Volume 93, Issue 77
Wednesday, February 16, 2000
One win away from clinching first
ALL RIGHT, YOU CAN KEEP THE QUARTER. The Mustangs made sure to keep their money and their losses to a minimum this weekend, as they beat Waterloo 95-85.
By Joel Brown
Western's men's basketball team is one game away from clinching first place in the Ontario University Athletics West division after a victory over the Waterloo Warriors Saturday.
The win leaves Western with an 11-1 conference record, while McMaster sits in second place at 12-2. "We're just trying to peak going into the playoffs," Western head coach Craig Boydell said. "There's a lot at stake."
Both sides played a rugged, physical game which was dominated by offence. Waterloo head coach Tom Kieswetter said the two teams played with a lot of energy from the opening tip.
By the half, Waterloo had a 51-50 lead over the Mustangs an improvement from their last meeting, when Western held them to a game high of 43 points.
The game ended with a score of 95-85 and Boydell attributed the increase in Waterloo's scoring to the loss of Western point guard Jim Grozelle, who missed the game due to a hamstring injury.
"You can't just take a guy who has been your starting point guard for two years, leads in minutes and not miss him somehow," Boydell said, calling Grozelle the focal point of the team's defensive attack.
Boydell also said Waterloo did a good job of keeping the ball in the open court. He praised Mustang shooting guard Micah Bordeau for taking charge and expertly handling Waterloo's double teams. "He passed and got to the foul line very well."
In the second half, Western pulled away early, a result of their improved defence.
Kieswetter said that while both offensive teams played well, Western's domination on defence gave the Mustangs the decisive edge. He also pointed to Bordeau as the player who led the Western comeback. "He played outstanding," Kieswetter said. "He had the ball in his hands on offence and made great decisions. He's definite All-Canadian material."
Bordeau finished with 20 points, while fellow guard Matt Tweedie finished with 22. Centre Chris Brown had a strong game with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Boydell said he believed it was the consistent ball movement on offence and limiting the turnovers to 10, which allowed the Mustangs to come out on top.
Grozelle, who plans to play tonight, said he was impressed with his replacement, Stephen Berry. "He really did a good job. It was nice to see."
Berry, the leading three-point shooter in the country, captained a Western three-point attack which shot 9-15 from beyond the arc.
Despite Waterloo's loss, Kieswetter said he was pleased with his team's performance. "Offensively, I was very happy. We did a great job by scoring 85 points against an outstanding defensive team.
Waterloo provided a strong inside presence with the tandem of center Dan Shipper, who had 23 points and nine rebounds and post Mike Zavershnik, who finished with 19 points and 11 boards. Two wins in their remaining games would clinch a playoff position for the Warriors.
The Mustangs travel to the University of Guelph tonight and will be home for the last game of the season on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Alumni Hall.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000