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Volume 90, Issue 73

Tuesday, February 4, 1997



Golden chicks get cracked

By Alex Chiang
Gazette Staff

Laurier's new kids on the block came to London Saturday hoping to teach the Western men's basketball team a thing or two, but ended up being schooled in an 88-71 loss.

Rebounding from a surprising loss against Brock, the Mustangs were determined not to repeat their poor showing in St. Catharines. For the first time this season, Western established a low post game and executed it to a T.

Chris Webber had his best of the game of the season, leading all shooters with 25 points.

"We weren't as aware of Laurier as we were of ourselves," he said. "We wanted to focus on what we can do."

"They exhibited a tremendous defensive effort and we had trouble with their big guys down low," Laurier head coach Gary Jeffries said. "After having a bad game last week maybe it didn't matter who came in to play Western today."

Unlike its last game, Western had no problems finding the hole, shooting an accurate 56 per cent from the field.

"We knew we were doing things poorly but the Brock loss proved it to us," Western co-captain Blake Gage said. "Laurier's a tough team but I think we had something to prove to ourselves today."

"We stayed disciplined in our offence and the shots that we missed against Brock fell for us this time," Western head coach Craig Boydell said. "We made over half of our shots today, which we should because that's the kind of team we have."

The Mustangs used a stingy defence to shut down the opposition as they have consistently throughout this short campaign. Most importantly, they were able to neutralize Laurier guards Greg Sandstrom and Jeff Zdrahal, both of whom have made over half of their shots from beyond the three-point stripe this season.

"Our defence, like always, played outstanding," Boydell said. "We wanted to focus on shutting down their perimeter shooting, which I think we did."

"We did a poor job executing today, maybe you can attribute that to Western's defence," said Laurier forward Kevin Ryan, who led his team with 15 points. "Western definitely came out with more fire than the last time we played them."

It remains to be seen what effect the loss to Brock will have on the team's ranking. Last week the Mustangs were ranked seventh in the country but Saturday's convincing win might pull some weight to move them up.

Western will travel to Guelph for its next game tomorrow. It plays the division-leading Gryphons at 8 p.m.

©Geoff Robins/Gazette
J.., J.., J.., JUST JAM! Mustang centre Nigel Rawlins follows the steps to the pop-esque Jackson tune Saturday afternoon, as the big man and his team moonwalked over Laurier 88-71.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1997