Volume 91, Issue 58

Tuesday, January 13, 1998

fun dipped


Skeet shooting Golden Hawks

©Geoff Robins/Gazette
I TAUGHT' I TAW A PUTTY' TAT. Matt Tweedie dazed the Laurier Golden Hawks in the Western men's basketball season opener on Saturday with an impressive display of marksmanship from beyond the three-point line.

By Alex Chiang

Gazette Staff

An obvious, yet difficult adage to accomplish in basketball acknowledges that good shooting will win games more often than not. Heading into Saturday's regular season opener, the Western men's basketball team had certainly learned that well – continuing a seven-game preseason win streak with a 79-62 win over the Laurier Golden Hawks in Waterloo.

Laurier remained very much in the thick of things in the first half, with Western holding a marginal 36-31 lead at the intermission. In the second half, however, the Mustangs dominated – at one point building a 22-point advantage.

"At times we had good ball movement but at other times we didn't," Western head coach Craig Boydell said. "I can't complain about a 17 point win in our conference."

Western shot a solid 49 per cent from the field as a team, including 6-11 from three-point range, while Laurier struggled to find the mark, converting only 39 per cent of the time and went 1-9 from beyond the three-point arc.

"We have a lot of confidence that each trip down the floor, we'll make a basket," Mustang forward Brad Campbell said. "We had some lapses but we played well enough to win.

"We have a balanced attack and there's no go-to guy. On any given night, any guy could score 20 points – depending on who's hot.

On this night, however, it was Campbell's turn to lead the offensive charge, recording a team high 25 points and 10 of 15 from the field. Guard Micah Bourdeau contributed 20 points for Western and led the Mustangs with eight rebounds, while Matt Tweedie provided Western with a key perimeter threat off the bench by hitting three of five three-point attempts.

As far as Boydell is concerned, the game didn't expose any weaknesses or problems for the team to address this week before Saturday's game against Guelph, although he wasn't pleased with the team's free throw shooting of 57 per cent. The sixth-ranked Gryphons, who eliminated Western in the first round of the playoffs last year, should provide a much sterner test than the Hawks.

"Laurier will struggle to [make the playoffs] because the conference is stacked," Boydell said. "From what we've seen, the league is as competitive as it has been in a long time and it's been pretty competitive over the years."

Boydell added that by merit of the Mustangs' 11-2 record in preseason and regular season games, the team should be ranked higher than eighth and certainly ahead of Guelph who has lost three times already.

"With an eight-game winning streak, the ranking continues to be a discrepancy," Boydell said.

Saturday's game at Guelph will tip-off at 2 p.m.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1998