AROUND OUA: Thunderbirds win back-to-back games for first time since joining OUA

AROUND OUA: Thunderbirds win back-to-back games for first time since joining OUA

SCOREBOARD

Waterloo 68 @ Algoma 81

Laurentian 50 @ Western 61

Laurier 60 @ Toronto 79

Guelph 102 @ York 98

Lakehead 72 @ Queen's 80

Nipissing 71 @ Windsor 93

Thunderbirds win back-to-back games for first time since joining OUA

For the first time ever since joining the OUA in 2013, the Algoma Thunderbirds men's basketball team won back-to-back games, defeating the Waterloo Warriors in their doubleheader weekend at home. The Thunderbirds handed Waterloo their second loss of the weekend, 81-68.
 
"It's the first time we've ever won back-to-back on a weekend," said Head Coach Thomas Cory after tonight's win. "It shows the hard work that our boys have been putting in, and I think their effort really has been showing since Christmas. We want to keep this momentum going. The outlook for the rest of the season is looking good. We want to enjoy this weekend's wins, but we're already thinking about next weekend when we have some tough games. They're tough but definitely winnable. We've just got to keep working day by day. Our competitiveness is definitely starting to show every day and these wins will give us the confidence we need to keep going."
 
Algoma opened strong, going on a 9-1 run. Up by 10, Algoma then went cold allowing Waterloo to claw their way back, 18-17, going into the second frame. Going uncontested from inside and outside, Waterloo got into a rhythm, driving past Algoma. A long three from Adam Benrabah leveled the game at 26. The teams exchanged leads down the stretch until a runaway layup from Jacob Clendinning gave Algoma a three-point advantage they would hold onto going into the second half. Waterloo shot an impressive 57 percent from beyond the arc in the first half.
 
Both teams continued to battle into the third with neither team able to pull away. A key steal from Jacob Clendinning allowed Algoma to widen the gap, going into the final 10 minutes, leading 58-54. Algoma got into a rhythm and went on a 15-4 run to give them their biggest lead since the first quarter, 73-58. Controlling the offensive and defensive glass, Algoma continued to cruise, winning their second consecutive game of the weekend, 81-68.
 
Andre Barber led both squads with 23 points and 9 rebounds, bringing his weekend total to 37 points and 15 rebounds. Jacob Clendinning earned 15 points for a weekend total of 25. His steals were pivotal in both weekend's wins, changing both games in favour of the Tbirds. Brother Sean Clendinning chipped in with 14, bringing his weekend total to 37. Reng Gum earned 11 rebounds.
 
Algoma improves to 3-11 while Waterloo falls to 1-14 in the OUA West.

Source: Algoma Thunderbirds

Mustangs best Voyageurs in physical contest

LONDON, Ont. – Twenty and 19-point games from Anthony Spiridis and Peter Scholtes, respectively, helped drive the Mustangs to their fourth straight victory with a final score of 61-50 on Saturday night at Alumni Hall.
 
"Laurentian is very well coached and they do a nice job defensively," said head coach Brad Campbell. "Tony and Peter really picked up the slack. That's what a team does, when one guy is struggling a little bit other guys got to step up. That's something we've been searching for and it was nice to have that today."
 
Western's record moves to 8-7, placing them in second in the OUA West, only two points away from the Windsor Lancers. The Voyageurs record updates to 4-10 keeping them in third place of the OUA North with eight points.
 
Three Mustangs hit double digits in Saturday's contest, as Greg Morrow followed Spiridis and Scholtes with 13 points. Scholtes led the Mustang defence with 10 rebounds and Jedson Tavernier contributed seven of his own. Tom Filgiano was also an integral player on defence with five steals and four rebounds.
 
"We've been playing a much more aggressive style of defence" said Scholtes. "We started showing our ball strength and trapping and forcing the guy on the ball to make a tough decision of where he's either passing it to the big guy or doing a skip pass where we've been doing a good job with rotations of getting out of double teams."
 
The Voyageurs scoring was led by JD West with 14 points, followed closely by Sam Hirst and Nick Simon, who contributed nine apiece. Joseph Sykes led their defence with 12 rebounds and Hirst followed with nine.
 
Western's defence proved to be the Voyageurs' biggest challenge, as the Mustangs forced a number of turnovers early in the first frame. The purple and white registered six rebounds and four steals to prevent the Voyageurs from finding the bottom of the basket.
 
Spiridis took the lead in purple and white making 11 points where he found success making runs through the key to sink the layup. They went on to take the quarter at 16-13.
 
A late scoring run by the Voyageurs in the first frame brought the Mustangs focus back into action in the following ten minutes. Capitalizing on the rebounds their opponents could not grasp, the Mustangs were able to keep second chances low for the Voyageurs.
 
