Wednesday, 28 February 2007

OUA West Semi-Final Wednesday


McMaster 87 at Brock 71 FINAL Martin Ajayi (pictured) put on a spectacular second half offensive display, scoring 30 of his game-high 37 points after the intermission, igniting a sleepy Mac outside shooting effort with four consecutives 3's early in the second half and 7 3's overall in the second half to spark the Marauders to the OUA West division championship game on Saturday. The Marauders, who missed all seven of their 3's in the first half and then their first five 3's of the second half, went on a 21-14 run in the first 7 minutes of the second half as Ajayi hit 3 consecutive 3's partially offset by Badgers Brad Rootes, who tried to match Ajayi with consecutive 3's of his own to keep Brock close. With Mac up 51-50, Ajayi's 3rd 3 started a game-deciding 25-11 run culminated by a steal and breakaway dunk by Toms Lokmanis (10 points, 9 rebounds)causing Brock to call a timeout with Mac leading at 76-61. The Badgers had an opportunity to interrupt the run at 64-58 after a Rootes 3 but Chris Keith missed a pair of free throws and then fouled after the second miss and Adam Steiner made both free throws at the other end and the Badgers rarely threatened from there. With about 5 minutes remaining, Rootes left the game with an injury and did not return (see update below). Ajayi then put the final nail in Brock's coffin by hitting another pair of back-to-back 3's, the second with the shot clock winding down to lift Mac's lead to 82-65. Brock Head Coach Ken Murray was gracious in defeat calling Ajayi's performance the greatest CIS performance in a big game that he's ever seen. Steiner (18 points, 8 rebounds) had a solid game for Mac, going 8 for 8 from the field but Ajayi was the difference. 6'7" Owen White had 19 for Brock and Rootes added 21 before leaving the game. Keith and Mike Kemp added 9 each for Brock, which turned the ball over 18 times, many in the second half and allowed Mac to shoot 60.6% from the floor in the second half.

Halftime stats: Brock - Rootes 10 pts./6 rbs.; Owen White 8 pts.; Keith 6 pts; Brock shot 41% including 3-8 3's Mac - Ajayi 7; Lokmanis, Steiner, Obrovac 6 points each; 3-6 ft. 0-7 3's. Brock outrebounded Mac 22-16 including 8 offensive rebounds.

ROOTES INJURY UPDATE: OUA West MVP Brad Rootes was injured with about 10 minutes remaining in the OUA West semi-final last night when he fell and was inadvertently fallen on top of by one of his teammates. Rootes played valiantly for another 5 minutes before leaving for the hospital and was seen spitting up blood - it is suspected one of his ribs has been broken.

Guelph 61 at Windsor 69 The Lancers moved to within one game of their first OUA West championship since 1981-82 (25 seasons) by rallying from an early 10 point deficit to defeat the fiesty Gryphons. Windsor held Guelph to just 13 points in the last 13 minutes of the half to lead by 6 at the intermission and then grabbed leads as large as 11 in the second half to earn the right to host the West championship Saturday against McMaster. Still, the game was a struggle as with 9 minutes remaining Windsor led by only 1 at 43-42 and the game was being played at Guelph's pace. Unfortunately for the Gryphs, 6'8" Duncan Milne, arguably the most improved player in the OUA West this season, was whistled for a dead ball foul after slamming Windsor's Greg Allin to the floor after a Guelph bucket. The Lancers then exploded on a 12-2 run from which the Gryphs could not recover. OUA West First Team All-Star Kevin Kloostra (pictured) had 21 points and 6'2" second-team all-star Ryan Steer, finally getting his due, also had 21 while adding 9 assists and playing all 40 minutes. Steer helped the Lancers recover from early 9-2 and 23-13 deficits with 15 first-half points, many off circus shots in the lane. 6'6" Rich Allin also had a solid 15 point/7 rebound effort, going 6-8 from the field. 6'10" J.R. Bailey did his best to keep the Gryphs close with 21 points on 10-15 shooting, the only Gryph in double figures, as Guelph shot only 4-24 from 3 point land and could only get to the line 9 times all evening. Windsor is now one win away from their first trip to the Nationals in 25 years.

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