Friday, 4 January 2008

Friday's CIS Schedule and Previews

A conference-by-conference, game-by-game preview of Friday's action:

7 PM ET/8 PM AT: Memorial (0-6) at Dalhousie (3-3) The Tigers, who went 1-2 during their Holiday tournament last weekend, are healthy again with the return of 6'1" Andrew Sullivan and hope to move above .500 with a home win against the young Seahawks. This is the first meeting of the season between these teams. Dal has a big game at Acadia on Saturday.

8 PM ET/9 PM AT: Acadia (5-1) at Saint Mary's (4-2) The Axemen and Huskies meet for the fourth time this season, with SMU winning the prior two games, including an 88-82 win in front of over 1,000 fans in a four point game in Wolfville kicking off the AUS regular season. In that game, 6'2" Mark McLaughlin had 18 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth quarter as the Huskies spoiled Acadia's regular season home opener. 6'5" Leonil Saintil had 17 points/13 rebounds in 30 minutes before fouling out for Acadia, who played without 6'1" reigning AUS Player-of-the-Year Paolo Santana, who should be back for this match. The game will feature at least 5 top players from the Greater Toronto Area including Santana and 6'5" Aaron Duncan (SMU), two former Toronto high school players of the year, plus Axemen Andrew Kraus (Markham), Shane Morrison (C.W. Jefferies) and Shawn Berry. Look for another wide-open, up tempo game where everyone gets after it in transition and on the offensive glass. However, even with all the athleticism on both sides, look for the team that gets the steadiest point guard play: 6'0" Mark Ross from St. Mary's and 6'1" Kraus from St. Mary's, to be in the best position to win. Chris Kallan of the Halifax Daily News previews Les Berry's return to the bench also Chad Lucas touches on Berry's return in his preview article this morning

6 PM ET Bishop's (2-2) at Concordia (3-1) In the first meeting between the two rivals, the Stingers held tough on the final possession to defeat the Gaiters 65-63 in mid-November in Lennoxville. Concordia was without 6'3" Dwayne Buckley for that game and are likely to be without their All-Canadian candidate again for the return match in Montreal after he reinjured his knee against Ottawa in the Shoveller semi-finals. 6'1" Damian Buckley was a tournament all-star at the Shoveller tournament and is the key to the Stingers. The Gaiters have not played since late November and are led by their All-Canadian candidate 6'1" Junior Nicolas.

8 PM ET UQAM (0-4) at Laval (3-2) Les Rouge et Or won their final two games at the Ryerson tournament, returning to their hot-shooting ways from the perimeter after a slow start in their first game. 6'7" J.P. Morin is having an All-Canadian type season thus far and 6'3" J.F. Beaulieu-Mahieux showed glimpses of his fine freshman season during the Ryerson tournament. UQAM looks to find their perimeter shooting accuracy which hurt them in the first half. The generally undersized but athletic Citadins will likely look to press, run and attack the offensive glass to stay in the game.

OUA East
8 PM ET Toronto (6-2) at Queen's (5-3) The feature game in the OUA East tonight as a pair of usually very well-prepared teams matchup in Kingston. Both teams run their offenses with precision with the Blues generally running more sets but both teams still read and react offensively as well as any teams in the country. The Blues hope to have injured 6'2" wing Rob Paris back after he missed virtually all of the Ryerson tournament with an ankle injury. Toronto has alternated zones and stiff man-to-man this season and the Gaels make it difficult to get to the rim. This game has the makings of a game in the low-to-mid 60's but just as easily could be in the 80's if both teams are on from beyond the arc.

8 PM ET Ryerson (3-5) at RMC (0-8) OUA leading scorer 6'7" Boris Bakovic could have a field day against the porous Paladins "d". 6'9" Nicolas Cooke, RMC's freshman center, has been a bright spot lately who played well at the recent Wesmen Classic in Winnipeg and in hindsight maybe should have had more run as one of the better freshmen in Canada in an earlier post here.

