Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Articles

Gary Kingston of Vancouver Sun with Close shave for Doerksen en route to Final Four

Monty Mosher of Halifax Chronicle-Herald  Axemen clinch AUS playoff spot

Battle of the Birds  from the Waterloo Record

Darren Zary of Saskatoon Star-Phoenix  Dogs on board for Final Four

Sunday, February 27, 2011

18 Teams Remain in the hunt

The two biggest weeks of CIS basketball play commence on Tuesday with the QUBL semi-finals with another important weekend coming in which all 4 conference champions will be crowned.  Eighteen teams remain as of tonight and early Saturday morning (after Friday night's games), we will know the first 5 teams to qualify for the Nationals and on Saturday teams 6 & 7 will be known.  Sunday night the CIS will announce the wild card team, seedings and draw for the Final Eight which begins a week from Friday in Halifax.  This week's schedule:

Tuesday, March 1st
7 PM ET UQAM at Concordia (QUBL semi-final)
7 PM ET McGill at Laval (QUBL semi-final)

Friday, March 4th (BOLD game winners qualify for Nationals)
5 PM ET (6 PM AT) Acadia vs. UNB (AUS Tournament Quarter-Final at Halifax Metro Center)
6 PM ET Ottawa vs. Lakehead (OUA semi-final at McMaster University)
7 PM ET QUBL Championship game (teams/site to be determined)
7:15 PM ET (8:15 PM AT) St. FX vs. Saint Mary's (AUS Tournament Quarter-Final at Halifax Metro Center)
8 PM ET Laurier vs. Carleton (OUA semi-final at McMaster University)
10 PM ET (7 PM PT) Alberta at UBC (Canada West semi-final at UBC)
Midnight ET (9 PM PT) Trinity Western vs. Saskatchewan (Canada West semi-final at UBC)

Saturday, March 5th
5 PM ET (6 PM AT) tbd vs. Cape Breton (AUS Tournament Quarter-Final at Halifax Metro Center)
7:15 PM ET (8:15 PM AT) tbd vs. Dalhousie (AUS Tournament Quarter-Final at Halifax Metro Center)
8 PM ET  tbd (OUA Wilson Cup championship game at McMaster University)
10 PM ET (7 PM PT) tbd (Canada West third place game at UBC)
Midnight ET (9 PM PT) tbd (Canada West championship game at UBC)

Sunday, March 6th
2 PM AT (1 PM ET)  AUS Championship game at Halifax Metro Center.

CIS Hoops.ca QUBL Honours Teams

It was a three-team race for first place until late in the season in the "Q" with McGill Redmen, slated by many to battle for a playoff spot in the pre-season given the large roster turnover including the loss of QUBL POY Matt Thornhill, finally bowing out of the race for top spot last weekend when Concordia's Decee Krah hit a pair of late 3's helping the Stingers steal a game with an incredible comeback win.  A loss at last place Bishop's on the same night by Laval Rouge et Or, who had led the standings for much of the year, sealed their fate, allowing Concordia to go from worst-to-first.  The bulk of the Stingers rotation was there last season with one exception:  6'2" Kyle Desmarais.  Desmarais provides Concordia with an athletic ball-handling guard with the underrated value in his game being at the defensive end.  Although he slowed down numbers wise toward the end of the season, as legendary Jersey City St. Anthony high school coach Bob Hurley says "Point guards are ultimately judged by one thing: winning".  And the difference between last season's Stingers and this season's was Desmarais - for this reason, he is the CIS Hoops.ca QUBL Player of the Year. 

QUBL First Team All-Stars
Kyle Desmarais, Concordia
J.F. Beaulieu-Mahieux, Laval
Jerome Turcotte, Laval
Olivier Bouchard, McGill
Decee Krah, Concordia

QUBL Second Team All-Stars
Eric Cote, UQAM
Gregory Saint-Amand, UQAM
Etienne Labrecque, Laval
James Clark, Concordia
Simon Bibeau, McGill

All-Freshman Team
Simon Bibeau, McGill
Alexandre Bernard, UQAM
Vincent Lanctot-Fortier, UQAM
Zack Brisebois, Concordia
Karim Sy-Morissette, McGill
injured but deserves mention Hugues Ryan, Laval
- the all-freshman team selection was very close in my mind especially with Bibeau hitting a wall in January after a terrific start.  Bernard burst on the QUBL scene with his length and athleticism, authoring several spectacular dunks and acrobatic finishes that made him the most exciting rookie and a future force in the Q.  Lanctot-Fortier was steady and solid inside and around the paint and his strength and skill will allow the Citadins to pound the ball inside as his career evolves.  Ryan had arguably the best start of any of the rookies.  However, each of the other candidates was not given the feature roll offensively like Bibeau was - given McGill's roster turnover and lack of dependable veteran scoring, Bibeau was asked to shoulder a big load.  As a result, teams began preparing for and scheming to stop him - all other candidates were on rosters with multiple veteran stars who were feature guys - despite the average finish Bibeau still led all freshman with 13.1 ppg.  For these reasons, Bibeau is my top choice for QUBL Freshman of the Year.

QUBL Playoffs begin this TUESDAY (we earlier said Wednesday) with the semi-finals:

7 PM ET  UQAM at Concordia on SSN Canada
7 PM ET  McGill at Laval  Rouge et Or TV

We plan to have previews of both games in time for Tuesday morning.

Championship game goes Friday night at the home of the highest seed, also at 7 PM.

CISHoops.ca AUS Season Honours

Another exciting offensive-filled season in the AUS with three teams dominating at the top of the standings (5 teams finished with sub-.500 records).  Several players had tremendous individual seasons, starting with 6'1" Joey Haywood, who shattered the AUS single-season scoring record.  But there were others including 6'1" Jimmy Dorsey and 6'3" Paris Carter at Cape Breton, which lost only 1 game all season.  6'8" Owen Klassen, only a sophomore, continued to show that his offensive package is rapidly growing into All-Canadian worthy consideration before his career is done.  All were worthy of my consideration for AUS Player of the Year. 

However, in my opinion, the player most valuable to his team and thus my AUS POY is Dalhousie's Simon Farine, who led his team to a solid second place finish and a first round bye with his scoring, rebounding, playmaking and most importantly leadership.  It was not uncommon to see Farine the first Tiger on the floor diving for loose balls, taking charges and generally leading by example at both ends of the floor.  The Tigers were the best defensive team in the AUS and Farine was a big part of that.  Haywood especially had a special season with his scoring and plays hard all the time but it was very difficult to choose a Player of the Year from a team that won only 7 of their 20 regular season games. 

It was solid not spectacular year for AUS freshmen and X's 6'4" Terry Thomas, a fluid athlete who came to X from East Preston, Nova Scotia amid comparatively little fanfare, quickly emerged as one of the most exciting athletes in the AUS with his great work on the offensive glass and in transition especially.  The author of several highlight reel put back slams, Thomas's game developed beyond the one-off spectacular plays as the season emerged, firmly establishing himself in X's lineup and had a couple of double doubles late in the season.  Expect Thomas to continue his development and evolve into probably the next great players in Antigonish.  UNB's 6'2" Will McFee had a nice first season, especially shooting the ball.

Here is my list of AUS season honours:

AUS First Team All-Stars
Simon Farine, Dalhousie POY
Joey Haywood, Saint Mary's
Jimmy Dorsey, Cape Breton
Owen Klassen, Acadia
Paris Carter, Cape Breton

AUS Second Team All-Stars
Christian Upshaw, St. FX
Joe Schow, Dalhousie
Tremaine Fraser, Cape Breton
Jeremy Dunn, St. FX
Anthony Sears, Acadia

AUS All-Freshman Team
6'4" Terry Thomas, St. FX (Top Freshman in the conference)
6'2" Will McPhee, UNB
5'10" Julian Smith, Cape Breton
6'1" Thomas Filgiano, Acadia
6'8" Aaron Robbins and 6'3" Geoff Doane, UPEI

Top Defensive Players
6'4" Phil Nkrumah
6'2" Stephen Lopez
5'9" Will Silver

Acadia sweeps Memorial to finish 4th in AUS

Acadia got 27 points from 6'3" Anthony Sears and 6'8" Owen Klassen added 24 as the Axemen completed a weekend two game sweep of Memorial with a 91-69 victory and vaulted into 4th place in the AUS.  With the victory, Axemen will face UNB Varsity Reds in the first game of the AUS tournament Friday night at 6 PM AT at the Halifax Metro Center.  Arch rivals St. FX X-Men and Saint Mary's Huskies meet in the nightcap at 8:15 PM.

