Sunday, 30 January 2011

Weekend Recap

Was out and about for much of the weekend but managed to watch a few games.  Here's a quick look at what happened this weekend across the country:

AUS  X-Men lose at UNB this afternoon  The V-Reds ralled from being down by as many as 10 in the second quarter, primed by a tremendous 15 assist/2 turnover effort from 5'11" Andrew Wright and a huge effort on the glass in the second half when they outrebounded St. FX by 14 to grab a 94-82 win this afternoon and a split of the weekend series at home.  X had all kinds of difficulties keeping 6'5" Alex Desroches (19 points/11 rebounds) off the offensive glass and the V-Reds shot the ball extremely well going 11-22 from beyond the arc today and 22-44 from 3 for the weekend.  But Wright was the difference today, making strong decisions and he tied the school record for assists in a game.  Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw had 25 for X but shot only 7 for 24 as the X-Men played without 6'3" fifth-year forward Dwayne Johnson, out with a seperated shoulder and lost 6'5" Chad Warren early in the game to a hand injury the extent of which is not known.  X travels to Dal next Saturday night for a four point game which will go a long way in deciding second place in the AUS.  The Tigers solidified their position with a pair of easy victories over visiting MUN this weekend.  First place has long been decided as only a complete collapse would drop Cape Breton Capers from the lead.  Capers knocked off UPEI in Charlottetown this afternoon by 9 but had leads as large as 20 in the game.  Panthers got an upset win on Friday over Acadia which could help propel them back into the AUS tournament race.

AUS Standings
Cape Breton 14-1 34 pts.
X 10-4 20 pts.
Dal 8-5 20 pts.
SMU 6-9 18 pts.
Acadia 4-8 12 pts.
UNB 6-7 12 pts.
PEI 4-10 8 pts.
MUN 3-11 8 pts.

Quebec  Gaiters capture first win   Bishop's rarely trailed, building leads as large as 14 before holding off a Citadins run that got it to 4 with just over 2 minutes to play.  But 6'7" Tim Hunter hit a clutch 3, his fourth of the game and Bishop's was not threatened thereafter, winning by 10 78-68.  Hunter finished with 22 points while UQAM's 6'7" freshman Vincent Lanctot-Fortier led all scorers with 26 points and added 7 boards for the Citadins (4-6).  Earlier in the weekend, Laval built up leads as large as 14 before holding off McGill by 6 in Ste. Foy while Concordia held on to beat Bishop's on Thursday. 

Laval 8-2
Concordia 7-4
McGill 6-4
UQAM 4-6
Bishop's 1-10

Bishop's victory keeps their faint playoff hopes alive although UQAM owns the season series (the teams do not meet again in the regular season).  Bishop's must win at least 4 of their final 5 games of the season (at Laval, McGill home and home back to back, Laval at home then at Concordia) and hope UQAM loses all their games.  UQAM's magic number to clinch the final Q playoff spot is 2 (any combination of Citadins victories and/or Bishop's losses totalling 2 and UQAM clinches).

OUA East  With Glizic back, Blues maintain grip on 2nd place   6'6" Drazen Glizic's return to health this week was a key contributor to Toronto's 3-0 week, which included a pair of tight, exciting games highlighted by the overtime win at Ryerson on Wednesday.  The Blues took advantage of a listless York Lions team that struggled mightily against the Blues zone to win by 13 on Friday and then Toronto came from behind and overcame a combined 56 points from the Pasquale brothers to hold off Laurentian by 3.  Glizic continues to contribute his steady, experienced play around the rim while 6'5" Alex Hill had a pair of solid games on the weekend.  Also noteable from the weekend was Queen's dropping decisively a pair of games in Ottawa by 30 to the Gee-Gees and the next night at Carleton when Gaels trailed 40-14 at the half.  The only mystery is whether or not the Gaels can put any pressure on Laurentian for the sixth and final playoff spot. 

