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Volume 90, Issue 76

Friday, February 07, 1997



Gage-less 'Stangs stumble

©Sean Burges/Gazette
SLICING AND DICING THROUGH – Mustang guard Blake Gage slips through a tight Guelph defence. Gage tore his MCL in the first half and is out for the remainder of the regular season.

By Nick Lewis
Gazette Staff

The last time the Mustang men played the Guelph Gryphons, the birds flew away with a 72-64 win in the friendly stables of Alumni Hall. Hoping for renumeration, the Western basketball team headed into Guelph Wednesday and were once again held down, this time by a closer 60-56 score.

In a game which saw the Mustangs commit 36 turnovers, tough defence made it almost impossible for Western to get off patient shots. They may have been shooting better at 44 per cent, though they only managed to toss up 45 shots during the entire game.

"It was an important game for both teams and we just didn't handle the pressure as well as we should have," guard Brendan Noonan said.

"We came in here wanting to win the war but Guelph has certainly won the battle. It was very disappointing because we just didn't play as well as we should have."

Another disappointment for the Mustangs was the loss of guard Blake Gage, who incurred a second-degree tear of his medial collateral ligament in his knee. However, there was no damage done to the more substantial anterior cruciate ligament, which means no surgery and he should heal in three or four weeks and be back in time for the playoffs.

"I don't really know what happened," Gage said. "Nigel [Rawlins] fell on my knee and it gave way. It was just one of those freak accidents."

Mustang head coach Craig Boydell was disappointed both with the loss of his guard for the season and with his second season loss to Guelph.

"That game satisfies the definition of war," he said. "Most of the war was won on the trenches. There was a total of 66 turnovers, that's the most I've ever experienced in a game."

"We're just really glad that Blake doesn't have to go in for surgery," he said. "We'll give him a week in physio and wait and see how he does with a brace before we have him do anything."

The Mustangs are Gage-less tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. against Brock.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1997