Final AUS Standings
Cape Breton 19-1, 54
Dalhousie 14-6, 44
StFX 15-5, 38
Acadia  7-13, 22
UNB 8-12, 20
Saint Mary's 7-13, 20
UPEI 7-13, 18
Memorial 3-17, 8

Canada West Final Four decided

Trinity Western 89, Fraser Valley 75  In a hot-contested, sometimes chippy Game Three in Langley, 6'6" Jacob Doerksen had 32 points, 18 rebounds and 5 assists while 6'3" Calvin Westbrook hit a pair of clutch consecutive 3's to change the momentum midway through the third quarter as the Spartans came back from a Game One loss to advance to meet Saskatchewan Huskies in one CW semi-final next weekend in Vancouver.  After Cascades 6'6" forward James Elliott knocked down a 3 off a pick-and-pop with pg Zeon Gray, Fraser Valley seemingly had the momentum down 2 at 54-52.  But Westbrook would make sure that that was as close as they could get, just beating the 24 second clock with a 3 from the right wing and following up with another that restored an 8 point lead and took some of the wind out of UFV.  Cascades did get it back to 4 at 75-71 on a 3 by Gray but then Spartans stiffened defensively and Doerksen helped close out the game on the foul line.  6'3" Joel Freisen led Spartans with 20 points.  Box Score plus Abbotsford News

UBC 103, Manitoba 85  Thunderbirds scored the last 10 points of the first quarter and then led by 20 with 5 minutes left in the second to route the Bisons for the second consecutive night, officially clinching the host spot for the Canada West Final Four next weekend.  Back to back 3's from Nathan Yu and Melvyn Mayott closed the first quarter and UBC then used an 18-7 run led by Mayott and Josh Whyte to take a 46-26.  Manitoba closed the first half on a 21-10 run but then the Birds scored the first bucket of the second and the lead was double digits, growing to as large as 24, in the second half.  UBC shot 55% in the first half and 49% for the game, turning it over only 7 times all night in the easy win during which 51 fouls were called.  Box Score

Saskatchewan 92, Regina 75  5'11" Jamelle Barrett had 30 points and 9 assists with 6 turnovers as the Huskies swept the Best-of-3 and will meet Trinity Western in a CW semi-final next weekend.  Huskies used a 19-5 run led by Nolan Brudehl to jumped out to a 40-26 first half lead but the Cougars closed the second quarter on a 9-2 run to get it to 7 by halftime.  Sask jumped out to an 11-3 run led by Barrett and Rejean Chabot (24 points but 5 turnovers - Huskies turned it over 20 times on the night) to take a comfortable lead.  Closest Regina got was to 9 at 53-44 with 7 minutes left in the third.  Paul Gareau had 20 points/9 rebounds for the Cougars.  Box Score  plus Video 1 and Video2

Canada West Final Four
Alberta at UBC
Saskatchewan vs. Trinity Western

Also Wayne Thomas CW wrap up  Ron Rauch Vikes Season comes to an end (Victoria Times-Colonist)

Wayne Kondro's Ottawa Citizen article on Ravens, Gee-Gees victories

Bob Duff in the Windsor Star  Lancers season ends

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Acadia one win away

Acadia 86, Memorial 65  The Axemen pulled away in the second half behind 27 points from Alex McLaughlin and another strong effort from 6'8" Owen Klassen, who had 25 points and 13 rebounds.  With a win tomorrow over the Sea-hawks, Acadia advances to one of two AUS tournament quarter-final games next weekend at the Halifax Metro Center against UNB Varsity Reds.  That scenario would set up a rivalry game in the other quarter-final between St. FX X-Men and sixth place Saint Mary's Huskies, losers at Dal tonight.

Dalhousie 78, Saint Mary's 72  6'1" Simon Farine led six Tigers in double figures with 16 points as the Tigers grabbed 26 offensive rebounds and held the Huskies to only 5-21 from downtown.  6'1" Joey Haywood added to his AUS single season point scoring record with 24.  An Acadia win tomorrow sets up a Saint Mary's vs. X first round tournament game next weekend.

In Quebec, 6'2" Kyle Desmarais scored the final six points of the game, lifting the Stingers to a come-from-behind 89-85 win over Bishop's and the QUBL regular season pennant.  The game was played prior to the Laval at UQAM game which in the end meant nothing as the Stingers had clinched first.  Laval won 84-74, setting up UQAM at Concordia and Laval at McGill semi-finals on Wednesday with the QUBL championship game to be played next Saturday.

Next Sunday is the CIS Final 8 seeding and wild card announcement.

Gee-Gees, Hawks pull off road upsets

Ottawa 85, Toronto 60  Dominating the glass and shooting 14 for 29 from downtown, the visiting Gee-Gees booked their trip to Hamilton for the OUA Final Four with a convincing win at Toronto in which they jumped out to an early 16 point lead, holding the Blues to only 9 first quarter points.  6'6" Warren Ward went 5-8 from downtown, finishing with a game-high 25 points while adding 8 boards and 5 assists.  6'2" freshman Johnny Berhanemeskel added a 5-9 effort from 3.  Ottawa had 20 offensive rebounds and led 44-21 at the half, holding the Blues to 29% shooting.  6'5" Alex Hill led Toronto with 17 as the Blues shot only 8 for 31 from beyond the arc.  Ottawa faces Lakehead in one OUA semi-final next Friday night at McMaster in Hamilton.

Laurier 85, Windsor 82  6'5" Kale Harrison banked in a three in the last minute to break a tie after the Lancers had come from 6 down with 2 1/2 minutes remaining to give the Golden Hawks a dramatic win in Windsor.  Once again, the ability to defeat the same team three times, especially with all the games coming late in the year, proved to be a formidable challenge as the Lancers disappointing season came to an end.  6'6" Maxwell Allin had 36 points for Laurier including a long 3 that gave the Hawks the six point lead late.  But the Lancers were not done, scoring the next 6 points culminating in a pair of clutch free throws by 6'3" Isaac Kuon, who scored 28 points in the final game of his career.  Then Harrison banked an unlikely 3 from about 4 feet behind the arc, shocking the Lancer faithful and when Kuon missed a good look at a 3 on the subsequent possession, the Golden Hawks exhaled.  Later, Allin went 4 for 4 from the free throw line, both times with it being a one possession game and when 6'0" Josh Collins missed a game tying three at the buzzer, the Hawks were through.  Harrison had only 9 for Laurier with the made banked 3 his only make from 3 point land while 6'8" Lien Phillip had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Windsor.  Freshman Jamar Forde had 14 points in 36 minutes for the Golden Hawks.  Laurier faces Carleton next weekend.

Lakehead 63, Western 49  One of the more underrated parts of the Thunderwolves game is their ability to lock teams down defensively, especially late in games.  This trend was evident again tonight as Lakehead held the Mustangs to 28% shooting including only 4 for 22 from 3 to pull away in the fourth quarter.  The Mustangs scored only 8 points in the final 10 minutes and had only 4 points in a listless 1st quarter.  Lakehead forced Western point guard Ryan Barbeau into 8 turnovers and only 3 for 14 shooting.  6'6" Yoosrie Salhia led the way for Lakehead with 19 points while 6'1" shooting guard Jamie Searle, playing the final game of his career in the Thunderdome, had 14 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists.  Lakehead faces the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees next weekend in one OUA semi-final.

Carleton 97, Ryerson 73  5'10" fifth-year senior Mike Kenny hit back-to-back 3's late in the second quarter to break open what had been a reasonably tight affair and 5'11" Willy Manigat (24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists) dominated in stretches defensively, getting to the rim and knocking down clutch 3's as the Ravens remained undefeated.  6'3" freshman Phil Scrubb was also instrumental in the win despite going to the bench early with 2 fouls, as he had 16 of his 20 points after halftime, adding 5 assists while making several very good decisions offensively as Carleton used their draw and kick game to go 12 for 27 from downtown.  Ravens jumped out to an early double digit lead but the disciplined Rams got it going behind 6'3" freshman Jordan Gauthier and 6'1" freshman Jahmal Jones, climbing back to within 7 early in the second.  Rams sunk back into an active zone that initially helped create some turnovers and difficult shots but Carleton eventually found 6'6" Tyson Hinz in the middle of the zone and Manigat and Kenny got loose for open 3's allowing Carleton to go into halftime up 16.  The Rams, playing with Head Coach Roy Rana ailing bad with a severe case of food poisoning, maintained their composure for the most part as 6'3" fifth-year senior Ryan McNeilly hit some bombs from the perimeter and Rye played hard right to the end.  The Ravens also dominated on the glass, grabbing 15 offensive rebounds and shot 47% from the field.

OUA Final Four Matchups
Laurier vs. Carleton
Ottawa vs. Lakehead
Both games next Friday night at McMaster University in Hamilton

Golden Bears advance to Canada West Final Four

Alberta 86, Victoria 79  6'4" Daniel Ferguson had 21 of his game-high 34 points in the second half, making a momentum-changing shot late in the third to give the Bears a 7 point lead and Alberta held on to take an exciting Best-of-3 series over the Vikes.  Ferguson went 13 for 21 from the field including 4 for 8 from 3 but arguably his biggest make was off another of the several hustle, energy plays from 6'2" Kenny Otieno, who grabbed an offensive board and kicked it out to an open Ferguson who made no mistake in what up to that point had been a game in which no lead was greater than 5.  Although the Vikes got it to 3 early in the fourth, Alberta was able to grab double digit leads and coach Greg Francis was able to empty his bench in the final minute.  Otieno provided maybe his best all-round game as a Golden Bear with 14 points and 7 rebounds while 6'8" Jordan Baker came alive in the second half with 19 points.  It was raining 3's early as Ferguson hit two long 3's from about 7 feet behind the line but 6'1" Jeff Cullen, who led the Vikes with 16, was equal to it with a pair of threes of his own to keep the game to within 1 - Ferguson ended the first quarter with 10 points.  Later, the Vikes took a 4 point lead but Baker found Ferguson in transition with a slick look for an open 3, part of a 9-0 Alberta run that gave the Bears a 29-24 lead.  But Victoria finished the half on a 16-7 run to lead by 4 going into the break.  But Otieno was a demon on the offensive glass and in transition and Ferguson got to the rim a couple of times to get Alberta the lead back in what was anyone's game until Otieno's offensive rebound seemed to turn the momentum and the Bears never trailed thereafter.  Vikes star guard 6'4" Ryan Mackinnon was held to 9 points while 6'8" center Mike Berg again was a tough check inside, finishing with 14 for the Vikes.

