Volume 93, Issue 59

Friday, January 14, 2000


Western basketball teams win the battle of Waterloo

Mustangs helped prepare juniors

1999 headlines revisited

Western basketball teams win the battle of Waterloo

Photo by Neil Malhotra
HERE'S A LITTLE MOVE I LEARNED FROM KAREEM. Chris "Big Daddy" Brown (54) hooks a shot over the Waterloo Warriors' defenders in a 73-43 Western win Wednesday night.

By Paul Leeking
Gazette Staff

Despite some sloppy offensive execution, the Western men's basketball team rallied behind strong defence as they throttled division rivals, the Waterloo Warriors, 73-43 Wednesday evening at Alumni Hall. The win lifted the nationally number one ranked Western squad to a 15-0 record.

Coming off Western's most impressive performance of the season, a 102-72 drubbing of seventh ranked McMaster University earlier in the week, the Mustangs looked jittery early on.

After averaging close to 100 points over the past five games, the 27 first half points may have been a cause for concern had the club not displayed their usual defensive grit, holding Waterloo to just 16 in the first half.

Western head coach Craig Boydell said the Mustangs struggled to carry the defensive intensity to the offensive side of the ball. "All the energy we had on defence, we weren't able to bring that to offence," he said. "Right now our team defence is ranked number one in the country and we needed it because, offensively, we didn't play as well as we have in the last little while."

Western Forward Matt Tweedie said the team cannot afford extended lapses against good teams such as Waterloo. "To us, the first half was unacceptable. We lost our discipline at times, myself included. We focused more in the last 10 to 12 minutes in the second half."

The second half proved more friendly to the Mustangs, as they exploded for 46 points, helping them cruise to victory. The game got ugly late as the frustrations of both teams erupted in a series of unnecessary elbows and pushes, but the end result was a big win for Western.

Waterloo assistant coach Curt Warkentin said he felt his team squandered opportunities to get a jump on the Mustangs in the early going. "We got beat off the boards, especially in the first half. Our defence was tough, but we missed some real easy shots early and we really could have used them," he said.

"That's just the tenuous nature of the sport – it can go up or down at anytime. It all comes down to the roll of the ball on a rim."

Western travels to Hamilton tomorrow for a rematch against McMaster at 2 p.m..

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

Wednesday night the women's basketball team pulled out a narrow victory over the Waterloo Athenas in a performance which wasn't exactly hot, but rather lukewarm.

The final score, 57-51, was a season low, but it nevertheless raised the Mustangs' record to 8-1.

Western came out in the first quarter looking sloppy and a little off their game. Their unsteady defence and inability to capitalize offensively allowed the Athenas to take the lead right off the bat.

To revitalize his snoozing team early in the game, Western head coach Bob Delaney changed his defensive layout, an uncommon move in Mustang country. For the first time this season, the Mustangs employed a man-to-man defence instead of a zone.

Despite their shaky play after the move, Delaney insisted his team was ready for the defensive shift. "Our kids are skilled players and recently, we have had plenty of opportunity [to practice] man defence. "

Rookie forward Lindsay Kennedy agreed with the shift in defensive play. "We definitely lacked movement on offence, but the defence is definitely getting better – we're learning to talk more with each other."

Waterloo head coach Tom O'Brien said the defensive shift was beneficial to a game which started off looking gloomy for Western.

O'Brien, however, was quick to highlight his surprise in Delaney's strategy. "We did nothing against the man defence. It's the first time we've seen them play man all year."

Western led the game 27-21 at the half. Early in the third quarter a technical foul sparked by heated forward Joanne Chehade allowed Waterloo to take the lead for the second time in the game.

Despite being plagued in the fourth quarter with team fouls, the Mustangs prevailed. Veteran forward Holli Clarkson and rookie guard Sara Leclara made key free throws boosting their team to victory.

"Our veteran players made some key free throws at the end of the game to pull it off," Delaney said. "At this time of the year we're being scouted – the younger players are going to need to step up and learn not to be afraid. We could go all the way this year, but whether we do or not depends on the young kids – whether they improve or not."

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