Volume 94, Issue 53
Friday, December 1, 2000
Men rebound to beat Brock - Basketball team shows resilience
AND NO FLAKY WHITE STUFF. The Western men's basketball team will be trying to shoot out the light in pre-season play this weekend.
By Jordan Bell
The Western Mustangs men's basketball team rebounded from a sluggish first half, to defeat the Brock Badgers 91-80 Wednesday night at Alumni Hall.
The win improves the Mustangs preseason record to 15-1, which includes 13 straight wins.
The Badgers jumped out to a 39-36 lead at the half, behind strong three point shooting and the Mustangs inability to find quality shots.
"The game plan was fine, the execution just wasn't there." said Western coach Craig Boydell.
The Mustangs quickly reloaded in the second half behind the calming presence of point guard Jimmy Grozelle, and the low post domination of centre Chris Brown and power forward Andy Kwiatkowski.
"We played deeper down low and produced better shots," Boydell said. "Our man-to-man defence also improved."
Outscoring the Badgers by 14 points in the second half, the Mustangs demonstrated why they are the number one ranked team in the country.
"Western showed their experience in the second half," Brock head coach, Brian Murray said. "They had composure and attacked us on the offensive end."
The source of that attack was the trio of Kwiatkowski, Brown and Grozelle. Kwiatkowski led the Mustangs with 23 points, while Brown and Grozelle chipped in with 16 a piece.
The Mustangs also got a strong contribution from rookie guard Adam Peaker, who despite being one of the shortest players on the floor, hauled in a team leading nine rebounds. The Badgers were paced by Ryan Dudley, Martin Smieszak, and Jamie Duncan, who had 24, 21 and 19 points, respectively.
The highlight of the game came when forward Chedo Ndur took his frustration out on the rim, with a two-hand cock-back slam dunk. That was followed by similarly violent dunks by Kwiatkowski and rookie forward Sagar Desai, leaving the Western faithful with their jaws on the floor.
"Our record at Simon Fraser was 7-22," Kwiatkowski said. "We win a lot more games here. There is a much better attitude in the locker room."
Kwiatkowski is filling the void left by the loss of All-Canadian guard Micah Bourdeau, and sharpshooter guard Stephen Barrie to graduation.
"He is versatile, posting up or hitting from outside, and defending big or small," Boydell said. "He is the type of player that we try and recruit here."
The Badger's early success represents the motivation many teams might have when they spot the Mustangs on their schedule. There is nothing more gratifying than ousting the number one team from their pedestal.
"Teams will go harder at us," Kwiatkowski said. "We just have to take it one game at a time."
Boydell said holding the number one position is also motivation for his players. "We thrive on being number one. Every game is meaningful because teams come in here wanting to defeat us. It gives the players motivation to practice for something more."
The Mustangs take a couple of days off before locking horns with the University College of Cape Breton on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Alumni Hall.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000