Volume 95, Issue 26

Thursday, October 18, 2001
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First football, not basketball

The days of the our baseball lives

First football, not basketball

Varsity Blues humiliated once again

By Jordan Bell
Gazette Staff

One might ask the University of Toronto Varsity Blues athletic program the following question, why bother coming to Western?

The Varsity Blues men's basketball team was thoroughly dismantled by the Mustangs 97-69 Tuesday night at Alumni Hall. The defeat comes only a week and a half after their football team was trounced 43-1 by Western.

The Mustangs took a few minutes to get into the game, but once they did, the result was never in doubt. Point guard Jimmy Grozelle said the squad accomplished everything they wanted in the game.

"We had a bit of a slow start," Grozelle said. "But we know what we want to take out of every game and I think we accomplished that today."

The Mustangs were led statistically by a plethora of players. "Mr. Canada," forward Andy Kwiatkowski put up his typical solid numbers – 18 points and nine rebounds, in only 21 minutes.

Centre Chris "Big Daddy" Brown also filled the sheet in a short time span, scoring 19 points and boarding eight. Grozelle, the heart of the squad, tallied 14 points.

But the strong play wasn't limited to the usual suspects. Forward Sagar Desai was versatile, scoring 19 points from seemingly every spot on the floor. Adam Peaker provided the intangibles – stifling defense and timely passing. Finally, guard and emerging talent Scott Seeley buried some big shots on his way to eight points.

How do you keep all these great players on the same page? Mustang head coach Craig Boydell said it isn't too difficult.

"We recruit the type of people that want to be part of a strong program. There are guys who won't come here because they aren't sure whether they can play right away, but the players we have co-operate with one another and have benefited enormously from it."

The Mustangs shot their typical high percentage from the field, as well as ran their motion offense to a tee. Varsity Blues head coach Kenneth Olynyk said the Mustangs pushed U of T into making mistakes.

"Western forced us into a lot of errors," Olynyk said. "And, with Western being a veteran team overall, they took advantage of our mistakes."

Allen Chen/Gazette
UP, UP AND AWAY. It may have only been an exhibition match, but the Western basketball team brought their 'A' game to Alumni Hall Tuesday, spaking the U. of T.

The Mustangs look primed for another deep, playoff run, but to the keen eye, it was evident certain pieces were missing – guard Mark Porte, forward Nick Salomons and forward Mark Nielsen.

The injury bug has played devilish tricks on the Mustangs, benching these three solid contributors. It's interesting to imagine what this team could do if all the cogs were in place.

Grozelle explicitly stated the goal for the season will only be remedied in Halifax. "Every year our goal is to win the national championship. It's the only thing that's in our minds and every game is a building block up to that point"

U of T's loss added a third victory to the Mustangs' undefeated season. The earlier wins came against Ryerson 79-65 and Windsor 93-70. Next on the agenda, Daemen College. The game tips-off Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001