·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   · 

Volume 90, Issue 81

Tuesday, February 18, 1997



Cleaning up in the stable

©Sean Burges/Gazette
LET'S SEE NOW, WHICH DEFENDER SUCKS THE MOST. . . Western Mustang Jason Meskis tries to find a route through Nor'Wester pylons this weekend.

By Alex Chiang
Gazette Staff

A feeble Lakehead men's basketball squad stumbled into the Mustangs' barn for a doubleheader at Alumni Hall this weekend. Two stern bucks later, it was high-tailing it back to the great northern Ontario wilderness.

Western held the advantage in virtually every aspect – height, size and talent to list a few. The end result was two lopsided victories 80-65 on Friday and 67-48 on Saturday.

Chris Webber was unrivaled around the basket, leading both teams in scoring with 51 points over the two games. Determined to rub salt in Lakehead's wounds, Webber was assessed a technical during the second half of Saturday's match for trash-talking the opposing bench.

"The ref called it taunting but I was just having some fun out there," Webber said. "I was just giving a little guy on their team a hard time because he couldn't shoot very well."

Andrew Stevenson, one of the Nor'Westers small men, did pose a legitimate threat to the Mustangs, scoring 22 points in the first game. After revamping its defensive sets, Western blanketed Stevenson in the rematch and limited the first-year guard to single digits.

"Stevenson had his coming out party against us in the first game, so we had to change things on him," Western head coach Craig Boydell said. "We played a strong quarter-court defence and did a great job on him and [Carlo] Zoffranieri, their other guard."

"Western is a great defensive team" Stevenson said. "If they can keep the tempo of the game at a slow pace they'll have a shot at winning the division."

Boydell has had the luxury of picking opposing players and shutting them down offensively thanks to the efforts of players like Hugh Bell, Brendan Noonan and Jonathan Dingle.

"I can only hope we'll be able to do it all year," Boydell said. "The key for us is that everyone understands their roles and has a good work ethic."

Lakehead coach Lou Pero was not considerably disappointed with his team's performance. Previous contests in the OUAA saw his squad get blown out by bigger margins.

"Western's big men are better and getting the ball to Webber for good shots will be vital," he responded when asked to make a comparison between Western and Mac, the two top teams in the OUAA West. "If they can control their athleticism it'll help them go a long way."

Mustang co-captain Blake Gage missed his third consecutive game due to a third-degree tear of his medial-collateral ligament. In the meantime, Boydell has called on his bench players to fill the void and thus far, they have responded.

"I felt very comfortable jumping in," forward Adrian Smith said. "I know Matt [Tweedie] and I come and love to play, so any time we're called on, we're ready."

Western will play host to Waterloo tomorrow at Alumni Hall. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1997