CBU, X wins bring more clarity to AUS tournament picture

As expected, both Cape Breton and St. FX held court at home, defeating UNB and UPEI respectively this afternoon (see below for more details).  With UPEI's loss, both UNB and Saint Mary's clinch spots at the tournament.  Acadia now needs to win both of their games tonight and tomorrow afternoon against Memorial at home in Wolfville to make the tournament and eliminate the Panthers.  A Saint Mary's loss tonight at Dalhousie would put them at 7-13 with 20 points, tied with UNB however the Varsity Reds own the tiebreaker after losing in Halifax by 2 but winning their matchup at UNB by 14 (UNB also has 8 wins vs. 7 wins for SMU).  Here are the possibilities:

1.  Acadia wins both, Saint Mary's beats Dal, AUS first round would be:
#3 St. FX vs. #6 UNB
#5 Acadia vs. #4 Saint Mary's

2.  Acadia wins both, Dal beat Saint Mary's, AUS first round would be:
#3 St. FX vs. #6 Saint Mary's
# 5 UNB vs. #4 Acadia

3.  Acadia does not win both
#3 St. FX vs. #6 UPEI
#4 UNB vs. #5 Saint Mary's
- in this scenario, it wouldn't matter what Saint Mary's did tonight against Dal.

Saint Mary's owns the tiebreaker against Acadia (teams went 2-2 but SMU won by a total of 37 vs. Acadia's wins were by combined 17).

Cape Breton 74, UNB 67  Capers had 9 guys who played at least 10 minutes on Senior's Day with 6'8" Scott Jaspers-Fayer leading the way with 15 points.  6'5" Alex Desroches had 20 points and 7 rebounds to lead UNB.

St. FX 107, UPEI 73  X dominated even with their depleted lineup, leading by 22 at halftime and keeping Panthers 6'2" Jon Cooper in check.  X-Men went 11 for 25 from 3 point land, forced 20 UPEI turnovers and shot 51.4% from the floor.  5'9" Will Silver had 13 assists in his final regular season AUS game while 6'5" Jeremy Dunn showed he is close to or at full fitness with 23 points (9-14 shooting) in only 22 minutes.  6'6" freshman Terry Thomas continues to take advantage of his extended time in the rotation with another double double (12 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists).  5'10" Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw led the way with 24 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists and in his final AUS regular season game moved into #9 on the all-time AUS career scoring list with 1,586 points.  T-Bear passed Acadia's Ted Upshaw and UNB's Mike Kierstead and finished just 3 points behind Dalhousie's Dean Thibodeau, a former member of Canada's National team.  T-Bear finishes second all-time on X's career points scored list behind Fred Perry, who remains second overall in AUS scoring history.

CIS Hoops.ca Canada West Honours Teams

In what we hope will be the first of five pieces on each conference (divisions in OUA), see below for CIS Hoops.ca Canada West honours teams.  These are strictly the opinions of this site and not the official Canada West results.

Coach of the Year
Kevin Hanson, UBC
 - Great season for the Birds, who play defence and play together

Player of the Year
Jamelle Barrett, Saskatchewan
 - Jacob Doerksen and Josh Whyte are both former Moser winners, both of who played well enough to deserve POY also.  Barrett led CW in scoring at 25.0 ppg and had over 6.0 assists per game (although assist stats can vary from gym to gym).  He singlehandidly brought the Huskies back in their one-point win at UBC, scoring 34 and also had a season-high 42 points in another game.  Barrett is probably the one player that if his team did not have him, the won-loss record would be significantly different.  Doerksen and Whyte are very important to their teams as well however Barrett moreso.  Other than getting a bit sloppy and showboaty with the ball at times there's not much about Barrett's game not to love. One of the better Canada West seasons in a quarter-century.

First Team All-Stars
Jamelle Barrett, Saskatchewan
Jacob Doerksen, Trinity Western
Josh Whyte, UBC
Jordan Baker, Alberta
Brent Malish, UBC

Second Team All-Stars
Tyrell Mara, Trinity Western
Daniel Ferguson, Alberta
Rejean Chabot, Saskatchewan
Alex Murphy, UBC
Ryan Mackinnon, Victoria

Third Team All-Stars
Greg Stewart, Thompson Rivers
Calvin Westbrook, Trinity Western
Tyler Fidler, Calgary
Michael Lieffers, Saskatchewan
Paul Gareau, Regina

Glue Guy Award
Alex Murphy, UBC  Finally in his fifth and final year Murphy got a starting/leading role with the Thunderbirds and did not disappoint.  Moving Murphy into the starting lineup and giving him more opportunities to be the main decision maker offensively was one of the reasons why Kevin Hanson is Coach of the Year.  Murphy is also an iron man, playing in every game of his career and the flexibility of having his quality talent at the lead guard give UBC several more options offensively.

Top Defensive Player
Greg Stewart, Thompson Rivers  An imposing 7'2" (legit) clogging the lane - blocking and altering shots made Stewart a weapon defensively.  There are many who have been around basketball for a long time who believe had he not had his physical impairment, at his size and a solid 260 lbs., he would be a serious NBA consideration.

All Defensive Team
Greg Stewart, Thompson Rivers
Tyrell Mara, Trinity Western
Kamar Burke, UBC
Michael Lieffers, Saskatchewan
Melvyn Mayott, UBC

Sixth Man of the Year
Nathan Yu, UBC  Instant offense off the bench and author of several big games with his three point shooting.

Newcomers (to the league) Team
Jamelle Barrett, Saskatchewan
Daniel Ferguson, Alberta
Josh Ogden, Manitoba
Kyle Costen, Trinity Western
Lynden Drayton-Barrow, Winnipeg

All Freshman Team
Tommy Nixon, UBC
Phil Labongo, Calgary
Matt Letkeman, Calgary
Kelvin Smith, Winnipeg
Eli Mara, Trinity Western

Player With The Most Senior National Team Upside
Jordan Baker - Has a chance to be very, very good given his wide arsenal of offensive skills.

Notes:  Word out of Manitoba is that 5'10" point guard Josh Ogden had to return home to his native Toronto to address some personal matters about 2 weeks ago and will not return this season.  Ogden left on very good terms with the Bisons program so it was not a disciplinary action.  According to coach Kirby Schepp:  "We are sad to see him go (and) wish him well as he deals with his personal matter."  Schepp added that Ogden would not be back on the Bisons roster next season as he had to leave midway through an academic year and would not have the credits to be eligible for next season.  Ogden had a terrific first season and was a key part of the Bisons resurgence; we wish him well and hope he can return to the CIS at some point.

Q Tonight

The QUBL regular season champions will be decided tonight with Concordia needing a win over Bishop's to complete their "worst to first" move from last season to this season.  Laval finishes off against UQAM needing to win and have Bishop's upset ConU to claim the Q regular season crown.  McGill and UQAM are firmly in third and fourth (Redmen defeated Citadins 64-61 last night at McGill).  The Redmen in their first season under new Coach David DeAveiro finish a very respectable 10-6 and will play a QUBL sudden death semi-final this Wednesday night at the home gym of the second place finisher.  UQAM will travel to the 1st place teams gym for a semi-final.  QUBL championship game goes next Saturday at the gym of the highest remaining seed.

Games Tonight:
6 PM ET  Bishop's at Concordia Web : SSN
8 PM ET  Laval at UQAM Web : SSN

QUBL Standings
Concordia 11-4
Laval 10-5
McGill 10-6
UQAM 5-10
Bishop's 2-13

Spartans live to play another day

Turn about was fair play last night in Langley:  after watching the Cascades pull off a dramatic game one upset by scoring the final 15 points, Trinity Western won last night by scoring the game's final 17 points led by Jacob Doerksen (see previous story a couple of posts below).

Langley Times article

The Trinity Western Spartans turned a two-point game into a runaway victory on Friday night, evening up their Canada West mens basketball best-of-three series at one game apiece.


The Spartans outscored the Fraser Valley Cascades 27-8 in the fourth quarter on Friday night at the Langley Events Centre to win 86-69. The Cascades stole game one the night before, scoring the final 15 points to win 81-80.

...Read More

OUA Quarter-Finals go tonight

With spots at the inaugural OUA Final Four at stake, the OUA playoffs continue tonight at 4 venues:

7:00 pm Laurier at Windsor  The Lancers used a pair of victories over the Golden Hawks a couple of weeks ago as a springboard to a very strong finish that sets up this home playoff game.  Offensively Windsor has been making shots, sharing the ball and using their athleticism in transition to look almost unstoppable in some stretches.  The Golden Hawks pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat a scrappy Guelph team.  As always, Laurier will look to run and get on the offensive glass.  Great 2/3 matchup.


7:00 pm Western at Lakehead  These teams just played a pair of games last weekend in London with the Mustangs winning on the Saturday led by another all-conference performance by Andrew Wedemire in and around the paint.  Thunderwolves are expecting a sell-out at the Thunderdome and look for Lakehead to push the tempo, use their depth and three-point shooting barrage.  Ryan Barbeau had one of his strongest efforts of the season's second half in Wednesday's win at McMaster.

8:00 pm Ryerson at Carleton  Rams held off a late York charge to win their first playoff game since 2003 in front of a large crowd at Kerr Hall.  Carleton won both regular season games comfortably.