However, the Voyageurs began to adjust their play to match the Mustangs, recording three baskets from the perimeter to keep close. Laurentian added 10 rebounds to the score sheet, with Simon grabbing six while heavily defending Morrow. Despite increased Voyageur momentum, the Mustangs kept their lead and went into the half at 32-27.
 
After a few dry shots for the Mustangs, the Voyageurs answered with three 3-point shots to decrease their deficit to seven points early in the second half. Finding themselves in bonus territory with no fouls given, Morrow finished the frame at the free throw line with two baskets to make the score 51-40 going into the last ten minutes of play.
 
Despite the Voyageurs matching the Mustangs with ten points in the fourth frame, it wasn't enough to close the gap and the Mustangs walked away with a 61-50 victory.
 
"At the start we were struggling to get it in, but then we found our groove. We started feeding the post and going to work in the post." said Scholtes. "For us to take it to the next level and for us to compete with some of the top teams, we have to have contributions from four or five guys scoring the ball to take the pressure off Greg and let him do what he does well"
 
The Mustangs hit the last two road games of the season starting with a contest against the Queen's Gaels on Friday, February 12 at the Arc. Tip-off is at 8:00 p.m. and can be watched live at OUA.tv.

Source: Western Mustangs

Blues hammer Hawks at home

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues defeated the Laurier Golden Hawks 79-60 on Saturday night (Feb. 6) as a part of the Bell NBA All-Star Challenge, presented by AIRMILES at Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.

With the win, the Blues improve to 5-8 and remain in third place in the OUA East, while the Hawks drop to 6-9 and sit third in the West.

Before the game, the Blues celebrated the last meeting between Varsity Blues head coach John Campbell and his legendary father, Laurier bench boss Peter Campbell, who has announced his planned retirement following the 2015-16 season. 

The win also marked the first time John Campbell has defeated his father in his three seasons with the Blue & White.

The Bell NBA All-Star Challenge, presented by Air Miles was on hand for an evening full of contests, prizes and more! The Toronto Raptor, Raptors Dance Pak and NBA legend Isiah Thomas ran the show, which included a spectacular halftime dunk show.

Fourth-year forward Devin Johnson led the Blues with 17 points and nine rebounds, while second-year forward Miroslav Jacksic had 14 points and six rebounds, earning player of the game honours.

Daniel Johansson tallied 10 points and six boards, with rookie guard Wilson Torres adding 10 points and four rebounds. Veteran Manny Sahota also had nine points and eight boards in the victory.

Garrison Thomas led the Hawks with 10 points and six rebounds, while Matt Chesson had nine points and seven boards in the loss.

The Varsity Blues return to the court next Friday, February 12 as they host the Algoma Thunderbirds at Goldring Centre. Tip off is set for 8 p.m.

Source: Toronto Varsity Blues

Wallace scores career high 24 as Gryphons hold on to beat Lions

TORONTO, ON - Third year guard Jonathan Wallace scored a career-high 24 points to help lift the Gryphons to a 102-98 win over the York Lions Saturday night in Toronto at the Tait McKenzie Gymnasium on the campus of York University. With the win, the Gryphons (6-7) pick up a big two points and now sit just two points back of Lakehead for the third and final playoff spot in the OUA Central division with six games still remaining in the regular season schedule. The York Lions meanwhile fall to 3-11 on the season with the loss.

The 102 points scored were a season-high for the Gryphons, who needed almost every single one of those points to fend off a resilient York squad. With 4:49 remaining in the final quarter, the Gryphons held a commanding 15-point lead. That 15-point lead would be whittled down to just four with 2:14 still to go. The Gryphons needed an answer and got it when Taylor Boers knocked down a clutch three pointer to push the Guelph lead back up to seven. Once again howeve, York answered by scoring five straight points and trimming the Gryphon lead to 94-92 with 37 seconds to play. A clutch layup from Gryphons guard Drew Walford (16 points, 12 rebounds) would help extend the lead back to a two-score game. The Gryphons would make their free throws down the stretch and put an end to a wild, high-scoring affair at York as they held on to win 102-98.

Aside from racking up a career-high 24 points, Jonathan Wallace also had 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Five Gryphons scored in double figures including Taylor Boers who poured in 18 points off the bench. The Gryphon bench outscored York's reserves 43-27, thanks in part as well to Jack Beatty who came off the bench to go 3-for-6 from beyond the arc.

When it came to sharp shooting from beyond, the Gryphons were hot early, going 6-of-11 from downtown in the opening quarter in which they outscored York 26-11. The Lions cut into that lead in the second quarter however and found themselves trailing by just four at the half. In the third quarter, Guelph once again took control, outscoring the Lions 29-22. Leading the way was Walford who racked up an impressive 7 offensive rebounds on the night.

