A healthy J.F. Beaulieu-Mahieux could be the difference between a good and great season for Laval Rouge et Or and if last night is any indication, he is healthy. Laval found themselves trailing by as many as 14 in the first half to an athletic, talented Algonquin Thunder side that perennially is a CCAA Nationals contender. But Beaulieu's 40 points and a switch to a zone defense in the second half by Laval coach Jacques Paiement Jr. helped Rouge et Or to come back for an 86-78 victory in Nepean.
"We really had a rough time with their athleticism", commented Paiement, "this was one tough game for us."
Beaulieu went 13-21 overall from the field including 5-9 3's and a perfect 9 for 9 from the line in going off for 40 in tremendous effort (but not a career-high if memory serves, I think he had more in a Ryerson tournament game two seasons ago).
Led by Carleton transfer/redshirt Abdul Kosar (25 points), the Thunder raced to a 37-23 as Kosar hit his first 6 shots including 4 of his 6's. Laval was able to bring it back to within 9 at half (47-38) and then started off the second half with a 14-1 run, holding the Thunder scoreless for over 7 minutes, primarily with a zone defense to take the lead at 52-48 and held the lead to the end.
Laval's 6'4" swingman Jerome Turcotte had 13 and big man Kevin Crevant had also 13. 6'5" Etienne Labrecque added 10.
Laval is in Kingston this evening to meet the host Queen's Golden Gaels.