Volume 95, Issue 49

Wednesday, November 28, 2001
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Women find ways to win

Shocked in the wolves' den

Swimmers heat up the pools

Squash balls are bouncing in

Nimble sporty thumbs

Shocked in the wolves' den

By Jordan Bell
Gazette Staff

It's a long way home to London from the dreary north of Thunder Bay, especially for the Western Mustangs men's basketball team.

The haunting of a heartbreaking desperation shot – referring, of course, to Brandon Bobcats' guard Josh Masters half-court buzzer-beater at the 2000 National championships – once again spelled the Mustangs' demise.

This time it was the Lakehead Thunderwolves' forward Jeff Rosar, who hit an off-balance heave to defeat the Mustangs 83-79 score Friday night.

Fortunately, the Mustangs somewhat salvaged the weekend when they gained redemption against the same Thunderwolves Saturday night, triumphing 86-77.

Mustangs head coach Craig Boydell saw a variety of reasons why the Mustangs couldn't get the job done.

"The difficulty we have had with injuries and having to travel for the past six consecutive weekends has really affected this team. But excuses don't suffice, we came out totally flat in Friday's game," he said. "Defensively, the floor is the same size everywhere and we just didn't get the job done."

Some unlikely candidates came out of the woodwork to sting the Mustangs. Rosar in particular had a strong game, scoring 25 points and knocking down a trio of three-pointers.

Mustang forward Andy Kwiatkowski almost single-handedly ripped the victory from the Thunderwolves' grasp. Kwiatkowski scored 36 points on 50 per cent shooting and added nine rebounds. It was a workman-like performance, as he went to the charity stripe 15 times.

Thunderwolves head coach Lou Pero expressed his dismay with Lakehead's coverage of the Mustang star. "We played pretty well, but our defense of Andy was not near as solid as we would have liked. Holding Western to under 50 per cent shooting was a key for us," he said.

Allen Chen/Gazette
LOVE THOSE SPRING LOADED ADIDAS SHOES. Andy Kwiatkowski and the rest of the Mustang men were grounded Friday night after losing to Lakehead, but rebounded to beat the Thunderwolves on Saturday.

Mustang guard Adam Peaker added 15 points, while centre Chris Brown tallied 10 points and seven rebounds.

The Thunderwolves went into the game with a 1-3 record, but Boydell said there were warning signs of the Thunderwolves' bite. "They scored 50 points in the second half on a sound defensive squad [belonging to] the Carleton Ravens and took the Ryerson Rams to double overtime," he explained.

In the second of two back-to-back games, the Mustangs used a balanced attack to gain revenge on the Thunderwolves.

All five starters hit double figures in scoring – Kwiatkowski with 22, Peaker with 20, Brown with 17, forward Chedo Ndur with 14 and guard Jimmy Grozelle with 11.

Grozelle, the Mustangs play-maker also contributed eight assists, leading the Mustang stampede to a 53 per cent shooting performance.

"We played sluggish the entire game on Friday – we just weren't there mentally. On Saturday, we came out with a lot more energy," Ndur said.

The Mustangs meet the Windsor Lancers Wednesday night – the final game on their long and arduous road trip.

"To be where we are after all we have gone through this year, we have to be somewhat satisfied," Boydell said. "We've put ourselves in a good position before the Christmas break."

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Copyright The Gazette 2001