LONDON, Ont. – Dominating the fourth frame by scoring all of his 19 points, including five three pointers, Andre Barber helped the Algoma Thunderbirds to a 68-64 victory over the Western Mustangs in a thrilling match on Friday night at Alumni Hall.
"At times we had no flow. We struggled to pass. We struggled to make decisions and sometimes make threes," said Western head coach Brad Campbell. "Today we dried up in three's in the second half. Algoma did a decent job at taking that away, but we continue not to go to our game plan and we paid for it today."
The loss is Western's fourth straight and gives the Mustangs a 3-6 record, placing them third in the OUA West, two points behind Laurier and Windsor. Friday's game marks the Thunderbirds first victory of the season, keeping them in fifth place of the OUA West with a 1-9 record.
Three Mustangs led the way on the scoresheet with Jedson Tavernier topping the team with a game-high 20 points, including five baskets from the perimeter. Greg Morrow followed with 18 points, while Peter Scholtes recorded 15. Morrow lead purple and white defence with a game high nine rebounds, with Tavernier following with seven boards of his own.
Barber led the Thunderbirds in scoring, recording all 19 of his points in the last ten minutes of play. Sean Clendinning followed with 14 points and three steals. The Thunderbirds key player on defence was Reng Gum, making seven defensive fouls, six of which recorded in the third quarter.
"We didn't play with confidence throughout the whole game," said Morrow. "The shots we were getting were good shots, we just didn't get enough of them, we were turning [the ball] over too much. We lost the game throughout the whole game, not just one moment."
After a few minutes of back and forth play to open the game, Scholtes sunk five points to establish an early lead. The Mustangs developed their defence early in the game, grabbing ten rebounds in the first ten minutes of play. The Thunderbirds began to catch up as the frame went on however, closing the gap to only four points with Western holding a 19-15 advantage after one.
The Thunderbirds managed to take their first lead of the game early in the second quarter thanks to a pair of baskets from Clendinning and Gum. Although the Mustangs immediately took back the lead on their next possession, the two teams continued to trade baskets as the lead switched sides four times in the frame. After what would turn out to be the closest quarter of the game, the Mustangs led 38-35 at the half.
The Mustangs defensive presence in the third frame was strong, forcing the Thunderbirds to run the shot clock while looking for opportunities. Unlike the previous quarter, the Mustangs led wire-to-wire in the third, outscoring their opponents 16-6 to take a 54-41 lead into the final 10 minutes of the contest.
Tavernier extended Western's lead to 10 a little over three minutes in, however it was then that Barber began to take over, scoring 16 points in the remaining minutes to lead the Thunderbirds on a 22-8 run to close out the game and give Algoma a 68-64 win.
"We made some adjustments in our ball screen defence and got some stops." said Campbell on the team's success in the third frame. "Then in the fourth quarter we settled for threes and stopped throwing the ball inside. We had some guys who didn't play very well and some guys that weren't ready to play. We're in a bad spot right now and we're going to have to fight out of it."
"There's only one thing we can do right now and that's to go back to the gym and work harder" said Morrow. "Our defence is our main focus. When we're energetic on defence it helps our offence."
"We got to earn it. This week we practiced real hard, our effort level was better." said Campbell. "We're extremely low on confidence right now and that comes with preparation. We got to continue to fight, it's a mental thing for us right now.
The Mustangs will look to bounce back in their next contest against the Brock Badgers on January 20. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. and can be watched live on OUA.tv.
Source: Western Mustangs
Four players hit double digits as the University of Toronto Varsity Blues men's basketball team came away with an 85-84 victory over the first-place Queen's Gaels on Friday night (Jan. 15) at Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.
With the win, the Blues improve to 3-4 and move into a tie for third place, while the Gaels drop to 6-2 and sit second in the OUA East division.
First-year guard Devon Williams led all players with 23 points, including four three-pointers, while adding six rebounds and two assists on the night.
OUA leading scorer Devin Johnson added 16 points, a team-high seven rebounds, three assists and three steals, while fellow fourth-year forward Manny Sahota had 16 points, six rebounds and two assists. Sophomore guard Sage Usher had 14 points and four assists in the victory.
The Gaels got out to a great start, leading the Blues 25-11 after the first quarter. Toronto bounced back with a monster second quarter though, opening on an 11-0 run, highlighted by two three's from Sahota and Williams, to bring the game within three (25-22) midway through the frame.