8:00 pm Ottawa at Toronto  Last time these two teams met a couple of weeks ago in Toronto, Gee-Gees 6'5" Warren Ward went off for 42 points in a dominant effort.  Blues limped to the finish line of the regular season, losing their last 3 in a row but had already clinched second place in the division.  The latest in numerous Blues/Gee-Gees playoff tilts, most of which have come down to the wire including down to the last shot in at least two of the past few years - expect another exciting tight game.


 

Spartans pull off 4th quarter comeback to force game 3 (Updated)

Trinity Western 86, Fraser Valley 69  In complete contrast to game one, the Spartans finished the game on 17-0 run, holding the Cascades scoreless for the final 6 minutes to even their series.  6'6" Jacob Doerksen scored the first 9 points in the game-deciding run which was culminated in a slam by 6'6" Kyle Coston.  The Cascades turned the ball over 5 times and went 0-4 from downtown in the final minutes.  A put back by James Elliott tied the score at 69 but then Doerksen (32 points on 12/19 shooting and 6 rebounds) completely took over, scoring on an "and 1" and knocking down a 3 as part of his performance.  Fraser Valley did a tremendous job limiting TWU looks from downtown, holding the Spartans to only 4-19 from 3 as UFV went 17 for 42 themselves but went cold when it mattered.  6'3" Joel Freisen had 24 points to lead Fraser Valley.  The teams meet again tonight for the third and deciding game.  Box Score

UBC 106, Manitoba 75  The Thunderbirds finished the first half on a 24-4 run to lead by 23, scoring 62 first-half points to hammer the Bisons in front of 1,132 fans in Vancouver.  6'2" Josh Whyte had 29 points in the victory during which UBC caused 25 Manitoba turnovers and had a 50-31 advantage on the glass.  After Manitoba's Kevin Oliver knocked down a three early in the second to make it 38-35, the Thunderbirds stiffened defensively and got out on the break with Whyte scoring 8 points during the run.  The Bisons have been disrupted by the loss of 5'11" point guard Josh Ogden who apparently has left the team as of about 2 weeks ago.  Box Score

Saskatchewan 98, Regina 75  The Huskies took off on a 30-10 run late in the first quarter and nabbed leads as large as 28 in the second half to take game one of their provincial battle in Saskatoon.  With Cougars within 3 at 17-14, 6'6" Michael Lieffers started the run with a dunk for the Huskies and great work on the glass by Nolan Brudehl (program playoff-record 22 rebounds) plus the usual strong offensive efforts from Rejean Chabot (29 points/18 in the second half) and Jamelle Barrett (23 points/15 in the second half) allowed the Huskies to win comfortably.  Box Score  plus Video Highlights 1 and Video Highlights 2 

Ron Rauch on Victoria climbing back to tie Bears

Friday, February 25, 2011

AUS Tonight: Capers, X-Men win at home

Cape Breton 79, UPEI 70  The Panthers were in it until late, trailing by only 2 entering the fourth but the Capers pulled away, helped by the return from a shoulder injury of 6'1" point guard Jimmy Dorsey who had 15 points in 33 minutes.  6'5" Phil Nkrumah added 14 points and grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds for CBU, which has locked up the top seed in the AUS tournament.  6'2" Jon Cooper had a career night in Sydney, going off for 26 points and adding 12 rebounds as the Panthers try to lock up a tournament spot.  Cape Breton completes their season tomorrow at home against UNB while UPEI travels down the road to meet X in Antigonish to complete their regular season.

St. FX 87, UNB 77  The X-Men overcame an early third quarter six point deficit by wearing the Reds down with their full court pressure and got tremendous offensive performances from 5'10" Christian T-Bear Upshaw (27 points) and 5'9" Will Silver (25 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists) to win at home.  6'0" Andrew Wright put on an incredible performance for UNB with 28 points, making several shots with a very high degree of difficulty as the Reds looked to clinch a tournament berth.  X has been hampered by injuries, including a career-ending head injury to 6'9" Alberto Rodriquez (see below), but was still able to turn UNB over 19 times using their pattened half and full court pressure, which became the difference in the game as the second half wore on.  6'5" freshman Terry Thomas added 14 points and 14 rebounds for X as he takes on a bigger role in the rotation given X's injury situation.  X finishes their regular season against UPEI tomorrow while UNB moves east to face Cape Breton in Sydney to finish their regular season schedule.

Rodriquez suffers career-ending skull fracture last week at Memorial... On an innocent play which happens numerous times in games, X's 6'9" fifth-year center Alberto Rodriquez suffered an unfortunate injury on which absolutely no malace was the least bit intended when, jostiling for a rebound last Saturday at Memorial, Rodriquez took an inadvertent elbow in the sinus cavity which ended up crushing a portion of his skull.  Rodriquez underwent several hours of surgery in Antigonish earlier this week and was recently released from hospital with his long-term prognosis being very good.  Please join me in wishing Alberto all the best for a speedy recovery after this unfortunate accidental injury.  X also has not had 6'5" Chad Warren for several weeks due to a broken hand - his availability for the playoffs remains up in the air.  The X-Men also played tonight without 6'3" Dwayne Johnson, who has had his back injury flare up once again while 6'3" Jordan Clarke missed tonight's game with an achilles injury.

AUS Standings
Cape Breton 18-1, 50 pts.
Dalhousie 13-6, 42 pts.
St. FX 14-5, 36 pts.
UNB 8-11, 20 pts.
Saint Mary's 7-12, 20 pts.
UPEI, 7-12, 18 pts.
Acadia 5-13, 14 pts.
Memorial 3-15, 8 pts.

Games Remaining:
Saint Mary's at Dalhousie (2 point game)
UNB at Cape Breton (4 point game)
UPEI at St. FX (2 point game)
Memorial at Acadia (2 games each worth 4 points)

Victoria 85, Alberta 79

6'4" Ryan MacKinnon had 20 points, including a clutch 3 from the left baseline late in the third quarter that capped a 9-2 run to restore a double digit lead and the Vikes forced Game 3 of their CW quarter-final in Edmonton with a solid road win.  The Vikes scored the first 16 points of the second quarter, primarily by pounding the ball inside to 6'8" Mike Berg, who had 8 points in the run and sloppy Alberta shot selection and decisions (4 turnovers during the run) as Victoria took a 10 point lead into halftime.  But 6'8" Jordan Baker shook off an indifferent first half with a steal, a pair of free throws and a long 3 from the right wing to key a 9-3 run that got the Golden Bears back to wihtin 4.  But Victoria was equal to the run, as MacKinnon had a slick, no-look feed inside to 6'8" Pierce Anderson, who again was a factor inside for the Vikes and then added his big 3 to put the Vikes on their way.  Later, 6'5" Marco Dolcetti hit his only shot of the game, a rainbow three with the shot clock winding down that caught nothing but net, giving the Vikes their largest lead at 15 with about 5 minutes left in the game.  Earlier, 11 first quarter points by Daniel Ferguson allowed the Golden Bears to come back from an early 8 point deficit to trail by only one after one after a slam by 6'10" Rob Dewar.  Berg helped the Vikes establish their low post game, finishing with 18 points while 6'5" Wendell Thomas, silent for much of Game One, had a big first half, scoring 9 of his 15 points.  Ferguson had 17 of his game-high 29 points in the first half while Baker had 17 of 22 points in the second half to keep Alberta close.  Victoria shot a sizzling 60% from the field and was 8 for 16 through 3 quarters from downtown in a very deserving win.  The series-deciding Game Three goes tomorrow afternoon at 3 PM MT/5 PM ET once again on SSN Canada.  Box Score

AUS Preview from Bill McLean

Bill does a tremendous job doing play-by-play on the Dalhousie Tigers web casts and has been a great source of information on the AUS.  His column in today's Metro Halifax newspaper previews tonight's AUS games and talks to the playoff possibilities in Atlantic Canada.

Bill McLean AUS article

Also, T.J. Colello has an article on the Cape Breton Capers graduating seniors playing their final games in Sydney this weekend.

Sean O'Neill from the Brunswickan has a piece on UNB Varsity Reds playoff possibilities with a nice explanation of the entire AUS situation.

Finally, from last night's huge UFV upset over Trinity Western  Freeman three-bomb stuns Spartans

Friday's AUS & QUBL Action

Three games in the East tonight as the AUS and Q begin the final weekend of regular season play.

UNB at StFX 8:00 PM AST  SSN Canada will show tonight's game in what may be a first round AUS tournament preview.


UPEI at Cape Breton 8:00 PM AST   Capers TV will have this one - a must win for the Panthers who can still make the playoffs even with a pair of losses this weekend but Memorial will have to take one game from Acadia for that to happen.

UQAM at McGill 8:00 PM EST  Both teams are preparing for playoff action with the Citadins preparing for the QUBL regular season pennant winner while the Redmen will face the second place finisher.  Both playoff games go Wednesday night.  This weekend will decide whether it is Concordia or Laval who finishes first.  SSN Canada should have this one also.

