sub off and take his place on the bench for the duration of the third.
Without #10 on the court, things heated up real quick on the floor and in the stands. Fans argued with the refs after yet another call against Vancouver College, but ultimately gave Belmont the chance to continue success inside and outside the paint.
Bulldogs led 54-44 heading into the fourth.
In the final quarter, the Fighting Irish did exactly just that. Well, minus the Irish part. The VC boys fought hard in their zone and brought the score to within just 3 points of their opponent.
The Belmont Bulldogs continued to battle hard to stay on top, holding Cruz-Dumont to minimal points for the Irish.
This back-and-forth battle had both teams finding the basket in the final moments of the game. With only one minute of play to go, Van College trailed by just one point on the Dogs.
In what can only be described as yet another upset of the day, the Belmont Bulldogs defeated the Vancouver College Fighting Irish by a final score of 67-62.
Bulldogs big man Isaac Ickovich took home player of the game honours with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 steals for his team.
After the game, Coach Kevin Brown took down a makeshift “Go Bulldogs” sign hung directly beside his bench—a sign that his daughter drew in support of his team.
With a big smile across his face, Coach Brown revelled in yet another huge win for the Bulldogs.
“It’s funny because it’s absolutely opposite of yesterday. We came in being the bigger team. So it came down to us trying to be bigger and trying to be strong. We’re trying to establish our big guy inside, which I guess we did as he got player of the game. He played very well and answered the call under the big lights,” he said of Ickovich. “I think he did a great job.”
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Written by: Crystal Scuor