Thursday, 3 January 2008

Wesmen & Bisons Resume Canada West Play Tonight

Coming off what could be a season-turning overtime victory against then-#2 Acadia Axemen, the Manitoba Bisons look to build on the momentum of that victory when they play their fourth consecutive game at the Duckworth Center in Winnipeg tonight, this time against cross-town rivals Winnipeg Wesmen. Tonight's game, however, may be the most important match of the season for Manitoba as the Bisons sit 3 games behind Winnipeg in the battle for the third and final playoff spot in the Great Plains division. It is the first of a home-and-home set which concludes Saturday when the teams meet again at U of M. By most accounts, the Bisons need a sweep against the Wesmen to have a reasonable opportunity at a playoff spot. Current Canada West Great Plains division standings (top 3 teams qualify for playoffs):


Winnipeg went 1-2 at the 41st Wesmen Classic, defeating only RMC in the first round, while Manitoba won their final two games of the tournament to capture the consolation championship as against the nationally-ranked Acadia Axemen. In the Acadia game, Bisons' 6'4" fifth-year wing Darcy Coss scored 34 points including 9 threes while 6'1" fourth-year guard Isaac Ansah added 28 points/7 rebounds and 6'4" fourth-year forward Myron Dean blocked 5 shots against the athletic Axemen, who love to take it to the rim. The Wesmen have won both prior meetings between these two teams as in front of 1,529 fans at the Duckworth Center in November, 5'9" fifth-year guard Erfan Nasajpour (18 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists) led the Wesmen back from an eight point halftime deficit to a one-point 73-72 victory in which Ansah had 28 points and Coss added 19 on 5-8 shooting from 3. Winnipeg had 5 players in double figures. Two nights later, in front of over 900 fans at U of M, the Bisons shot only 32% and went an abysmal 1 for 21 from three point land while 5'10" second-year guard Nick Lowther scored 20 points to lead the Wesmen to a 77-60 victory. These are the final two meetings of the regular season between the Bisons and Wesmen and with Winnipeg leading the season series 2-0, in the absence of a Manitoba sweep, the Wesmen would own the tie-breaker in the event of a tie in the final standings. Conversely, another Winnipeg sweep would all but wrap up a playoff spot for the Wesmen.

Tip off for tonight's game is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Central time (9 PM Eastern) and the matchup will be carried live on 1290 CFRW. The two teams will meet again on Saturday night at the University of Manitoba at 8:15 p.m. Central time.

Here is a note from Bob Adams, who keeps us all updated with the latest results and standings on his CIS site with a note on the latest CHEERS RPI, updated through the Holiday games. For errors or omissions please e-mail Bob Adams

Trinity Western/UVic Preview from TWU Sports Info

SPARTANS RETURN TO CANADA WEST ACTION--Provincial rival Victoria makes way to Langley LANGLEY, British Columbia-The Trinity Western University Spartans open up their 2008 Canada West basketball schedule against the University of Victoria Vikes this Friday at the David E. Enarson Gymnasium. The Vikes men's squad (9-3) entered the Christmas break with a split against provincial rival UBC and now they'll open 2008 with a pair of games against another B.C. rival, the Spartans. 6'7" forward Mitch Gudgeon (4th year, Victoria) leads the Vikes with 14.2 points, to which he adds 5.2 rebounds per game. Forward Tyler Hass (4th year, Victoria) averages 11.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, while forward Rob Kinnear (5th year, Saanichton, B.C.) is the teams top rebounder with 6.6 boards per game. The Vikes were the CIS silver medalists last season and currently sit two points behind UBC for top spot in the Pacific division. The Trinity Western Spartans men (4-8) went 3-2 in their final five games before the break and will be looking to start 2008 off on the right foot against the visiting Vikes. Athletic guard Lucas Goltz (3rd year, Comox, B.C.) is second in team scoring with 14.5 points per game, to which he adds 4.4 rebounds. Freshman guard Jon Loewen (1st year, Abbotsford, B.C.) continues to pace the Spartans backcourt with 11.5 points, a team-high 2.9 assists per game, all while playing a team-high 28.6 minutes per game. Down low the Spartans will turn to hard-working forward Joe Vroom (3rd year, Abbotsford) who chips in 10.3 points and a team-best 6.8 rebounds per game. Game times are at 6 p.m. for the women and 8 p.m. for the men. Both games can be heard live on Spartan Web Radio. Tune in ten minutes before each tip-off to catch the pre-game show.
Scott Stewart
Sports Information Director
Trinity Western University

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