Volume 93, Issue 72

Tuesday, February 8, 2000


SPORTS

Inspiration leads Mustangs

An impressive victory

Streak remains after close match

Close but no cigar for Western

Inspiration leads Mustangs




©Jeremy Brace/Gazette
HEY! YOU TALKIN' TO ME? Western's men's basketball team gave laurier the beats over the weekend and walked away with a 96-55 win.


By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

The memory of teammate Shaun Lodge inspired Western's men's basketball team Saturday, as they defeated the Laurier Golden Hawks 96-55.

Lodge, who passed away on Jan. 29, was remembered before the start of the game, with a moment of silence. A visibly emotional guard Micah Bordeaux addressed the crowd. "It was nice to get the opportunity to do it," he said of the speech. "It was a little tougher than I thought is was going to be."

Western head coach Craig Boydell described the time since Lodge's passing as trying for the whole team. "The emotion of the week was really getting to us and that was evident in [Wednesday's game against] Brock," he said.

Once the ball was tipped, it was obvious Western had something to prove. "On Wednesday we went right from the funeral to the game and we played like we had something else on our minds," Bordeaux said. "[Saturday] we came out with a little more focus."

Western played a high tempo game from their first possession. Laurier managed to keep the score close for approximately 10 minutes until the Mustangs pulled away with an 18-4 run.

A balanced offensive attack and stifling half-court defence resulted in a 49-26 lead and 10 steals for Western by halftime. Final stats included centre Chris Brown pulling down 17 rebounds and a game-high 19 points in only 19 minutes. Bordeaux had 16 points, five assists and three steals while teammates point guard Jim Grozelle and guard Chedo Ndur finished with 13 points each.

While Western's starting lineup scored the bulk of the points, Boydell said their true accomplishment was getting the bench involved. "We had a statement to make," he said. "What we have is just not idle depth. These guys can play."

Laurier shot a dismal 32.8 per cent from the field, managed to make only 11 of their 28 free throws and committed 25 turnovers. Golden Hawks head coach Mike Kilpatrick praised Boydell for his handling of the Western team throughout the ordeal.

"Coach Boydell has done a great job with his kids," he said. "It's amazing how he can get them to come out and compete and play with outstanding focus and emotion despite what has happened."

While obviously disappointed with the lopsided loss, Kilpatrick tried to point out the positives for his team. "We [stayed in the game] for a long time," he said. "We definitely accomplished something. Our perspective is three or four years down the road. Now is not our time."

Despite Western's many accomplishments, Boydell cautioned that the team's progress must continue. "We can't afford to be pleased. Our objective is the nationals and we know there are teams out there capable of taking us away from that."


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