Barbeau's shooting clutch in opening game

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The Western Mustangs men’s basketball team opened the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship tournament with a bold statement: We are here to win.

The men earned themselves a berth in the semi-final with a 75-70 win over the Atlantic University Sport champion Saint Mary’s Huskies.

“It’s a huge win for our program,” Mustangs head coach Brad Campbell said.

Emotions may have gotten the best of the Huskies, who ran into serious foul trouble in second half.

Saint Mary’s coach Ross Quackenbush was infuriated with the work of the officials, who called three offensive charges against his team in the fourth quarter, resulting in the dismissal of starting forward Ikeobi Uchegbu.

When asked if he had anything to say about it, Quackenbush said, “Nothing that won’t get me suspended.

“I didn’t agree with a lot of the calls out there,” he added, “but heaven forbid you should criticize the wrong people.

“It’s a tough game to officiate, there’s a lot of challenging situations for those people, obviously. They have a difficult job, and they prove it every time they’re out there.”

Having the 6’5”, 250 lb Uchegbu out of the game freed up floor space for Western guard Ryan Barbeau, who ignited the offence in the fourth quarter with three unanswered field goals to give the ’Stangs a seven-point cushion heading in the final minutes.

Game MVP Matt Curtis had nothing but praise for his rookie teammate.

“What can you say about the guy? I love him,” Curtis said. “He’s four foot nothing, but he plays with the heart of a seven footer. He’s got no fear for the inside game.”

Defensively, the Western did a good job of keeping the Huskies to the perimeter in the first half, before turning in a somewhat sloppy performance in the second frame, where the team conceded too many low post shots for Campbell’s liking.

“We need to improve on what we’ve needed all year, penetration, but I don’t know if we’ll be able to solve that in a day,” Campbell conceded.

Western forward Colin LaForme turned in a solid performance at both ends of the court.

“Colin was phenomenal,” Campbell said. “Defensively, he anchored the interior for us. He continued to keep balls alive while he was the only guy going to the glass.”

Game Recap
Why Western Won
Teamwork. Western’s offence was distributed evenly with Curtis, Brad Smith and Ryan Barbeau each contributing 15 points, while Jason Milliquet added 11 and Colin LaForme chipped in with 10.

By the quarter
Western: 14 " 22 " 30 " 19 = 75
Saint Mary’s: 9 " 14 " 30 " 17 = 70

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