Cote says no way to Regina in Vanier
Mustangs finish first half perfectly
Lady Mustangs bouncing back
Veterans lead troops to victory
Veterans lead troops to victory
- Men's basketball team keeps on on winning
By Jordan Bell
If there is one word that describes the Western Mustangs men's basketball team, it's perseverance.
The Mustangs narrowly escaped defeat at the hands of the University College of Cape Breton Capers, pulling ahead late and prevailing 84-74, Saturday afternoon at Alumni Hall.
The win boosts the Mustangs pre-season record to 16-1, including a run of 14 straight wins.
While the Capers mounted a charge at various points throughout the game, every time they got close, the Mustangs had an answer.
"I think this is an extremely confident team," said Mustangs guard and co-captain Matt Tweedie. "We can get down, but we never feel like we're going to lose a game."
The sparkplug for the Mustangs was the play of their elder statesmen, Tweedie and forward Chedo Ndur. Whether it was a defensive stop, or a key three point basket, the veterans provided it.
"They mean everything to this team," said Western head coach, Craig Boydell. "When you have people who have been in pressure situations before, it's going to help you."
Tweedie finished the game with 14 points, Ndur tallied 15 points and eight rebounds, while point-guard Jimmy Grozelle chipped in with 13.
The Mustangs also got a strong contribution from forward Andy Kwiatkowski, who scored 19 points. Kwiatkowski is quickly showing his mettle, consistently putting up big numbers, game-in and game-out.
The Capers received a dominant performance from Dammie Alexander, a forward out of Philadelphia, whose shots seemed to be willed into the basket. Alexander finished with 25 points and 9 rebounds, while Stephen Nelson, Orville Edwards and Andrew Carter, had 13, 12, and 11 points, respectively.
The Mustangs jumped out to a 10-1 lead, but relinquished it mid-way through the first half. The rest of the game was a cat-and-mouse chase, with Western escaping late in the second half. Tweedie said he credits the Capers defensive pressure and the Mustangs play for the early results.
"They were a very energetic and athletic team," Tweedie said. "They just fed off how poorly we played, and took advantage of the fact we weren't playing up to our potential."
One glaring statistic that emanated from the game was the Mustangs 24 turnovers. Boydell said he was displeased with the number, but said the numbers can be deceiving.
"We had some turnovers that were unacceptable," Boydell said. "But sometimes you can have turnovers and not be displeased with them because they were about to produce something."
The Capers gave the Mustangs a legitimate scare, and Cape Breton head coach, Bill Burns, said he felt that if a few things had gone the Capers way, the result could have been different.
"Our inability to finish around the basket was a major turning point," Burns said. "If we had made a few shots early in the second half, it could've been a different outcome."
The number one nationally ranked Mustangs clash with the Canadian Maccabiah team on Monday at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall, before taking a well deserved break and celebrating some Yuletide cheer.