A Chase Ruttenberg three with 3:13 remaining in the half gave Toronto their first lead of the game (29-28). Eight second-quarter points from Johnson and a last second three from Sahota would be the difference as Toronto took a 37-31 lead into halftime.
The Gaels rallied to even the score at 50-50 halfway through the third quarter. The two teams traded baskets, but the Gaels took a five-point lead (65-60) into the fourth quarter.
With Toronto trailing 77-72, Devin Johnson came up with a huge block on the Gaels and Sage Usher ran it down the court for the and-one layup. Then, all tied up at 82-82, Sahota grabs the huge rebound off an Usher layup attempt to put the Blues ahead for good.
Fourth-year Gaels guard Sukhpreet Singh led all players with 24 points, while adding six boards and a game-high six assists. Andrew Mavety had 11 points, while Tanner Graham notched 10 in the loss.
The Varsity Blues are back in action next Friday, January 22 as they host the No. 9 Ottawa Gee-Gees at Goldring Centre. Tip off is set for 8 p.m. The game marks the ninth annual Think Pink doubleheader. For more information on how you can support the Think Pink, #BleedBlue campaign, visit varsityblues.ca/thinkpink.
Source: Toronto Varsity Blues
GUELPH, ON – It was the shot heard 'round the W.F. Mitchell Athletics Centre. Not to mention the shot of Taylor Boers' life.
Boers' buzzer-beater lifted the Guelph Gryphons past the Windsor Lancers 81-80 in OUA men's basketball action on Friday night.
The third-year guard from Belleville, ON took an inbounds pass from Daniel Dooley with 1.5 seconds left on the clock and drained it from just inside the arc, sending the home crowd into a frenzy. Ecstatic, Boers raced to the other end of the court before being mobbed by his teammates.
"Words can't describe how I felt," he said afterward outside the Gryphs' locker room. "It was a surreal moment. It was awesome."
The win capped a see-saw affair that opened with Guelph jumping out to a very early 10-0 lead. Windsor erased the deficit and led 26-20 after one quarter, then took a 45-37 lead just before the half.
The Gryphs, who trailed by as many as 10 points midway through the second quarter, regained command in the third frame. The two squads traded leads throughout the final quarter, with Windsor pulling in front one last time on Alex Campbell's free throw with 22.8 seconds left. That set the stage for Boers.
"Oh, hands down," he said when asked if the buzzer-beater was the shot of his life. "That was my first one ever. I've never had a game-winner before. I've had half-time ones (buzzer-beaters), but not at the end of the game like that."
It's true that 1.5 seconds isn't a lot of time, but it's still enough to be able to get a clean shot away if you happen to find someone in the open. That's exactly what happened on Friday, as Boers broke away from the man guarding him. He caught the pass cleanly and didn't hesitate as he turned and put the ball up toward the net.
"It felt really good," he said of the shot as he let it go.
"I said to the guys, you've got time to catch and shoot," said Gryphs head coach Chris O'Rourke. "And we made a little scramble and got an open shot."
Boers was one of a number of Guelph players who stepped up with big games. Ahmed Haroon led the team with 17 points and Jonathan Wallace added 14. Kingslee D'Silva just missed a double-double, collecting nine points and 12 rebounds. Daniel Dooley contributed eight points and was a perfect four-for-four from the free-point line.
Four Lancers ended up in double figures – Mike Rocca with 17 points, Isiah Osborne with 16, Alex Campbell with 11 and Marko Kovac with 10. Both teams now have 4-5 records in OUA play this season.
"They're a dangerous team. We knew how athletic they were, and talented," O'Rourke said of the Lancers. "They score a lot of points and they try to go uptempo. We got off to a great start, but then we relaxed. We didn't get the same energy and execution from our bench when they came in, and all of a sudden we were down. Then we had to hang on for the rest of the half.
"We made some adjustments at halftime and the guys did a better job of executing."
The Gryphs have won both of their games since the Christmas break, both at home, but now they're on the road for the next month. They'll play their next six games away from the W.F. Mitchell Athletics Centre, starting at Brock on January 30 in St. Catharines. The Badgers are the No. 4-ranked team in Canada, as of the latest CIS survey earlier this week.
"We really need to be mentally composed," O'Rourke said. "Part of what's been positive the last two games is we beat a ranked team in Western and a very good team in Windsor. We've shown that we can play with anybody. Now we've got to prove it on the road."
Guelph won't return home until February 17, when Ryerson pays a visit. That'll be the first of four consecutive home games to end the regular season.
Source: Guelph Gryphons