Sunday, 30 December 2007

Three Championship Games Today and Tonight

2 PM ET/1 PM Atlantic: St. FX (12-6) vs. Ottawa (13-3) Rod Shoveller Memorial tournament championship game at Dalhousie University in Halifax. These teams have met once already this season in October at the Jack Donohue Memorial Tip-off tournament at the University of Ottawa and after X jumped out to an early 18 point lead but the Gee-Gees took the lead before halftime and rode to an easy 26 point win, going 12 for 26 from beyond the arc and forcing 26 X turnovers. X Head Coach Steve Konchalski was not with the X-Men for that game as he was being inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame. The young X-Men are maturing rapidly and have an emerging CIS star in 6'8" freshman Islam Luiz de Toledo, who scorched Dal for 30 points last night including at least 5 dunks. The Gee-Gees are coming off a hard-fought, emotional overtime victory over #5 Concordia and will need to bounce back quickly against a solid, rapidly-improving X team.

5 PM ET: Toronto (15-4) vs. Western (9-7) Ed Dearmon Memorial tournament championship game at Ryerson University in Toronto; These teams have already met once this season as the Mustangs came back from a second-half, double digit deficit on the last weekend of OUA interlocking play to steal a win from the Blues in Toronto. Western has emphasized playing all 12 players on their roster and the recent results have been solid. 6'9" newcomer Colin Laforme (transfer - Youngstown State) has given the Mustangs an added element of presence inside both offensively and defensively and Coach Brad Campbell has a fine array of experienced veterans to turn to. The Blues continue to play fine defense and run their stuff offensively to get open looks. When Toronto makes shots as they did yesterday against Waterloo and they defend, they are as tough as group as any to play in the country. Toronto will be without 6'2" starting wing Rob Paris who injured his ankle against McGill in the opening round of this tournament.

9 PM ET/8 PM Central: Brock vs. Minot State 41st Wesmen Classic championship game at University of Winnipeg; The Badgers last 4 games have been against ranked opponents: close loss to #1 Carleton at home, solid win at home against #9 Ottawa, wins over #3 Brandon and #4 Calgary in the first two rounds of the Wesmen Classic. The addition of 6'8" Mike Muir has added depth up front and with veterans Brad Rootes, Scott Murray and Mike Kemp, the Badgers are never out of any game, as each can turn on the three point shooting at any time. But one of the underlying keys to the Badgers has been the play of 6'7" Owen White, who has been a presence defensively as he showed last night against Calgary and inside offensively to complement Brock's perimeter game. The Badgers continue to play without injured 6'2" wing Rohan Steen, who should be ready to go when Brock continues their OUA West regular season this coming Saturday at Western.

In other games today, both Saskatchewan and #1 Carleton are in action at the BCC Holiday Classic for Jimmy V Cancer fund in Florida, UCFV plays at the Columbia Bible College tournament, Lethbridge plays in the U.S. and a number of CIS tournament consolation round games are scheduled. Taking a cue from the organizers of the Shoveller tournament, the Ed Dearmon tournament in Toronto did the logical thing and changed their consolation schedule to have more inter-conference games so McGill will meet Queen's and Laval will take on Ryerson in a pair of consolation games today.

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