Canada West Playoffs continue today and tonight

All four series in CW are in play this afternoon and this evening with Alberta hosting UVic in Game Two this afternoon - the peculiar scheduling necessitated by Alberta hosting other Canada West championship events this weekend.  The offensively-listless Vikes, who had the quick turnaround Thursday night after last weekend's pair of games against UBC at home and then were delayed getting out of Victoria by snow, need a victory this afternoon to keep their season alive.  The Battle of Saskatchewan begins tonight in Saskatoon as Regina Cougars visit the Huskies - Sask dominated a pair of home-and-home games a few weeks ago - Saskatoon Global Television has a video preview of the Series  Also Darren Zary of Saskatoon Star-Phoenix provides a series preview  UBC also hosts Manitoba with Game One going tonight and Barnaby Craddock's Fraser Valley Cascades look to pull off the major upset at Trinity Western after an unlikely comeback last night  Get more information including the ability to watch all games on webcast at the Canada West web site

Cascades shock Trinity Western on late Freeman 3; Alberta wins at home

Fraser Valley 81, Trinity Western 80  6'3" Sam Freeman's three with 8.2 seconds remaining capped a game-ending 15-0 rally as the Cascades came back to shock the Spartans in Game One of their Best-of-3 CW quarter-final in Langley.  Fraser Valley went 13 for 32 from downtown as 5'10" Zeon Gray led the way with 26 points (including 4-6 from downtown) and added nine rebounds.  6'3" Joel Friesen added 23 points including three for four from 3-point range while Freeman finished with 18 points.  6'7" Jacob Doerksen led TWU with 24 points (on 8 for 19 shooting) while 6'1" guard Tristan Smith added 15 points with 9 assists.  Spartans were 10 for 31 from three and only 10 for 17 from the foul line.  Cascades look for the sweep tonight in Langley.  Box Score  also  Calvin Westbrook article by Howard Tsumura (Vancouver Province).

Alberta 76, Victoria 59  6'8" Jordan Baker had another dominating overall performance with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals as the Bears clipped the Vikes in Edmonton.  Baker, a lefty sophomore who continues to provide evidence he will be a Moser candidate before his career is done, knocked in a 3 that culminated a 19-9 Golden Bears run during a 7 minute stretch that bridged the first and second quarters, giving Alberta a 10 point lead - Alberta was never seriously threatened thereafter.  The closest Victoria came was to within six at 42-36 late in the second on an inside move by 6'9" Pierce Anderson (16 points on 8-11 shooting and 5 rebounds), who was the only real offensive threat for the Vikes.  Anderson saw extended time after 6'8" Mike Berg picked up two early fouls and got it going almost immediately.   But the Bears then put the game away to lead by 20 late in the third, courtesy of a 25-11 run led 6'10" Rob Dewar, who went 5 for 5 and had all 10 of his points during the run, plus several big offensive and defensive plays from Baker.  Dewar culminated a mini-run at the end of the first half with a slick dunk in traffic.  6'2" Kenny Otieno had a pair of threes during the first half run by the Bears and finished with 11 (3-4 3's) while 6'3" Todd Bergen-Henengouwen added 13 on a perfect 3 for 3 from downtown.  The teams meet again this afternoon in a 3 PM MT/5 PM ET start with the game again available on SSN Canada.  Box Score

Vikes drop opener to Bears  (Ron Rauch's article in Victoria Times-Colonist)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vic gets Ontario swingman

Another recruiting coup from out of Ontario for Vikes coach Craig Beaucamp with Ryan Higgins from Guelph, ON

Vikes add Ontario recruit

Canada West Playoffs begin tonight

The most potentially interesting of the four Canada West quarter-finals gets going tonight in Edmonton as the Alberta Golden Bears host Victoria Vikes in a 7 PM MT/9 PM ET start (game available on SSN Canada).  (Note that in my opinion Bears webcasts are among the highest quality viewing and most professional of all CIS basketball web casts that I've seen).  Also Live Stats available

Head Coach Greg Francis has qualified for the Canada West playoffs in both of his seasons at the helm of the Bears.  Last season, with a freshman-laden lineup, Alberta was soundly defeated in a two game sweep to the hands of eventual CIS nationals finalist UBC Thunderbirds in Vancouver.  The maturing Bears moved into a position to host a first round playoff game with a solid year in which 6'8" Jordan Baker continued to emerge as one of the best all-round players in Canada West in only his sophomore season and 6'4" Greg Ferguson, transfering from NCAA Division II, finishing second in conference scoring at 23.0 ppg and quickly became regarded as one of the smoothest pure shooters to enter CW play in many years.  Much of the offense runs through Baker and Francis next important piece to building a legitimate Nationals contender is the addition of a top flight point guard.  As has been the norm for much of Craig Beaucamp's tenure at UVic, defense and rebounding are the staples that keep Vikes in most games.  This season Beaucamp installed a version of the Princeton/West Virginia high post offense that, when run properly, can cripple opposing defenses with back door cuts and 3 point shots.  The Vikes were probably not consistent enough offensively this season but have shown flashes that their read-and-react offense can work.  The teams split a pair of games prior to Christmas in Edmonton this season with the Vikes winning the second game in overtime behind 32 points from 6'4" Ryan MacKinnon who rescued Victoria after they gave up a double digit lead.  Ferguson had 36 in that game and a game-high 23 in the first game when Alberta won despite going only 3 for 10 from downtown and getting only 1 offensive board.  In Langley, Trinity Western Spartans return to the playoffs after last season's disappointment of not making the playoffs, meeting Valley rivals Fraser Valley Cascades.  The addition of Tristain Smith and others in the backcourt addressed their point guard issues and 6'6" Jacob Doerksen has had a Moser-like year after falling back a bit last season.  Spartans coach Scott Allen recently refered to the Cascades as the best three-point shooting team in Canada and that may be so, however in the two meetings this season between these two teams, it was the Spartans who were on fire from 3.  After jumping out to a 22 point lead and cruising to a 19 point win in the first game, TWU broke open a two point halftime game with a 20 for 41 effort from downtown to win going away the next night.  Coach Barnaby Craddock has had to re-invent his team on the fly this season after losing his projected starting front line due to injury.  6'3" Sam Freeman and 6'4" Joel Freisen are UFV's top two scorers and U.S. import point guard Zeon Gray sets the table.  Live video

Playoff recaps from media last night

Western pulls the upset at Mac (Larry Moko - Hamilton Spectator)

Gryphons stopped cold (Rob Massey - Guelph Mercury)

Haywood sets season point record (Halifax Chronicle-Herald) also article from Metro News Halifax

Also, Canada West quarter-final Best-of-3 playoffs begin tonight in Langley and Edmonton as the "Valley Feud" between Fraser Valley and Trinity Western is featured.  As well, Victoria visit Alberta.  Wayne Thomas has the entire story  Two games Thursday in quarter-finals

Ron Rauch of Victoria Times-Colonist previews Vikes at Golden Bears

Gary Ahuja from Langley Times previewing Fraser Valley at Trinity Western

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Saint Mary's 95, Acadia 74

6'1" Joey Haywood set the all-time AUS single season point scoring record with 30 in Wolfville as the Huskies solidified their hold on an AUS tournament spot with a decisive win over the Axemen who must now win their final 2 four-point games against Memorial on the weekend to qualify for the tournament.  Saint Mary's hit 10 for 18 from beyond the arc and overcame a 24 point effort from 6'8" Owen Klassen.

Acadia could finish as high as 4th place with two 4 point wins over Memorial or could finish out of the playoffs with a split or two losses.  If Acadia splits and UPEI loses both of their road games, both teams would finish with 18 points however the Panthers would get the 6th seed in the tournament by virtue of the point spread in the season series between the two teams:  Acadia won the first game 80-71 with the Panthers coming back to take the rematch by 11 (64-53). 

Here are spots 4 through 7 currently:

UNB 8-10, 20 points (at St. FX, at Cape Breton)
SMU 7-12, 20 points (at Dalhousie)
UPEI 7-11, 18 points (at Cape Breton, at St. FX)
Acadia 5-13, 14 points (host Memorial twice for two 4 point games).

Rams, Gee-Gees, Hawks advance

Western was the only road team to come up with an upset tonight as all three other favorites won reasonably comfortably.  In Toronto, the Rams built up an early lead that got near 20 before 5'11" David Tyndale got going in the second half - Tyndale finished with 25 points.  Led by the diminutive guard who got to the rim and knocked down all 3 of his 3 point attempts, York was able to get the game back to within 3 in the fourth quarter before 6'2" third-year wing Ola Adegboruwa imposed his will on the game late with several key buckets down the stretch including a big 3 that pushed the lead back up to 7 with about 3 minutes remaining.  Ryerson mixed up their defenses, got points off their pressure and generally took good shots in the solid victory which allows Roy Rana's group to advance to the OUA quarter-finals at Carleton on Saturday night.  In the other OUA East playoff game, 6'6" Warren Ward had 15 of his game-high 24 points in the first quarter as Ottawa rode out to a 15 point lead only to have Laurentian crawl back to take a 4 point lead into halftime as Ward sat for virtually the entire second quarter with fouls.  The Gee-Gees then locked up the Vees after halftime, creating 8 turnovers in the third quarter alone in which they scored 30 points, getting top performances from 6'9" Louis Gauthier who had most of his 21 points after the intermission and a sterling defensive performance from underrated 6'3" wing Chris Anderson, who also chipped in with 12 points and several hustle plays diving for loose balls.  Laurentian had alot of success getting the ball inside to big 6'8" Shavaan Sheldon (17 points) and a nice all round game from 6'6" Mike Hull (18 points, 9 boards).  Slick shooting Isaiah Pasquale added 17 points including 3 3's but missed a key open look with about 2 minutes remaining and the Vees trailing by 7, which was the final dagger for Laurentian which lost 11 of their last 12 games of the season... In Waterloo, 6'6" Maxwell Allin had 9 of his 11 points in the fourth quarter as the Hawks held off the Gryphs 80-72.  Allin came within 1 assist of a triple/double, adding 11 rebounds and 9 assists.  The fiesty Gryphs led by 8 at 52-44 with 3 minutes to play in the third but Laurier, led by 6'5" Kale Harrison (game-high 23 points), finished the quarter on a 14-5 run and then scored the first 5 points of the fourth, taking leads as large as 8 in the fourth.  It was 76-68 with 5 minutes remaining after an 11-5 Laurier run when Gryphs "d" stiffened as Laurier did not score another field goal until late in the final minute of play.  Unfortuately, Guelph could only get the game back as close as 4.  5'11" Mike Petrella had 19 to lead Guelph, which finishes a wonderful season during which the Gryphs overcame numerous obstacles to come close to knocking off a team that was in and out of the Top 10 all season long.

