Volume 94, Issue 76

Wednesday, February 7, 2001


Ballers shoot down some Hawks

Disappointing win has to do - Mustang men lose their shooting touch

Mustangs thrive as road warriors

Sports Briefs

Disappointing win has to do - Mustang men lose their shooting touch

By Jordan Bell
Gazette Staff

There's no place like home.

The Laurier Golden Hawks men's basketball team experienced a grotesque nightmare on Jan. 24 at the hands of the Western Mustangs. On Saturday, at the Laurier Athletic Complex, they woke up.

In an inspired show of determination the Golden Hawks erased a 21 point half-time deficit and almost pulled off an upset of epic proportions. The Mustangs escaped, and eventually emerged victorious, 80-72.

Laurier head coach, Peter Campbell, said he credits the turnaround to a sound team effort, given his team's lack of quality players.

"Our kids did a pretty good job," Campbell said. "Down low in the paint, we're not even comparable."

The Mustangs almost shot themselves out of the ball game. Typically a sound shooting squad, they went 6 for 23 from long range, and shot 29 per cent in the second half. The latter number was key because it gave the Golden Hawks, who were down 21 points at the half, an opening.

In typical fashion, forward Andy Kwiatkowski filled the stat sheet, scoring 21 points, and pulling down 10 rebounds. Forward Matt Tweedie added 13 points, and centre Rich Tamminga was a monster down low, scoring 11.

On the other side of the court, the Golden Hawks were led by the tremendous trio of Darren Viera, Adam Rogers, and Jeff Zdrahal who scored 13, 12, and 11 points, respectively.

The Mustangs have been exposed to teams with lesser records and not much prominence. There was the shocker at Waterloo, and then this most recent scare from the Golden Hawks. Mustang head coach, Craig Boydell, was quick to point out that the Golden Hawks are not, like every other team in the Ontario University Athletics, a team to be taken lightly.

"They've got some players who can play," Boydell said. "If they put it all together, they can be a tough team."

The doubters of the Mustangs will be crawling out of the woodwork after this latest performance. Occupying the second spot on the national rankings, much is expected every time they step on the floor. Brown says that the Mustangs are too focused to let outside interference break the team's morale.

"We know we didn't play well," Brown said. "Before, people didn't think we were for real anyway. When it comes down to it, we can play in big games."

Usually after a win, a team is elated. But when you're the Western Mustangs, wins don't always suffice. Boydell made it clear though that the Mustangs will take a positive from improving their record.

"I try never to apologize for winning a game," Boydell said. "We just didn't play particularly well."

The Mustangs will eagerly anticipate this weekend's chance for redemption when they face the Waterloo Warriors. They will first have to get past the Windsor Lancers though, a team they face Wednesday night in Windsor.

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