Volume 91, Issue 62

Tuesday, January 20, 1998

Little Bo Greek


Mustangs have a foul time at Guelph

©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette
WHY DON'T YOU LEARN HOW TO DRIVE BUDDY? Western's Micah Bourdeau blows by Guelph's Jeff Erskine for an easy lay-up. So easy in fact, Bourdeau also had the time to give his own rendition of the Mile High Salute.

By Alex Chiang

Gazette Staff

It was a tale of two teams on Saturday, as the Guelph Gryphon men's basketball team underwent a half-time metamorphosis to stage a 71-68 come-from-behind victory over the Western Mustangs.

In the first half, the Gryphons didn't play true to their sixth-place national ranking, shooting a mere 29 per cent from the field, turning the ball over 12 times and lacking a member of its starting lineup recording more than three points. However, the seventh-ranked Mustangs could not capitalize on the Gryphons' poor play and only had a marginal 31-25 lead at the midway point.

The second half was a completely different story as Guelph came out of the locker room on fire, draining two three-point shots in the first minute to even the score.

"We had some defensive lapses right off the bat," Western head coach Craig Boydell said. "Our defence played well and we knew that [Guelph] was running well, but they hit some tough shots."

The Gryphons would eventually build an eight-point lead, but the Mustangs clawed back into the game thanks in large part to guard Micah Bourdeau who scored a game high 25 points.

"[Michah] played a tremendous game," Boydell said. "He made a lot of key baskets, considering he had a lot of pressure on him."

Bourdeau felt the game was there for the taking and was particularly unhappy that Western was out-rebounded at both ends of the court.

"We had far too many breakdowns offensively and defensively," he said. "The younger players have to be ready to play every day and I don't think they were ready."

Aside from Bourdeau and Jonathan Dingle, who contributed 16 points, Western's offence wasn't at its best, especially the bench players who recorded only four points, as opposed to the 38 points thrown in by Guelph's reserves. Gryphon head coach Chris O'Rourke felt this was a major factor in the outcome of the game.

"The difference was that we got our whole bench in, whereas Western played only about six or seven deep," O'Rouke said. "We were a bit anxious going into the game, but we settled down in the second half."

Leading Guelph's offensive resurgence was first-year forward Mike Ayanbadejo who had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

"Mike's an outstanding rookie. He's only 19 years old and sometimes I forget that," O'Rourke said. "I think he's the best freshman in the country."

Western had an opportunity to tie the game with seven seconds left, but Matt Tweedie's three-point attempt rattled off the rim and stayed out.

The Mustangs did not have the services of forwards Nat Graham and Brad Campbell, both of whom can shoot the three, but had fouled out within the final minutes of the game. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of a third Mustang starter Richard Tamminga, was also hampered by foul trouble. Tamminga's statistics included only four points and one rebound.

"Having two guys foul out hurt us," Boydell said. "Having them in foul trouble hurt us."

Western's next game is tomorrow night in Hamilton, where they will take on the third-ranked and last year's national runner-up McMaster Marauders at 8 p.m..

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1998