Volume 93, Issue 90

Monday, March 21, 2000


CIAU glory dashed in Halifax

Mustangs send the Voyageurs travelling

Bourdeau honoured as first all-star

Mustangs send the Voyageurs travelling

Mike Murphy/Gazette
THE MICAH-ROWAVE HEATS UP AGAINST LAURENTIAN. Western forward Micah Bourdeau flew high against Laurentian and led the Mustangs to the CIAU semifinals.

By Mike Murphy
Gazette Staff

HALIFAX (NS) – Despite losing in the semifinals, the men's basketball team's road down the national championships got off to a promising start Friday afternoon, as they tore up the Halifax hard court and scorched the nets for an opening round victory in the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Final Eight tournament.

The 90-78 victory over Laurentian University made for an auspicious tournament beginning and allowed Western to advance to Canadian university basketball's version of the final four.

Sparked by the torrid three point shooting of point guard Jim Grozelle, Western sprinted to a 20 point lead midway through the first half.

"We won the game in the first half," said Mustang head coach Craig Boydell. "We had to hold on in the second half for dear life for quite a while. They came back really hard and strong."

Going into the match-up with Laurentian, the Mustangs had not seen action since their conference loss to McMaster University two weeks before. According to Boydell, his troops were anxious to get back into the trenches.

"I think there was so much tension in the waiting for everybody," he said. "I think before the game there was no 'ra-ra' about this. I basically said, 'Guys, I think you're just ready.'"

Grozelle went three for five from three point land in the first half, helping Western to a 52-37 lead by intermission. After the game, the point guard said he was surprised he found his shooting rhythm so easily.

"I really didn't feel very good in the warm-up," he admitted. "When the game started, I just wanted to find my spot in the offence and do what I normally do – distribute the ball. But I did get a couple of looks early and I was just lucky to hit them both."

After finishing with 23 points, Grozelle was named player of the game.

For Laurentian, the dynamic duo of centre Ted Dongelmans and guard Kevin "Flash" Gordon did the lion's share of the offensive damage, as the two combined for 51 of the Voyageur's 78 points.

"You don't win here with two guys," asserted Peter Campbell, Laurentian's head coach, "I feel sorry for Ted and Flash because they basically tried to carry the team single-handedly and you can't win here [that way].

"To Western's credit, every time they got a look they buried it," he continued. "And when things weren't going well, [Western guard] Micah [Bourdeau] would slide in and get an easy basket at back of the defence."

Grozelle said he thought Laurentian's concern with defending Western big man centre Chris Brown may have opened things up for his team's perimetre shooters.

"We know Chris Brown has been a force down low all year so we expected maybe for them to help out down low," he said. "They had to leave us with something and today they left us with the three [point shots]."

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