Volume 92, Issue 62
Tuesday, January 19, 1999
Tweedie knocks down Laurier
By Alan Russette
WATERLOO In one of the most physical games of the year, the Western Mustangs men's basketball team managed to outwrestle the Laurier Golden Hawks 82-78 on Saturday afternoon.
Battling foul trouble, third-year forward Matt Tweedie lit up the Golden Hawk defence for 25 points as the Mustangs squeaked out their second victory in four days to raise their record to 3-0 in conference play.
Scraped elbows and knees were the price of victory as Tweedie repeatedly sacrificed his body, going after loose balls and taking hard fouls. When the Golden Hawks started to charge back in the final minutes, it was Tweedie who held them off, hitting key three-pointers, going five for eight from the free throw line and making some big defensive stops down the stretch.
Tweedie's success was part the result of Laurier's defensive game plan which focused on controlling Mustang co-captains Micah Bourdeau and Nat Graham.
"You can focus on [Bourdeau and Graham], but you've got to be aware that the rest of those guys can play," said Mike Kilpatrick, Laurier's head coach. "Tweedie gets 25 [points] but the next game it could be [Peter] Kratz, because he's certainly capable of it. That's the mark of a good team."
Despite the efforts of the Golden Hawks, Graham and Bourdeau still put in solid performances, each hitting double figures in points scored. But it was the play of Tweedie on both sides of the ball which made the difference.
Mustang head coach Craig Boydell said he thought Tweedie performed well, especially considering the rough nature of this game. "Matt Tweedie probably was the key player for us [Wednesday]. The game was an incredibly physical game, but he was one of our guys who took a lot of contact and still kept running things," Boydell said. "He had a terrific game, not just because he scored some points, but he was consistently hitting the boards hard and really playing tough."
Although Tweedie was pleased to come out with the win, he felt the Mustangs could have performed better and could learn something from the Golden Hawk work ethic.
"Today I thought [Laurier] outplayed us. They worked a lot harder than us. We have to look at that," he said. "They came within four points of us based on sheer hard work."
Tweedie felt fortunate to have started the season on a winning streak but said he realizes the team can perform better than they have been. "We've shown many games before that we're a great team and we're going to get tough to beat when we play hard," Tweedie said.
The Mustangs will face their biggest test of the young season tomorrow as they host the country's No. 2 ranked team, the McMaster Marauders at Thames Hall. Tip off is at 8 p.m..
Copyright © The Gazette 1999