Up next for the Gryphons, a short trip to Waterloo to face the Laurier Golden Hawks (6-9) on Friday, February 12. Following that game, the Gryphons will once again make the short trip to Waterloo on Saturday (Feb. 13) when they face the University of Waterloo Warriors (1-14). Those two games will wrap up a six-game road trip for the Gryphons, who have so far gone 2-2. Guelph's final four games of the regular season all come on home court, beginning with a matchup against the No. 1-ranked team in the country in the Ryerson Rams (10-1) on Wednesday, February 17.

Source: Guelph Gryphons

Singh's 36 points help Gaels past stingy Thunderwolves

KINGSTON, Ont. (February 6, 2016)- Sukhpreet Singh recorded a game-high 36 points, and the Queen's Gaels men's basketball team picked up their second-straight win on Saturday night at the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC), defeating the Lakehead Thunderwolves 80-72.
 
Singh shot an impressive 14-of-27 from the field, and added nine rebounds, two assists and a steal for the Gaels, and Ryall Stroud (Toronto) tallied 13 points while Tanner Graham (Kingston) added 10 boards in the victory.
 
Queen's (9-5) continue to solidify their second place standing in the OUA East, sitting only behind the CIS No. 1 ranked Ryerson Rams (12-1). Bacarius Dinkins picked up a team-best 25 points in a losing cause for the Thunderwolves (7-6), who remain third in the OUA Central.
 
GAME FLOW
The hosts jumped out to an 8-2 lead early in the contest, thanks in part to two jumpers from Mike Shoveller (Arnprior, Ont.). A three-point play from Singh was followed by a corner jumper from beyond the arc by Andrew Mavety (Vancouver, B.C), pushing their lead up to eight.
 
The Thunderwolves found their offensive footing in the latter stages of the opening quarter, however, going on an 8-0 run to bridge the gap to a single point. Singh responded with a three-pointer at the buzzer to push the lead back up to four at the end of the first.
 
The Toronto native picked up where he left off in the second period after scoring 10 in the first, continuing to carry the Gaels offense. After the Thunderwolves took their first lead at the 2:16 mark of the second, Singh responded with four-straight points as the teams exchanged leads throughout the middle portion of the quarter.
 
He would go on to score 12 more in the second quarter for a first-half high of 22 points, and his back-to-back baskets in the final minute of the half gave the men a 37-34 lead at the break.
 
A three-pointer by Graham after a drive and kick-out from Singh pushed the Gael lead back up to four early in the third quarter. The hometown native hit another jumper from distance to help Queen's maintain its slight advantage. The Thunderwolves would not go away, however, taking over the lead at one point and always staying well within striking distance of the Gaels, who held a 53-49 heading into the fourth quarter.
 
After a quieter third period, Singh came to life once again in the final stanza, scoring four-straight points after a base-line drive and lay-up by Graham, nearly doubling Queen's lead three minutes into the fourth.
 
After a 6-0 run by the visitors brought the deficit down to one, Singh once again had the answer, first using a tough drive and lay-in with lots of bodies in the post to hit a reverse and following that up with another strong move to the basket and two more points. After Sammy Ayisi (Toronto) hit a three, Singh picked up another four points, as the Lakehead defence had no answer for his penetration runs in the post.
 
The game was put on ice with a big slam dunk from Stroud off a drive and dish from Marc Paclibar (Minesing, Ont.) with just over a minute remaining, putting a stamp on the men's ninth win of the regular season.
 
FINAL SAY
"Lakehead has been great lately, they're always tough, play defence with a lot of effort and are always prepared," said Head Coach Stephan Barrie. "Even when we were taking leads, the message was the same. We cannot stop cause they are not going away. You are going to have to earn this one and our guys did a good job of that."
 
On Singh's performance
"What we want out of Sukh more than anything is efficiency. He has some games where although he still scores, the efficiency part may not be exactly where we want it to be. So tonight, 36 points is great, but he also got nine rebounds, two assists, was great from the free-throw line, and had zero turnovers. So his positive impact on the game is that much greater. He was just an efficient player tonight for us."
 
BY THE NUMBERS
3- Singh has now scored 30+ points in three conference games in 2015-16
4- The Gaels shot over 80% from the free-throw line for the fourth occasion on Saturday (81.0%)
10- The men turned the ball over a season-low of 10 times against the Thunderwolves
 
UP NEXT
The Gaels return to the ARC next weekend to host Western and Windsor on Friday and Saturday respectively. Both games will tip-off at approximately 8:00 p.m.

Source: Queen's Gaels