Big men make big over Brock
OH YEAH, WELL I CAN REACH THE BACKBOARD TOO. Mustang Nigel Rawlins (55) puts up a shot as Badgers Christopher Tilley (53) and Vince Policella (33) look on.
By Nick Lewis
The big men did their big things. The little men did their little things. And in the end the Western Mustangs finally found vindication.
Facing the Brock Badgers for the second time this season, the purple posse did not want to repeat its poor showing earlier in the year in St. Catharines. With a little grit and a lot of determination, the Mustangs firmly grounded the Badgers 75-60.
With a team high 20 points, Mustang forward Chris Webber laid the groundwork for an intricate plan of destruction, as Western picked away at the thin defence Brock put forth.
"I just couldn't wait to get back into this court and show these guys up," Webber said. "A lot of the last game was my fault but this time Nigel [Rawlins] and I really took care of them."
Last year's CIAU-leading field goal shooter at 79 per cent, Rawlins had a big game to match his size. Shooting an impressive 75 per cent from the field for 13 points, the fourth-year centre added insult to injury with a power dunk in the game's final moments.
"We played a lot better than we have in the past," he said. "Hopefully we can keep this kind of thing up. As a team we have been shooting poorly. With the guys we have there's no reason why we can't score 100 points a game."
On the other side of the paint stood a five-foot-nine giant named Salvatore Fuca, who had the game of his life from the three-point line, raining treys in Alumni Hall and coming up big in key moments. He was four for six from downtown for 20 points. He nearly drenched the Western team.
"That kid has his career game against us," Webber acknowledged. "We stopped them from the inside but we just couldn't stop the little guy from the outside. He had great hands today, you gotta respect that."
"I just think that we played sloppy today," Fuca said, diverting attention from his game. "We had a few mental lapses and that hurt us."
Brock coach Ken Murray was understandably disappointed with the result but felt his team had put up a great effort in the game's earlier moments.
"I thought we did a really good job on them in the first half but then our defence went and broke down," he said. "We were a step too slow and we couldn't catch up. We missed some good shots and we reverted to our old ways.
"Western is one of the top seven teams in the country and they showed us why today."
A proud Craig Boydell, head coach for the 'Stangs, acknowledged the keys to his team's victory.
"Our defence was solid today and it shows on the stats," he said. "To hold [OUAA all-star Ryan] Fabi to just seven points is great. We have continually taken the best shooters in the league and have cooled them.
"We scored more points today but you can't overlook our defence they were awesome."
The Western men strut the court again on Valentine's Day, when they have a ménage with the lovely and svelte Guelph Gryphons. Game time is 8 p.m. in the romantic confines of Guelph.