Saturday's OUA Quarter-Finals:
Western at Lakehead
Laurier at Windsor
Ottawa at Toronto
Ryerson at Carleton

Western 78, McMaster 67

5'10" Ryan Barbeau led all scorers with 22 points as the Mustangs ters in the twice built leads in the teens in upsetting the Marauders in Hamilton.  Western led by 14 early in the second, saw Mac cut the lead down to 2 before dominating in the third quarter and holding off a fourth quarter Mac run to advance to an OUA quarter-final against either Windsor or Lakehead on Saturday.  6'5" Andrew Wedemire added 21 as Barbeau shook off a scoreless effort against the Marauders in the prior meeting.

AUS Tonight: Haywood looks to break AUS record

Saint Mary's at Acadia (available on SSN Canada)  Huskies still need to win to move toward clinching a spot at the AUS tournament while Acadia took a big step toward that tourney with a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Dalhousie at home on a tip-in at the buzzer by either Alex McLaughlin or Lauchlan Gale (I thought I saw McLaughlin do it but the announcers on SSN Canada said it was Gale).  Most notable tonight is that 6'1" Joey King Handles Haywood is only 3 points away from setting the AUS all-time single season scoring record.  Here are the current rankings:

1. Ted Upshaw Acadia 524 points  1980-81
T2. Don Ehler Acadia 522 points  1981-82
Curtis Robinson UPEI 522 points 1995-96
4. Joey Haywood Saint Mary's 521 2010-11**

In just less than 3 season, Haywood has scored 1,415 points and with one season remaining is #23 all-time in AUS career points scored.  #1 is UPEI star Curtis Robinson with 2,069.  Haywood trails by 554 points with 2 games and another full season to go.  Check out the rest of the Top 20 in AUS career scoring - some great names on this list:

AUS Most Points Scored - Individual, Career
(regular season only)
1. Curtis Robinson UPEI 100 2069 (5) 91/92-95/96
2. Fred Perry StFX 91 1741 (5) 96/97-00/01
3. Sherone Edwards UPEI 99 1698 (5) 02/03-06/07
4. Brian Thompson Saint Mary's 93 1679 (5) 87/88-91/92
5. William Njoku Saint Mary's 79 1662 (4) 90/91-93/94
6. Peter Gordon UPEI 83 1639 (5) 86/87-90/91
7. Mark McLaughlin Saint Mary's 100 1603 (5) 05/06-09/10
8. Dean Thibodeau Dalhousie 91 1589 (5) 88/89-92/93
9. Mike Kierstead UNB / UPEI 99 1565 (5) 98/99-01/02, 03/04
10. Ted Upshaw Acadia 78 1563 (5) 76/77-80/81
Jonah Taussig Saint Mary's 98 1563 (5) 96/97-00/01
12. Don Ehler Acadia 85 1537 (5) 78/79-82/83
13. Scott Devine UNB 80 1535 (5) 78/79-82/83
Christian Upshaw StFX 94 1535 (5) 06/07-10/11**
15. Tyler Richards StFX 96 1526 (5) 04/05-08/09
16. John Ryan Cape Breton 96 1500 (5) 90/91-94/95
17. John Hatch StFX 72 1470 (4) 80/81-83/84
18. Troy Jones Cape Breton 79 1467 (4) 90/91-93/94
19. Jimmy Morris UPEI 98 1456 (5) 97/98-01/02
20. Jeff Saxby Memorial 89 1452 (5) 99/00-04/05
21. Simon Farine Dalhousie 75 1436 (4) 07/08-10/11**
22. Peter Benoite Memorial 98 1429 (5) 93/94-97/98
23. Joey Haywood Saint Mary's 57 1415 (3) 08/09-10/11**

OUA Playoff Previews and video links

Rob Massey of Guelph Mercury tees up Gryphs vs. Laurier in Waterloo at 8 PM ET (game available on HawkCast Live).  Also Western at McMaster (7 PM ET) will be available on Mac's UStream channel.

Rogers Cable 22 in Ottawa will have the Laurentian at Ottawa game live at 8 PM ET (also on SSN Canada) while Ryerson streaming will show the Rams hosting York in what should be a jammed house at Kerr Hall - game begins at 8 PM ET.

The Brunswickan with an update on UNB Varsity Reds

OUA Playoffs begin tonight

Think of the OUA playoffs this season as a 12 team tournament with the first 8 teams meeting on Wednesday in sudden-death affairs.  Survivors will go on the road for what amounts to OUA quarter-final action on Saturday at the home gyms of the four teams with byes.  A week from Friday, the OUA will host their Final Four event in Hamilton at McMaster.  Here's a look at the first-round games:

Guelph at Laurier   The Golden Hawks limp into the playoffs, having lost 4 of their last 5 games as the injury bug creeped in.  6'7" Patrick Donnelly took a blow to the head a couple of weeks ago and has missed the past 2 games while 5'11" Travis Berry has also battled injuries.  Laurier's strength is up front so expect them to try to pound the ball inside with 6'6" Matt Buckley, hoping to draw doubles and free up 6'5" Kale Harrison and 6'6" Maxwell Allin among others.  6'2" freshman Jamar Forde is firmly in Laurier's rotation, providing quickness and athleticism, allowing Coach Peter Campbell more flexibility at the defensive end.  Guelph has battled well-known injury problems all season and just when Coach Chris O'Rourke thought he had his full team back, 6'5" Jerald Greenidge suffered a concussion a couple of games back and is not likely to play tonight.  But the Gryphs still have at least three strong alternatives offensively with 6'2" Danny McCarthy, 5'11" Mike Petrella - both have had breakout offensive seasons - and 6'4" Jonathan Moscatelli, who should see time at the four spot when the Gryphs decide to go small which they did with some success the last time these teams met in Guelph - an important come-from-behind win by the Gryphs which helped propel them to the playoffs.  6'0" Kareem Malcolm's return to at/near top form will also be important.  Expect a contrast in styles with the larger, strong Hawks trying to run, get inside and attack the glass and the scrappy Gryphs doubling down and rotating out using quickness and speed.  A Laurier win and the Hawks travel to Windsor on Saturday while a Gryphon win which would be considered an upset and Guelph travels to Thunder Bay to meet Lakehead on Saturday.

Western at McMaster 7 PM  Mac swept the season series, winning by 15 in London in early January and then 14 at home in February.  6'5" Andrew Wedemire came alive late in the season and when he is right is very difficult to contain one-on-one from 12 feet and in.  Wedemire had 19 and 9 in the last game vs. Mac and had 24/15 vs. Lakehead over the weekend also.  Assuming the Marauders choose to take the ball out of Wedemire's hands, the ability of Western's perimeter shooters including 5'10" Ryan Barbeau, 6'2" Marcus Barnett and 6'5" freshman Quinn Henderson to knock shots down is key.  Barbeau did not score in 31 minutes in the last meeting between the two teams.  The Marauders have shown a propensity to give up big leads and not close games out, likely a symptom of a young team learning to play when it counts.  6'1" Kenan Etale has exploded over the past month, culminating in his career-high 35 point effort at Windsor when Marauders blew a 16 point fourth quarter lead to lose.  6'3" Victor Raso provides the glue - Raso was on the bench fouled out when Waterloo staged their unlikely comeback on Saturday.  Both teams have had rotation players out with injuries with Mac possibly getting 6'8" Taylor Black ready for Wednesday while no word on whether the 'Stangs will have either 6'7" Adam Jespersen and/or 6'6" Garrett Olexiuk back in the lineup.

York at Ryerson  These teams had a pair of classics during the regular season as each won by 1 point in each other's gym.  However, the Lions had 6'10" Dejan Kravic in the lineup for both games and he unfortunately is lost for the season with an ankle injury.  Ryerson's 6'3" Ryan McNeilly has played like a fifth-year senior down the stretch, singlehandidly lifting the Rams to their regular-season finale victory at Toronto last weekend with 7 3's.  Ryerson has two of the top freshmen in Canada in 6'1" Jahmal Jones and 6'3" Jordan Gauthier and Jones may be the key in this game with his ability to get into the paint and create or finish.  The re-entry into the rotation of 6'8" Bjorn Michaelsen gives Rye Coach Roy Rana some size and muscle to deal with York's 6'10" fifth-year center Stefan Haynes.  But expect this game to be primarily guard/perimeter oriented with the Jones vs. 5'11" David Tyndale matchup going a long way in deciding who will advance to the next round.

