Thursday, 29 November 2007

Two Games on Thursday in Winnipeg & Halifax

The final weekend of the first half of the 2007-08 CIS regular season begins tonight with a pair of rivalry games as #5 Brandon Bobcats visit the Duckworth Center to meet the Winnipeg Wesmen where as is customary a large crowd in expected in one of the best on-campus facilities in Canada, and the St. Mary's Huskies finally return home to the Tower to face arch-rival St. FX.

9 PM ET/8 PM CT #5 Brandon (11-3 overall, 7-1 in Canada West) at Winnipeg (6-3 overall, 4-4 in Canada West) The Wesmen played their game in Burnaby against Simon Fraser without starters 5'11" Matt Opalko and 6'7" Dan Shykarnyk plus 6'6" sixth man Mike James, so needless to say they are banged up but so are the Bobcats, who lost 6'1" Tarik Tokar to injury during Friday night's win over Regina and have not had 6'9" Yuri Whyms for at least three weeks. The Bobcats will rely on their one/two scoring punch of 6'5" Adam Hartman (19.0 ppg/5th in Canada West) and 6'3" Dany Charlery (18.5 ppg/6th in Canada West). Charlery is coming off a season-high 29 point performance against Regina this past Saturday. 6'8" Stevens Marcelin had a season-high 15 rebounds in Friday's win against Regina. Expect Brandon to put full-court pressure on the Wesmen from the opening tip-off and try to keep the ball out of the hands of creative 5'9" Erfan Nasajpour, who leads Canada West in scoring at 22.0 ppg, including a 30.7 ppg average over his last 3 games highlighted by a season-high 41 point effort in an overtime win against UVic. Erfan is the only Wesmen in the Top 20 in Canada West scoring. Winnipeg will try to control the tempo and hopes to get the crowd into the game early and maintain what is usually a very good home court advantage. This is the first of four regular season meetings this season between these two teams. The teams have played one common opponent, with the Wesmen losing twice in Regina while Brandon comes off a pair of home wins against the Cougars. The game is available on internet radio (very well produced and commentated) Winnipeg Radio CFRW 1290 Game coverage

St. Francis Xavier (10-5 overall, 4-1 in AUS) at St. Mary's (12-4 overall, 3-2 in AUS) The Huskies finally return home after playing their past 13 games away from the Tower to officially play their AUS league home opener against arch-rival X. St. Mary's last home game was way back on Oct. 13th, a one point win over UVic. The Huskies are only 3-3 in the past 6 games including an 81-70 loss at St. FX in the championship game of the NIKE X tournament when the X-Men came from 8 points down after 3 quarters to rip off a 33-14 run to end the game. 6'8" freshman Islam Luiz Toledo established his season-high with 27 points in that game while 5'10" Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw added 23. The Huskies, who played without 6'5" starting forward Ike Uchegbu in that game, were led by 6'1" Shane Morrison with 23. X had their six game winning streak snapped at home on Saturday night as Cape Breton salvaged the second game in last weekend's home-and-home set. X welcomed back 6'3" Dwayne Johnson to the lineup after missing a pair of games against MUN with a hand laceration. Johnson averaged 12 points and 6 rebounds in the two games against CBU and has significantly improved his offensive package this season. Expect a big crowd at the Tower in Halifax tonight for this game. Halifax Chronicle-Herald article Quackenbush looking forward to home court and Halifax Daily News preview article

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