OUA East Standings
Carleton 17-0
Toronto 12-5
Ottawa 8-9
York 8-9
Ryerson 7-10
Laurentian 6-11
Queen's 3-14
RMC 0-17

The Gaels finish their season with their final 5 games in Kingston, hosting Toronto and Ryerson next weekend then Laurentian and York with the season-ending RMC game hopefully meaningful by that point.  Laurentian hosts Ottawa and Carleton next weekend, goes to Kingston and then finishes at York.  With Laurentian's remaining game at RMC, Queen's will need to win 4 of their final 5 games at a minimum plus the tie-breaker and hope the Vees lose all of their other games to have any kind of chance at the playoffs.  Laurentian's magic number is 3:  any combination of Laurentian wins and Queen's losses totalling 3 and Vees are in.  One of Laurentian's games is at RMC so Gaels have a steep road to climb.

OUA West   Thunderwolves widen gap in top spot   Showing again how difficult it is to beat Lakehead at home, the Windsor Lancers gave up first place with a pair of losses in Thunder Bay.  Both games differed as, in game one, Lakehead had a 16 point lead with about 4 minutes remaining before the Lancers, led by 6'2" Enrico DeLoretto came roaring back but T-Wolves clinched it on the foul line. In Game Two, the Lancers came out with more purpose, grabbing an early 10 point lead however as has been the case for numerous games in the last two seasons, Lakehead dominated the second half, save for a Windsor run that got it back to one, before T-Wolves pulled away late for the important sweep.   Home sweep home from TBnewswatch    In other action, Waterloo Warriors shook off a pair of mediocre efforts to hammer Western while the spunky Guelph Gryphons knocked off Mac at Mac, again highlighting the tremendous job Gryphs coach Chris O'Rourke has done with his injury-riddled lineup.  The Gryphs need more wins to push for a playoff spot but many wondered if Guelph would play any meaningful games in February which will now be the case thanks mainly to one of O'Rourke's best coaching efforts of his career.  In a very exciting encounter at Laurier, the Hawks grabbed a five point overtime win over improving Brock.  The Badgers got a regular-season best performance out of 6'1" veteran point guard Andrew Kraus, a necessary contribution if the young Badgers are to advance deep into the playoffs.  At this point, the team on the precipice is the Western Mustangs, just 2-6 after the holidays however the 'Stangs play five of their final six regular season games at home in Alumni Hall.

OUA West Standings
Lakehead  13-3
Laurier      11-5
Windsor    11-5
Brock         8-8
McMaster 8-8
Waterloo   7-9
Western    7-9
Guelph      6-10

Brock at Western... must win for Mustangs?
Guelph at Windsor... Gryphs can't fall too far behind 6th
McMaster at Laurier... Marauders won first meeting in Hamilton

Lakehead at Waterloo (Fri/Sat night)... T-Wolves can virtually clinch a first round bye with a sweep
Laurier at Windsor... Will go a long way to determine who gets first round playoff bye
McMaster at Brock... Mac won first game at home; first round home playoff game at stake ?
Guelph at Western... Loser likely to not make playoffs ?

We will have more on Canada West shortly.


Anonymous said...

Queen's has next to nil chance of catching LU.
With Laurentian having a gimme against RMC, Queen's needs at least four wins in their remaining five games.
And since the Vees already have a 21 point win over the Gaels in their pocket, Queen's pretty much has to run the table, and that won't happen.
The only race remaining in the OUA East is whether Ottawa can edge out York for the crucial third place spot.
Finishing third means getting LU in the first playoff round and then avoiding Carleton in the next.

Anonymous said...

Having watched yesterday's X/UNB game online, I have to hope that X isn't one of the AUS representatives in the CIS Final 8. I'm neither for nor against X but the poor sportsmanship and lack of discipline as shown by the technical (Upshaw) and flagrant (Dunn) fouls within the span of about two minutes don't belong in the Final 8.

Anonymous said...

Dave, I agree with your assessment of X.
I saw X play in the Gee Gees preseason tournament last October and they lost to a far more disciplined Toronto team.
T-Bear Upshaw, especially, was almost completely out of control.
For a graduating senior, he displayed the poise and maturity of a 4 year old spoiled brat.
I was just struck by how little control the X coaching staff seemed to have over their players. as they were continually mouthing off at the officials.
But from what I have heard and from what I have seen on SSN, the Capers aren't any better.
In fact, I think they might be worse.
A team reflects the personality of its coach and Jim Charters is as big a loose cannon as they come.

Anonymous said...

Dal has 28 points (played 13 games). StFX has 26 points (played 14 games).

This weekend's game between the two teams is huge.