Volume 96, Issue 57
Friday, January 10, 2003

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Mustangs schooled by Marauders on home floor

 
Dave Picard/
Gazette
By Ian Denomme
Gazette Staff

Despite their recent slide, the Western Mustangs men's basketball team is staying positive and confident.

The Mustangs have lost four straight games, the most recent coming Wednesday night at Alumni Hall, a 94-85 loss to the McMaster Marauders. The loss dropped the Mustangs record to 4-5, leaving them in fifth place in the OUA West Division.

Western kept it close in the early going of the first half, but McMaster caught fire down the stretch, hitting three-pointers on four consecutive trips down the floor and held a 57-41 lead at half time.

The Mustangs trailed by as many as 20 points in the second half, but slowly cut into the lead. With 1:42 remaining in the game, they trailed 89-84, but foul trouble and untimely turnovers put the game out of reach.

Jimmy Grozelle led all scorers with 31 points, while Sagar Desai and Jeff Giovanatti each added 13 for the Mustangs.

Graham Hewitt and Ben Katz led McMaster with 23 points each.

Defensive miscues allowed the Marauders to build a lead, which turned out to be too large for the Mustangs to overcome.

"We had a defensive let-down in the first half," Grozelle said. "Every game we seem to go to sleep for five minutes."

"Our [defense] was better in the second half, but when a team shoots 90 per cent from [three-point range], it makes it difficult," added Mustangs head coach Craig Boydell.

McMaster head coach Joe Raso said he was pleased with his team's performance and hopes to see more of the same from his team, which sits in first place in the OUA West division at 8-1.

"We've been consistent, and we're able to mix it up. Our expectations haven't changed; we want to win the pennant and get home court for the playoffs," he said.

Even with four straight losses, neither the Mustangs players or coaches are getting worried.

"We're staying positive, we believe in each other and we know we can be effective when we play a full 40 minutes," Grozelle said.

"We need to get healthy," Boydell added, as a factor for the recent slide. "We have guys playing hurt, and we've had a tough schedule. With an easier schedule, we can persevere."

Even though the losing streak isn't of great concern for the team, winning big games against strong teams would definitely help their confidence down the stretch. The ideal time to break the losing streak would be Friday night at home against Carleton University – the number one team in the country. The Mustangs then face another quality team in the Ottawa Gee Gee's on Saturday.

"They're great teams, but if we give a 100 per cent effort and get the bounces going our way, we could string some wins together," Grozelle said.
Dave Picard/
Gazette
By Ellie Alter
Gazette Staff

The holiday hiatus took its toll on the Mustangs women's basketball team Wednesday night at Alumni Hall.

In a match-up against old rivals the McMaster Marauders, it seemed the Mustangs couldn't get back into the swing of things. The Marauders took the game by a score of 59-51.

The loss dropped the Mustangs' regular season record to 6-5, leaving them in fourth place in the Ontario University Athletics West division.

The Mustangs led the game for most of the first half, however, anxiousness appeared to get the better of the team. Due to the large amount of McMaster turnovers, the Mustangs had several solid scoring chances. Unfortunately, they couldn't convert due to sloppy passes and poor accuracy. The Mustangs shot 37 per cent from the field and 20 per cent from beyond the arc. Veteran player Joanne Chehade was a bright spot, dropping an impressive 16 points for the Mustangs.

Mustangs head coach Bob Delaney said that the loss wasn't due to a lack of effort.

"We had some mental breakdown at key times in the game. Our team chemistry is OK psychologically, but from a basketball standpoint, it's off – we need to rectify that quickly," he said.

First game jitters were evident from both teams, clearly a result of the aforementioned Christmas holiday break. Turnovers, long passes and missed shots were abundant on both sides and both teams looked out of sync. Although the Western ballers appeared to relax and slow things down in the second half of the game, the play was controlled by the Marauders.

McMaster head coach Theresa Burns said she was pleased with her team's performance.

"We had a few scary moments, but we called time-outs to make some adjustments and the girls corrected their mistakes quickly. I thought [we] executed fairly well," she said.

The loss was especially upsetting to Mustangs players Rebecca McColl and Julie Lamparski, both Hamilton natives.

"I was really disappointed by the loss – there is a lot of rivalry between us and the girls from Mac because we play together during the summer," Lamparski said. "We did this to ourselves. Between Dec. 4 and Jan. 3 we were off from practice and although we are supposed to maintain our fitness, several members of the team didn't have access to gyms at home."

The Mustangs will have a chance to turn things around this weekend. They play the Carleton Ravens on Friday night and the Ottawa Gee Gee's Saturday night at Alumni Hall.

Coach Delaney said he is looking forward to the weekend's match- ups. "What the team needs is game experience rather than practice experience. This weekend will give us an opportunity to get back at it and play some games."



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