Volume 95, Issue 65

Tuesday, January 29, 2002
 

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SPORTS

Full perfection slips away in tie

Yeomen infiltrate sacred home

Yeomen infiltrate sacred home

By Ryan Hickman
Gazette Writer


Nothing comes easy to a team trying to define itself in the critical parts of the season.

The Western Mustangs men's basketball team experienced just that this weekend, showing flashes of brilliance on Friday night with a 83-63 win over Laurentian.

Unfortunately, the Mustangs were a completely different team on Saturday in a 75-69 loss to York.

The game against the Voyageurs stayed close early in the game, but the Mustangs started to pull away mid-way through the first half. Scott Seeley, Mark Neilson and Sagar Desai came off the bench to provide a lift, showing the excellent depth needed for a great team.

Mustang head coach Craig Boydell said he wanted the depth of his team to shine through. "We are looking for the long term. With the loss of Nick Salomons and Mark Porte for the year, we want to establish ourselves as being able to go ten deep."

Mark Porte has been on the injury list for the entire season, while Salomons was on and off again. With his most recent injury, Boydell said Salomons won't play again for the remainder of the season.

The Mustangs produced much of their offence against Laurentian with an up-tempo style. The man directing the Mustangs in the open court was the level-headed Jim Grozelle, who said his team's get-it-out and run style can compensate for a lack of half court offensive momentum.

"As long as we keep getting easy buckets in transition, we don't have to worry as much if our half court offense is struggling."

It was the Mustangs tight team defence that kept the Voyageurs from making any serious run. With a 40-27 lead at halftime, the Mustangs kept a double digit advantage throughout the second half. It was the defense that Boydell said he was most pleased with.

"We are solid defensively and closer to where we should be at this time of the year, as opposed to our offense," he said.

For Laurentian, it was their defense that they thought might give them a better chance against Western throwing different schemes at the Mustangs throughout the game. "We wanted to try and keep them off balance," Laurentian head coach Virgil Hill said after the game.

The Laurentian defence certainly didn't stop the nation's leading scorer, Andy Kwiatkowski, who chalked up 23 points, six boards, three assists and three steals. Grozelle added 17 points and Adam Peaker helped out with 10.

With the Friday night game behind them, it was an early morning for the Mustangs on Saturday with a noon tip-off against the tenth ranked team in the nation, York.

The Mustangs didn't show the depth and dominance as seen the night before.

The Yeomen offence came largely from Adam Miller, who came off the Yeoman's bench to score 19 points and pull down 11 rebounds.

York shot 63 per cent from the floor in the first half to take a 42-32 lead into halftime and it proved to be insurmountable even with a strong charge by the Mustangs in the second half.

Western stayed close with a big effort from Chedo Ndur, who punched out for the day with 16 points and seven rebounds. Kwiatkowski added his usual 21 and six.

Dave Van Dyck/Gazette
I'LL HUFF AND I'LL PUFF AND I'LL BLOW MY DEFENDER DOWN. Mustang forward Mark Neilson looks for an open man in the squad's 83-63 victory over the Laurentian Voyageurs.




To Contact The Sports Department:
gazette.sports@uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 2001