February 3, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 68  

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The Western men’s basketball team lost a tough game Saturday in Hamilton to the fourth-ranked team in the nation, McMaster.

Up by nine at the half and by as much as 13 in the second half, Western’s defense broke down late in the game, and the team fell 81-74. Coach Craig Boydell felt the game could have went the other way.

“It’s one that we could have stole,” Boydell said. “It’s typical of the way the season has gone for us.”

The Mustangs came firing out of the gates in the opening half, one Boydell said was sheer effort and probably one of the best halves they’ve had all season.

Playing in front of a raucous crowd on Marauder weekend, the young Mustangs handled the pressure masterfully. Yet late in the second half, the Mustangs defense began to break down.

“We have a really young team and McMaster has an experienced team who were able to capitalize. And we went cold for a bit,” Boydell said.

A critical point came with five and a half minutes to go in the second half, when Western’s standout rookie forward Alan Paron went down with a dislocated knee. Paron was in the middle of what Boydell called an outstanding performance, with seven rebounds and 13 points at the time of his injury.

The game was delayed 30 minutes while Paron laid in agony on the hard court, awaiting an ambulance.

Ultimately, the defensive breakdowns and the loss of Paron were too much for the Western ballers to overcome. The strong showing bodes well for the future of Western basketball, but will help little in the short term for the embattled Mustangs.

The Mustangs had four players scoring in double digits, led by guard Daron Leonard, who had 22. Boydell and the boys welcome the Guelph Gryphons on Wednesday at 8 p.m. and the Brock Badgers this Saturday at 2 p.m. in two critical games in the push for the playoffs.

Boydell said the Mustangs need to take one of the two in order to make a run for the postseason. By the end of the week, Western should have a clear idea of where they will stand in the Ontario University Athletics regular season standings.

—Adam Gibson

The Mustangs men’s hockey team played a critical weekend series in Thunder Bay against the Lakehead Thunderwolves. Going into the weekend, Lakehead trailed Western by two points in the OUA Far West Division and were ranked second and third in the country.

On Friday night, the Mustangs quieted the crowd of 3,610 with a 3-2 victory. Jamie Chamberlain had two goals for Western, while Jeff Martin added one. However, the real star of the game was Western goalie Mike D’Alessandro, who made 38 saves as the Mustangs were out-shot 40-27.

Steve Rawski and Jeff Richards scored for Lakehead.

The teams met again on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 3,710. Western came out of the gates quickly, taking a 2-0 lead after the first period on goals by Matt Bannan and Mike Rice. Lakehead tied it in the second period and then took the lead in the third on a shorthanded goal by Joel Scherban.

Trailing 4-2 late in the third, Ryan Held added a goal to put Western back within striking distance, but they would not get any closer. Richards added an empty net goal to secure the 5-3 win. Richards scored two for Lakehead and Scherban, Mike Jacobsen and Bryan Duce added singles.

With the split, Western remains two points ahead of Lakehead in the standings with just five games remaining in the season. The teams also split all four games played this season and appear on a collision course come playoff time.
The Queen’s Cup will be held at Western in March.

The Mustangs women’s basketball team had their winning streak snapped on Saturday in Hamilton. The team fell 75-51 to the McMaster Marauders. Rebecca McColl led the Mustangs with 12 points.

Despite the loss, the team remains in first place in the OUA West Division.

—Ian Denomme



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