Sunday, 24 October 2010

Toronto 77, St. FX 73 *Updated*

Playing with more energy and zeal, the Varsity Blues secured what has to be considered a significant upset by knocking off previously undefeated X this afternoon in the early game at the Jack Donohue Memorial tournament.  The Blues took care of the ball with only 11 turnovers on the afternoon, made free-throws (17-20) and rebounded with the longer, bigger X-Men (43-41 for X).  A 1-10 effort by X from beyond the arc in the second half sealed their fate as Toronto spent the entire game in a 2/3 zone.  X played the entire second half without Christian T-Bear Upshaw (see below) and three-point specialist 6'0" Charlie Spurr struggled, going only 2-8 from behind the arc.  X also hurt themselves with 20 turnovers.  6'5" Alex Hill had 17 points to lead Toronto while former X-Men forward Sean Nichol finished with 13 points for Toronto against his former team.

With the victory, the Blues (2-1 in the tournament) have a chance to claim the tournament title with a UQAM win over Ottawa later this afternoon.  An Ottawa win would put three teams at 2-1 and set up a tie-breaking formula which would result in X taking the tournament title.  Regardless, today's win is a tremendous achievement for the Blues, who lost 4 starters from last season's group coming into a year which most figured would be a rebuilding one.

The Blues zone worked to slow down the blistering pace that X established in their first two games this weekend.  Toronto was also able to run their disciplined sets well.  The X-Men got a scare in the first half when fifth-year All-Canadian Upshaw was dropped hard on a tough but legal screen in the front court by Toronto's burly 6'6" Andrew Wasik.  Upshaw was shaken up and returned briefly to knock down a couple of threes but then did not return at all for the second half.

Toronto was able to avert the big X run off the start of the game and trailed by only two at 39-37 at halftime.  The Blues grabbed the lead midway through the third quarter and extended to 8 with about 2 minutes left in the game.  6'9" Alberto Rodriquez had 14 points on 5-6 shooting for X while 6'5" Jeremy Dunn added 13 on only 5-16 shooting.  Toronto got a solid performance from fifth-year guard Anthony DeGiorgio with 12 points, 2 assists and zero turnovers in 36 minutes.

The Blues host Bishop's and McGill next weekend in Toronto while St. FX gets Guelph on Thursday (game to be played at Saint Mary's in Halifax) and then host their own Nike tournament in Antigonish.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If this is what a modestly talented Toronto team can do to X, I shudder to think what Carleton would do to them.
Alex Hill notwithstanding, this is a Toronto team that lost a lot of experience and skill, yet they got the better of a deeper, more talented X team because they played patiently and were disciplined defensively.
X razzle dazzled UQAM and Ottawa, two relatively young teams, but against Toronto they had little opportunity to showboat.
When things don't go well for X, as it did today, they tend to get flustered and frustrated very easily.
That's a tendency that would play right into the Ravens' hands should those two ever meet.