Thursday, 1 November 2007

17th Duckworth Challenge Tonight in Winnipeg

For the results from last night's CIS vs. NCAA action, including Brock's win at the buzzer at Air Force on a shot by Rohan Steen, click here

As part of the 17th Annual Duckworth challenge, involving both basketball and volleyball, the annual kick-off to the Winnipeg university basketball season goes tonight as cross-town rivals Winnipeg Wesmen and Manitoba Bisons square off at the Duckworth Center where a capacity crowd of over 2,000 is expected to watch the Canada West Great Plains division season opener for both teams. The Duckworth Challenge was started by Dr.Henry Duckworth (president of the University of Winnipeg from 1971-81 and Chancellor of the University of Manitoba from 1986-92). The first Duckworth Challenge took place in 1992. To capture the Duckworth Challenge championship, one school must win a minimum of three of the four games played. In the event of a tie, the previous year’s winner retains the Duckworth Challenge Shield Trophy. The University of Manitoba leads the challenge with an overall record of 8-4-4 in the 16 year history of the Challenge. The Bisons have started the season at 1-4 including a 1-2 effort at the Eric Garland Memorial tournament in New Brunswick two weeks ago, where they defeated the host Varsity Reds by 10 for their only win of the season. Manitoba, which has loses to Bishop's, #5 St. Mary's, #3 Concordia and Fraser Valley, returns their top 9 from a year ago and have added a couple of young perimeter players and 2 College posts. 6'4" Darcy Coss may be the best shooter in Canada West and athletic 6'1" Issac Ansah is as tough a 1 on 1 player as there is in conference. The Wesmen are 2-2 on the season after capturing their own Pembina Chrysler Classic three weeks ago with an overtime victory over #3 Concordia before 1,200 fans at the Duckworth Center as 5'9" Erfan Nasajpour was named tournament MVP. Nasajpour missed both games on the Wesmen's mini-swing through Ontario (losses at McMaster and at Guelph) but is healthy and will start tonight. Coach Dave Crook's tremendous recruiting class from last season is rapidly maturing led by 5'10" Nick Lother. Winnipeg's key recruit for this coming season, 6'1" Cam Hornby, a transfer from NCAA Division 1, will be eligible to play on November 17th and has been practicing with the group in anticipation for his CIS debut. The game will be carried live on 1290 CFRW radio with Paul Edmonds providing the play by play and Steve Thompson handling the color commentary. The teams meet again on Saturday on Manitoba's home floor.

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