Thursday, 28 October 2010

Saint Mary's 89, Ottawa 88

6'6" Warren Ward's attempt at a buzzer beating shot for the win came off and the Huskies rallied from 16 points down midway through the third quarter to edge the Gee-Gees.  Ward led all scorers with 37 points, putting on a first half show with 25 points before halftime while Saint Mary's 6'1" all-AUS guard Joey Haywood was virtually impossible for Ottawa to handle, scoring 32 points on 10-18 shooting for the hosts. 

The game went back and forth in the final minutes with the Huskies taking a four-point lead late after a conventional three point play by 6'8" third year forward Simon Marr with just over a minute remaining.  After Ward knocked down a three on the next possession to bring the game back to 1, Ottawa forced a tie-up and with the arrow in their favor, took possession.  After a timeout, the Gee-Gees ran an isolation play for Ward and his shot was on-line but back rimmed, allowing the Huskies to remain undefeated at home.

The Gee-Gees played without 6'2" point guard Jacob Gibson-Bascombe who did not make the trip due to a strep throat illness and had to deal with losing three players to fouls including their other point guard 6'3" Luke Minani plus 6'0" veteran Jimmy Seymour.  Ottawa broke a 41-41 halftime tie by dominating the paint in the third quarter as 6'9" Louis Gauthier (13 points/8 rebounds) and 6'6" Nemanja Baletic (10 points/ 2 rebounds) exposed SMU bigs defensively.  With the Gee-Gees up 16, Huskies coach Ross Quackenbush went with a smaller, guard-oriented lineup and through a combination of Haywood finding his rhythm, attacking the offensive glass, forcing turnovers and points from the foul line, SMU had the game back to even by midway through the fourth.

Saint Mary's was able to have their way on the offensive glass with 20 second-chances and took advantage of Ottawa's inability to take care of the ball via pressure to force 20 turnovers.  6'5" Howard C.C. transfer Torey Fassett had 16 points and 8 rebounds while Marr scored 9 of his 12 points including consecutive 3's down the stretch at the key juncture of the game.

Saint Mary's now travels to Antigonish for the St. FX NIKE Classic where they will face UNB Varsity Reds for the second time this season, looking to avenge a tight loss last weekend at Laval's Rouge et Or Classic.  The Gee-Gees meet Dalhousie Tigers at DalPlex tomorrow night before finishing their three-game tour of AUS schools in Wolfville on Saturday night at Acadia.

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