Friday, 14 March 2008

Western 75, SMU 70 FINAL

6'1" Matt Curtis had 10 of his 15 points in the first half and hit a pair of game clinching free throws while 5'11" freshman Ryan Barbeau was outstanding with 15 points, 4 assists but just as importantly did a tremendous job guarding 6'3" Mark McLaughlin as the Mustangs almost blew a 14 point deficit but closed out the game to advance to tomorrow's championship semi-final against the winner of UBC/Brock. The Huskies made their final run behind 6'1" Shane Morrison who keyed a 7-1 run to bring the Huskies to within 1 at 71-70 but Curtis hit a pair of free throws with 13.4 seconds left to give Western a 3 point lead and then Barbeau stripped McLaughlin as he tried to get off an attempt at a game-tying shot. Barbeau also was instrumental in helping Western rip off what turned out to be the game-deciding 6-0 run with a pair of transition layups and generally looking like a poised veteran throughout the game. Curtis had turned the corner for his first points of the second half to get to the rim to start the run started by poor Saint Mary's decisions on the offensive end. Western had solid offensive balance with Barbeau, Curtis and 6'6" Brad Smith each scoring 15 while 6'9" Colin Laforme had 10 points, 8 rebounds and sharpshooter Jason Milliquet with 11 including 3-10 from downtown. Western shot 9 for 28 (32%) from behind the arc and survived despite 27 points from Morrison and 18 from McLaughlin. Saint Mary's hurt themselves with a 9 for 20 effort from the foul line.

A 6-2 run highlighted by 6'1" Jason Milliquet's 3rd 3 of the game has restored a five point lead for the Mustangs who have nearly squandered a 14 point lead but seem to have withstood a Huskies run. 6'5" Aaron Duncan just hit an NBA 3 to bring the Huskies back to within one and the Huskies, who have rode 5 players for much of the game, took a timeout. Saint Mary's just went on an 8-0 run to end the quarter, much of it getting to the rim against pourous Western "d" and the Huskies are back in it. The Mustangs led by as many as 14 early in the third and thus far has a comfortable lead. Western is getting solid effort from freshman Ryan Barbeau. Western is finding the range from downtown as Matt Curtis just hit his second 3 of the game with the shot clock winding down to restore a 9 point lead. Back-to-back 3's by Brad Smith and Alex Brzozowicz gave the Mustangs their largest lead at 9 with under 5 minutes left. Shane Morrison is beginning to assert himeself getting to the rim. Neither team can find the range as Western has been trying to pound it inside against SMU's double downs to moderate success while Saint Mary's is settling and when they get it inside, can't finish. Huskies are also 1 for 6 from the free throw line. 6'1" Matt Curtis with 5 early points and a Jason Milliquet 3 during an 8-0 run gave Western an early lead with 4:48 to play. SMU is pressing to slow the 'Stangs down after makes while Curtis has started quickly on offense. Western doing a great job of limiting the looks of 6'3" Mark McLaughlin who has attempted only 2 shots and the Huskies shot selection and decision-making at times has been suspect.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This just helps to highlight the ridiculous seeding of St. Mary's. It doesn't matter how they did the weekend before; they were out of the top-10 all year for a reason. Winning the AUS got them a berth but it should not have got them a high seed, too.