Laurentian at Ottawa  Voyageurs lost 10 of their final 11 OUA East regular season games including a match in Ottawa that they had every chance to win but could not close out late.  Laurentian's potentially explosive pair of guards Isaiah and Manny Pasquale, have the potential in a one game sudden death affair to shoot the Vees to victory.  6'7" Mike Hull survived some mid-season injuries to finish reasonably strong.  The Gee-Gees have several offensive weapons led by 6'6" Warren Ward and 6'2" freshman Johnny Berhanemeskel on the perimeter and fiery 6'9" post Louis Gauthier inside.  But when the Gee-Gees are right, their team "d" is crisp and aggressive - their defense and rebounding helped keep them in the game against Carleton last weekend until late in the third quarter.  A Gee-Gees win and they will travel to Toronto on Saturday to face U of T Varsity Blues while if Laurentian can pull off what would be a large upset, the Vees will face Carleton Ravens on Saturday.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Canada West Statistical Stuff

A reader has passed along the following statistics which may be of interest - suffice to say that statistics indicate that this season was one of the most explosive offensively in Canada West history.  Complete Canada West all-time records

Highest scoring teams in Canada West history (Season PPG)
Three of the top six are from the 2010-11 season.
1) UBC, 1990-91 - 99.3 ppg (1985 pts/ 20 GP)
2) Saskatchewan, 2010-11 - 96.8 (2322 / 24)
3) Lethbridge, 1997-98 - 95.4 (1908 / 20)
4) UBC, 1995-96 - 94.9 (1899 / 20)
5) UBC, 2010-11 - 94.8 (2276 / 24)
6) TWU, 2010-11 - 94.4 (2266 / 24)
7) Alberta, 1994-95 - 93.5 (1870 / 20)
Calgary, 1995-96 - 93.5 (1870 / 20)
9) UBC, 1993-94 - 93.2 (1863 / 20)
10) UBC, 2005-06 - 92.6 (1851 / 20)
11) Victoria, 1987-88 - 92.4 (1848 / 20)

Saskatchewan set CW record with 11 100-point games this season, breaking the old mark of 9 by UBC in 1990-91.
Teammates with 20.0 PPG in same season... Rejean Chabot and Jamelle Barrett each finished at over 20.0 ppg. It is only the fifth time in CW history that teammates have averaged 20.0 ppg in same season, and first time since 1995-96.
1980-81 Calgary  Karl Tilleman (1st CW ppg rank), 27.5 ppg (550 pts / 20 GP) & Steve Atkin (2nd), 27.1 ppg (541 / 20)
1985-86 UBC  Ken Klassen (1st), 25.8 ppg (258 / 10) & Paul Johansson (3rd), (203 / 10)
1990-91 Victoria  Spencer McKay (2nd), 24.5 ppg (491 / 20) & Tom Johnson (5th), 22.3 ppg (446 / 20)
1995-96 Calgary  Richard Bohne (1st), 32.8 ppg (655 / 20) & Craig Newman (5th), 20.3 (405 / 20)
2010-11 Saskatchewan  Jamelle Barrett (1st), 25.0 ppg (600 / 24) & Rejean Chabot (4th), 21.8 (516 / 21.5)

Also of note... Jamelle Barrett led CW in points (25.0 ppg), assists (6.8 apg) and steals (2.5 spg) per game. He is the first CW player in history to lead the conference in all three categories in the same season. He also tied the single season CW record for total assists with 162.

CIS Blackberry Top 10 for 22 February 2011

Concordia re-joins the Top 10 after their dramatic win at McGill coupled with Laval's loss to last-place Bishop's.  Dal also drops after their loss at Acadia on Sunday.  Just a note on that game, I did watch the dramatic ending which Acadia won on a tip-in as the final buzzer sounded.  I saw Lauchlan Gale tip in the miss but was apparently corrected by a couple of readers.  Now word comes from others that it indeed was Lauchlan Gale who had the big tip that could put Acadia as high as fourth place in the conference pending results from the final weekend of AUS play.

MEN'S BASKETBALL
(regular season record) / votes (first-place votes) / (previous rankings)

1. Carleton (22-0) / 492 pts (41) / (1)
2. UBC (22-2) / 451 / (2)
3. Saskatchewan (20-4) / 405 / (3)
4. Trinity Western (21-3) / 370 / (4)
5. Cape Breton (17-1) / 332 / (5)
6. StFX (13-5) / 262 / (7)
7. Lakehead (17-5) / 235 / (6)
8. Windsor (16-6) / 223 / (9)
9. Dalhousie (13-6) / 176 / (8)
10. Concordia (11-4) / 125 / (NR)

Other teams receiving votes: Laval (53), Alberta (44), Victoria (8).

Marauders announce 5th recruit in "Fab Five" class

The Marauders gain another committment from a very good young player (with thanks to Bill Malley)

Family Day took on a special lustre for McMaster Head Coach Amos Connolly this year as his Marauder basketball family added another key member. Standout forward Nathan McCarthy from Burlington Notre Dame high school gave his commitment to Connolly over the weekend, becoming the fifth recruit to confirm he will be donning Maroon this September.


“We couldn't be happier with Nathan's commitment to join the Marauders,” says Connolly, who believes McCarthy is a great compliment to his other recruits. “He is versatile and mobile and will fit into our system very well. Having another forward that can step out and shoot provides us ample opportunity to attack mismatches and create space.”

Standing 6-foot-7, McCarthy is one of the top post players coming out of the Ontario high school ranks this year, and he is rated as a National top-100 player by Canadian recruiting service Hoopstars Canada and the Flagrant Fouls scouting website.

McCarthy says the combination of Connolly’s enthusiasm and the McMaster facilities helped him make his decision, adding, “I'm excited to put in a lot of hours and do whatever I can to help this team win a National Championship. As well, I see playing beside the best big man in the CIS in Scott Brittain and a future All-Canadian in Taylor Black will definitely help me become the best player I can be.”

Among many accolades he has received this season, McCarthy was most recently named a tournament all-star at the prestigious All-Ontario Catholic Classic, as he led Notre Dame to the tournament’s consolation title.

“Nathan will have an immediate impact,” adds Connolly. “Like all first-year players, he needs to develop physically as well as technically, but he is ready for this challenge. The future just got brighter.”

McCarthy joins previous commits and top-100 prospects, Brett Sanders (Stoney Creek), Aaron Redpath (Ajax), Joe Rocca (Sarnia) and Adam Presutti (Oakville) in a class that some have referred to as McMaster’s version of the Fab-Five.

Articles

St. Catharines Standard recaping Brock's win on Saturday and the Badgers season in general.

Larry Moko of Hamilton Spectator Marauders prepare for playoff game

Cascades sweep Bobcats to advance to playoffs

Regina Leader-Post on Cougars eagerly await Huskies

Monday, February 21, 2011

How Perfect has Carleton's season been?

For those of you still counting, this season's perfect 22-0 league record was the fourth in Head Coach Dave Smart's 12 years at the helm of the Carleton Ravens.  The 4 perfect regular seasons have come in the past 8 seasons (2003-04, 2004-05, 2007-08 and 2010-11).  In each of the other 3 undefeated regular seasons, the Ravens suffered just one other (non-conference) loss ('02-'03 to UBC at UVic's Christmas tournament; 03-04 to UVic by 1 at House-Laughton tournament in October; '07-'08 to Acadia in the CIS National semi-finals in triple overtime in one of the greatest CIS/CIAU games ever played). 

Carleton remains undefeated (29-0) against CIS competition this season so that in of itself ranks this Ravens group as one of the greatest in the Smart coaching era.  But digging even deeper and comparing this season with the other undefeated seasons, this team arguably ranks as dominant as any Carleton team Smart has ever coached.  Consider that in his three prior undefeated OUA regular seasons, Carleton won games by more than 20 points:  6 times in '03-'04; 4 times in '04-'05; 12 times in '07-'08... this season Carleton won 17 of 22 regular season games by 20 points or more.  Carleton won every game by double digits (minimum 13 points) except for one game: won by 8 at Laurier.  Carleton's average margin of victory was 30 points this season (91 ppg for vs. 61 ppg against).

Also consider where many pundits had forecasted Carleton to finish after falling in the CIS semi-finals last season and losing 6'8" All-Canadian Kevin McCleery to graduation.  Some went even far enough not to annoint the Ravens to their customary pre-season #1 seed: 

with only one championship in the last 3 seasons and the loss to graduation of their main go-to offensive player, All-Canadian Kevin McCleery, unlike most seasons there are legitimate reasons why the Ravens are likely not the consensus #1 pre-season team this year.  Much of that stems from a comparatively younger core group with only one fifth-year player and two fourth-year stalwards. 
Internet message boards in the pre-season echoed the sentiment that the Ravens had slipped a bit.  It is in the face of this that Carleton had arguably its most dominant regular season ever with Coach Smart adjusting to simply finding another way to play with the talent available to him. 

Certainly the OUA East was down this season and much younger division, although OUA East did have by far the best stable of freshmen in the country.  Nonetheless the Ravens were as dominant as they've ever been defeating OUA West championship Lakehead at home by 26, holding the explosive Thunderwolves to 49 points, winning by 19 on the road at second place OUA West finisher Windsor, twice knocking off OUA East second-place finishers Toronto Varsity Blues and winning a pair of double digit games against cross-town rival uOttawa Gee-Gees among their 22-0 season. 

With the playoffs looming and several excellent teams across the country more than capable of winning a National championship, an undefeated season is far from a sure thing for Carleton.  However, as attention turns not only to the playoffs, but post-season honours, it is difficult not to count this most recent Carleton season (29-0 overall vs. CIS, 22-0 in OUA) as among the greatest regular seasons in the recent history of the CIS.

