Volume 91, Issue 66

Tuesday, January 27, 1998



Mustangs pull hardcourt shocker

©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette
OFF THE EAGLE, THEN THE CHEERLEADER, NOTHING BUT NET. Western's Micah Bourdeau had a phenomenal game Wednesday night in Hamilton, making 10 of 14 shots for 24 points and raking in 11 boards against last year's national runner-up McMaster.

By Alex Chiang

Gazette Staff

HAMILTON – With ice water in his veins, fifth-year veteran Jonathan Dingle drained a jump shot at the top of the key with three seconds remaining in the game – to give the seventh-ranked Western men's basketball team an 82-81 upset win over the third-ranked McMaster Marauders Wednesday night.

In addition to coming through with the clutch game-winning shot, the team's co-captain was given the ominous task of guarding three-time All-Canadian Titus Channer, who recorded 26 points in only 17 minutes on the court.

"I just try to get up to him as tight as I can and then get by the screens and ask for help," Dingle said. "He sort of hurts my ego a bit."

Channer's efforts on this night were not enough however, as the Mustangs played a solid game offensively, shooting 52.5 per cent from the field and were led by Nat Graham who contributed 23 points and Micah Bourdeau's double-double of 24 points and 11 rebounds. Graham, who fouled-out with three minutes remaining in the Mustang's previous game against Guelph, managed to keep his name out of the referees' bad books for most of the game.

"I've been in foul trouble a lot recently so it was nice," Graham said. "We ran our offence better than we've been running it so far. Pulling out such a close game really showed the grit of this team."

As for Bourdeau's performance, he has been the most consistent Western player thus far, recording a third consecutive game with a point total in the double-digits.

"Micah's had three outstanding conference games in a row," Mustang head coach Craig Boydell said. "He made some key rebounds and shots [even though] he was a prime target for [Mac] defensively."

McMaster head coach Joe Raso was unhappy with the way the Marauders played defensively, especially against Bourdeau.

"Micah had a great game, but when I looked at the shot charts most of his shots were layups," Raso said. "We allowed their guards to do anything at their will and as a team we have to make them work much harder than that."

The Marauders appeared to be getting things in order near the end of the first half and took a 43-39 lead into the locker room, but Western went on a quick 7-2 run and would dictate the play for most of the second stanza. In addition, the Mustangs did a good job of controlling McMaster's fast-paced transition game – the style of play Raso admitted his team lives and dies on.

"We played a two-man safety system most of the game. We knew we had to get our big guys back," Boydell said. "The prime strategic plan is to get the guys back on defence."

With the victory, Western's record improves to 2-1 while McMaster falls to 3-1.

Next up for the Mustangs is the home opener tomorrow against Windsor. Although Windsor is unranked, the Lancers nearly beat McMaster last week losing in overtime 99-98.

"We've made a strong statement to ourselves going into Windsor's game that our hard work really pays off," Boydell said. "Windsor is aware they can beat Mac on their floor and us on our floor."

The game will tip-off at 2 p.m. at Alumni Hall.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1998