Volume 92, Issue 92
Tuesday, March 23, 1999
Huskies use home court advantage
© Geoff Robins/Gazette
By John Dinner
HALIFAX When you're the opponent of Cinderella, things just never seem to go your way.
Such was the case for the Western men's basketball team Friday night when they took on the host St. Mary's Huskies in the opening game for both teams of the CIAU championships, eventually losing 66-62.
Brutal first half shooting on the part of the Mustangs sealed their fate as the 12 point first half deficit was too much to overcome.
"We didn't do some of the things we can do in the first half," said Mustang head coach Craig Boydell, who was named CIAU coach of the year Thursday night.
The poor shooting included no first half points from all-Canadian forward Nat Graham and one for 10 shooting on the evening from point guard Jim Grozelle.
"We had a tough first half. We didn't generate enough offence, didn't do the job," said Mustang guard Micah Bordeau.
Bordeau was the target of many of the St. Mary's faithful, since he left the Husky program after garnering the Atlantic Conference rookie of the year in 1996. This was his first trip back to the Maritimes since the controversial departure and the Huskies' fans showed their appreciation with a chorus of boos.
"Before the game there was a lot of talk about Micah and what we needed to do to stop him," said St. Mary's forward Cory Janes, who was named player of the game with 23 points and 15 rebounds, including six offensive boards. "The fans really concentrated on him, but we knew the kind of player he is and we knew we couldn't fully stop him. We just wanted to limit his chances and not give him an opportunity to win [Western] the game."
Bordeau led all Mustang scorers with 16 points and centre Chris Brown recorded another double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds).
Inconsistent officiating made the climb back into the game that much more difficult for the Mustangs, as they couldn't get a break to go their way and were heavily out-rebounded (50-36).
Free throws also became a factor as Janes made more trips to the charity stripe (10) than the entire Mustang team combined (9).
"I'm proud of my teammates. We came back from a long way," Bordeau said.
The Mustangs did have a chance to win in the dying seconds but were unable to convert on their shots.
"Basketball is a game of runs and we handled them better in the first half than in the second," said Husky coach Ross Quakenbush. "In the end our guys stepped up and hit some big shots."
The Husky win moved them into the championship bracket where they defeated the McMaster Marauders 77-68 in the semifinals, before squeaking out a win in the championship game over the No. 1 seeded Alberta Golden Bears 73-69 in overtime.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999