Free throw shooting sinks Western

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Al Paron with his head down

Jon Purdy

A FRUSTRATING END TO A REMARKABLE SEASON. Western centre Al Paron shows his disappointment after the Mustangs had a heartbreaking 85-75 loss to the Brock Badgers on Saturday. The game was the last in Paron's five-year career.

The Western Mustangs’ postseason came to an abrupt end Saturday, as the Brock Badgers handed it an 85-75 loss in a game highly anticipated by each side.

Western was hoping to prove its Ontario University Athletics semi-final victory over the Badgers was no fluke, while Brock wanted to avenge that same 17-point loss.

“They stopped us from winning OUAs and we weren’t going to let them get in the way of our chance to win the national championship,” Brock guard Brad Rootes said.

Western came out in its run-and-gun offence with Brad Smith dropping 15 points, pacing the Mustangs to an early 20-18 lead.

After tying the game early in the second quarter, Brock took the lead on an Owen White free throw, one of 43 the Badgers would take in the contest.

Western head coach Brad Campbell addressed the issue.

“That’s a sign of them getting to the rim, getting offensive boards and controlling the inside,” he said. “They won that battle, and they scored 30 points from the free throw line, it’s tough to win any game when they get that many.”

By comparison, Brock played disciplined defence, surrendering 13 free throws, of which the Mustangs sank four.

White chalked it all up to confidence.

“I’m not surprised at all,” he said. “I know what I’m capable of doing and it’s all about confidence. I’m at the peak of it right now.”

Campbell offered no excuses for his team’s failure to contain the lanky forward.

“We got beat on the glass,” Campbell said. “They’re a physical team and I think they played a lot more physical than we did.”

Brock head coach Ken Murray offered his expectations for his team heading into the final.

“We’ll do what I did with my guys when we won [CIS] in 1991: we’ll keep them nice and calm and cool ... they didn’t buckle under any pressure today and I expect they will play even better tomorrow.”

While the loss signifies the end of the Mustangs’ season, they are keeping their heads high after what has been a postseason characterized by hard work and determination.

“We were riding high and trying to ride it out a little farther, but I guess all good things come to an end,” Western forward Andrew Wedemire said.

Game Recap
Why Western Lost
A lack of discipline cost the ’Stangs as they conceded 43 foul shots to the Badgers, 16 of which were given to eventual tournament MVP, Owen White.

By the quarter
Western: 20"9"25"21 = 75
Brock: 18"17"24"26 = 85

Next up
Time to hit the links " the men’s basketball season is over. However, the team can take away that it surpassed everyone’s expectations this season.

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