8 PM ET Laurentian (1-7) at Carleton (8-0) Vees Head Coach Shawn Swords returns to his native Ottawa to face his old friend Dave Smart. The Vees went 0-3 at the Shoveller but a listless performance in a loss to UNB was sandwiched by a pair of encouraging efforts in closer-than-they-looked setbacks to Dalhousie and St. Mary's. The Vees are improving virtually each day but still will have their hands full with Canada's number one team. Listen to the game on CKCU-FM via Internet The game is also available in Ontario on Rogers Television; check your local listings.

9 PM ET York (1-7) at Ottawa (7-1) This game won't begin until 9 PM due to a women's volleyball tournament at uOttawa and will renew the fierce rivalry between the Lions and Gee-Gees. York has had to replace several stars lost due to graduation but still have game-breaking guard Tut Ruach and emerging youngsters Dalton Olinoski and Jason Hoult. Stefan Haynes is rapidly developing into a presence in the middle for York. For Ottawa, freshman Jacob Gibson-Bascombe began to contribute more in key moments over the holidays and the Gee-Gees defeated both St. Mary's and Concordia despite the absence due to a back injury of 6'3" Donnie Gibson. 6'5" David Labentowicz had a career effort with 18 points, all after the intermission, in Ottawa's win over Concordia at the Shoveller. LIVE VIDEO web cast via SSN

OUA West
8 PM ET Waterloo (3-5) at Lakehead (4-4) The lone OUA West game is an important one for both teams vying to compete for a playoff spot. A sweep by either team puts them in a strong position. The Thunderwolves welcome 6'5" Matthew Powell, a second semester addition who played in U.S. junior college after high school before coming to Lakehead. 6'4" Kiraan Posey leads the OUA West in scoring at 21.1 ppg. Listen LIVE! on Lakehead Radio

Canada West

9 PM ET/8 PM CT Thompson Rivers (1-11) at Regina (5-5) The WolfPack looks to get untracked on the road and TRU appears healthier than in the first half. The Cougars did not play over the holidays and need to continue to win to solidify their hold on second place in the Great Plains, which would give them the home court advantage in the division semi-finals. LIVE STATS! Injury update on Neb Kostic from Regina Leader-Post: The Cougars are still awaiting a diagnosis for rookie guard Nebo Kostic. Kostic, 22, participated in warmups before the Cougars' Dec. 1 win over the visiting Manitoba Bisons, but left the court after he started experiencing chest pains and difficulty breathing. He was taken to hospital and released later that evening. But there is still not a definitive answer on what caused the pain and neither doctors nor Kostic and Cougars head coach James Hillis are comfortable with the guard returning to the court. "That's something we're going to have to take day by day," said Hillis.

9 PM ET/8 PM CT UCFV (5-7) at Brandon (9-1) Former Bobcat bench boss Barnaby Craddock returns to the Wheat City where he led Brandon to the National championship game last season before leaving after 2 seasons. The Cascades are young and rapidly improving while the Bobcats are reeling after a pair of decisive losses at the Wesmen Classic to Brock and Acadia.

10 PM ET/8 PM MT Calgary (9-1) at Alberta (7-3) In a pair of games that have already been previewed in detail here earlier this week, Alberta needs a pair of wins to improve their chances of hosting the division final. Recall that the winner of the Central Division playoffs hosts the Canada West Final Four. The Dinos look to assert themselves on the road after a pair of resounding wins over the Bears in Calgary in November. Preview from U of A's Matt Gutsch Live audio for the game is also available at U of A Athletics

10 PM ET/8 PM MT Saskatchewan (5-5) at Lethbridge (0-10) 6'3" Danhue Lawrence makes his Pronghorns CIS regular season debut in an attempt to grab their initial win against the Huskies.

11 PM ET/8 PM PT Victoria (9-3) at Trinity Western (4-8) UVic looks to keep the pressure on first-place UBC while the Spartans are trying to adjust to the sudden firing of their head coach in December and recently announced long-time B.C. coach Pat Lee will take the reigns at least for this season. Spartan Web Radio

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