Canada West: Little Drama in playoff matchups

Wayne Thomas provides his take on the upcoming Canada West quarter-finals.  Included in this post is a recap of all the key individual statistics in Canada West.  We hope to have one educated view from our top CW correspondent on individual awards shortly.

CISHoops.ca Top 10 for 21 February 2011

#1 Carleton (29-0, 22-0) (LW: #1)  Most recent match with cross-town rivals uOttawa was tight until the end of the third quarter when Ravens tightened up defensively and on the glass and started making shots, winning by 21 on the road.  6'5" Cole Hobin locked up Gee-Gees star 6'6" wing Warren Ward, who had only 2 of his 19 points after halftime after Hobin missed much of the first half with foul trouble.  Carleton will host an OUA East playoff game next Saturday against either Ryerson, York or Laurentian.  OUA East first round playoff games (Laurentian at Ottawa; York at Ryerson) go Wednesday night.

#2 UBC (25-2, 22-2) (LW: #2)  Comfortable sweep in front of over 2,000 fans each night in Victoria officially locked up first place in CW for Thunderbirds.  UBC begins their first round Best-of-3 playoff at home against #8 seed Manitoba Bisons, who lost their last 6 in a row but still managed to grab the final CW playoff spot.  UBC swept the Bisons in Winnipeg in January with a pair of 15 point victories.  Series begins on Friday.

#3 Cape Breton (18-6, 17-1) (LW: #3)  6'4" Phil Nkrumah had a big game at UNB which officially locked up the top seed in the AUS tournament for the Capers.  The V-Reds were playing their final game in the Lady Beaverbrook Gym, known as the Pit - V-Reds move into a new facility for next season.  CBU is still without 6'1" point guard Jimmy Dorsey who is nursing a shoulder injury and may be back for this weekend's games at home against UPEI and UNB. 

#4 Saskatchewan (27-4, 20-4) (LW: #4)  5'11" Jamelle Barrett once again was the story over the weekend with strong performances in two victories against Calgary.  The Huskies, winners of 20 of their past 21 games overall, begin the post-season with a Best-of-3 series against provincial rival Regina Cougars this coming weekend.

#5 Trinity Western (22-3, 21-3) (LW: #5)   Idle this week, the Spartans officially finish second in Canada West and will host Fraser Valley Cascades in a CW first-round Best-of-3 playoff series in Langley.  The series begins Thursday night.

#6 Lakehead (22-11, 17-5) (LW: #6)  Thunderwolves tripped up on the road at Western on Saturday but are OUA West regular season champions and look forward to hosting an OUA West playoff game at home in the Thunderdome next Saturday.  Potential opponents include Guelph, McMaster and Western.

#7 Dalhousie (19-9, 13-6) (LW: #7)  Tigers blew a late 10 point lead yesterday afternoon in Wolfville as Acadia's Alex McLaughlin tipped in a three point miss as time expired.  Still, Dal is firmly in second and with two wins over X retains a higher ranking than their AUS rivals.  Dal completes their regular season with a home date with cross-town rival Saint Mary's Huskies, still battling for a spot in the AUS tournament.

#8 St. FX (24-6, 13-5) (LW: #8)  An easy sweep of Memorial in St. John's over the weekend gave Coach Steve Konchalski ample opportunity to use his bench.  X simply wants to remain healthy and get their two underrated forwards 6'5" Jeremy Dunn and 6'6" Chad Warren back in the lineup in time for the AUS tournament.  X completes their season at home this weekend hosting UNB and UPEI.

#9 Windsor (18-8, 16-6) (LW: #10)  After a four game losing streak in late January had many questioning Lancers resolve, 6'3" Isaac Kuon led a resurgence allowing Windsor to win their last 5 games of the regular season and finish comfortably in second place.  Windsor will host a playoff game next Saturday with potential opponents including Laurier, Western or McMaster.  A win in that game puts the Lancers into the OUA Final Four in Hamilton in two weeks.

#10 Concordia (18-5, 11-4) (LW: NR)  Within about 20 seconds of a possible third place finish in the QUBL looming large, Stingers pulled a rabbit out of hat on Saturday against McGill on a pair of late 3's by 6'2" Decee Krah and later were aided by an unlikely Bishop's comeback against Laval.  Concordia now is one victory away from going worst-to-first and home court advantage throughout the QUBL post-season.

Monday Articles

Slower day because of the holiday...

Vancouver Sun on UBC soaring into hoops playoffs

Rob Massey of Guelph Mercury  Gryphs to battle Laurier in hoops playoffs

V-Reds lose final game in the Pit

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Acadia 73, Dalhousie 71 *Updated*

6'2" Alex McLaughlin tipped in the game winning shot at the buzzer after a miss right as the Axemen broke a long losing streak with a valiant come-from-behind thriller over the Tigers in Wolfville.  McLaughlin fought off a Tigers rebounder and banked home the tip of a miss of a three point attempt from the left wing by 6'8" Owen Klassen, sending the Acadia bench into a frenzy.  Acadia is now four points behind UPEI and Saint Mary's for the final playoff spot in the AUS.  Acadia trailed 70-60 late as 6'1" Simon Farine had a strong fourth quarter that seemingly had broke open what had been a tight game to that point but then back-to-back 3's by 6'1" freshman Thomas Filigiano and McLaughlin energized the home side.  Later McLaughlin tied the game at 71 with another 3 with just 20 seconds remaining when the Tigers, up 3, decided to double down on Klassen in the post and the slick all-conference candidate found McLaughlin wide open on the left wing.

Today's game was a defining moment in the career of McLaughlin, the younger brother of legendary Saint Mary's Huskies star Mark McLaughlin and helps the emerging young star move out of the shadow of his well-decorated brother.  As importantly, the win gives the Axemen momentum entering Wednesday's game at home against the Huskies.

The game was tight throughout until the midway through the fourth when it appeared Dal would pull away.  Filigiano's buzzer-beating 3 tied the game up at 51 after 3.  Axemen had a valiant effort with Klassen and 6'3" Anthony Sears in foul trouble for much of the afternoon.  Sears and Klassen both picked up #4 late in the third but Acadia stayed in the game.  6'5" Justin Boutilier was much more confident and agressive getting to the rim.  Dal hurt themselves at the line, going only 9 for 17 through three quarters.

St. FX 114, Memorial 71

6'0" Charlie Spurr and 5'10" Christian Upshaw combined to go 12 for 20 from beyond the arc and the X-Men built leads as large as 30 in the first half and 40 before the end of the third in officially eliminating the Sea-hawks from the AUS tournament with a decisive win.  6'3" Dwayne Johnson added 20 points and 9 rebounds in only 12 minutes of play for X, who will host UPEI and UNB next weekend to complete the AUS regular season.  Memorial goes to Acadia for a pair of four point games looking to play the spoiler role in the Axemen's quest to squeeze into the AUS tournament.  Spurr went 7 for 11 and led all scorers with 29 for St. FX.

X announces second recruit for next season

St. FX X-Men have added the second piece to an expected large recruiting class for next season with addition of 6'7" Jacob Simmons from Charlottetown, PEI.  Simmons recently announced his committment to attend XSimmons joins McMaster transfer 6'2" Tyrell Vernon, who last month announced he was transferring to X to play his final two seasons of eligibility in Antigonish.  The X-Men lose virtually their entire starting lineup to graduation after this season and look for coach Steve Konchalski to continue to add to his growing 2011-12 class... The X-Men are dealing with injuries to key rotation players 6'5" Jeremy Dunn (jammed finger on non-shooting hand) and 6'4" Chad Warren.  Neither played in last night's victory at Memorial.  Dunn is expected to be ready for the AUS tournament if not prior whereas Warren's status for the remainder of the season remains uncertain.

A Pari of AUS Games on Sunday

StFX at Memorial 1:00 PM AST   X looks to sweep the Sea-hawks and officially eliminate the homeside from post-season play.

Dalhousie at Acadia 4:00 PM AST  This is the rescheduled game from January which was postponed due to weather.  Axemen were in the game until late against the Tigers at home last night and continue to fight for a playoff spot with the season pushing into the final weekend next week.

Monty Mosher's article from Halifax Chronicle-Herald summarizing yesterday's AUS games in which Cape Breton officially clinched the top seed at the AUS tournament.

Cape Breton  17-1, 46 pts.
Dalhousie  13-5, 42 pts.
StFX  12-5, 32 pts.
UNB  8-10, 20 pts.
Saint Mary's  6-12, 18 pts.
UPEI 7-11, 18 pts.
Acadia  4-12, 12 pts.
Memorial  3-14, 8 pts.

Cape Breton officially clinched first place with last night's 20 point win at UNB... Acadia has four games remaining:  today at home vs. Dalhousie, Wednesday at home vs. Saint Mary's and a pair of four point games next weekend at home against Memorial... UPEI appears to have the toughest path to the playoffs; if Acadia can sweep MUN at home next weekend, Acadia needs at least one victory next weekend in their final two games:  Friday at CBU (4 point game - Capers have clinched first place) and Saturday at St. FX (2 point game).  UNB also plays their final two games of the season at St. FX and at CBU.  Saint Mary's owns the tie-breaker against UPEI and finishes at Acadia (Wednesday) and at Dal next weekend... The only thing decided is that Cape Breton and Dalhousie have clinched first round byes and that St. FX meets the sixth place finisher in the first round of the AUS tournament.  Everything else will likely not be decided until the result is in for next Sunday's Memorial at Acadia game.

Gaiters shock Laval

6'4" Alex Audette-Genier had six of his season-high 15 points in the fourth quarter as the Gaiters rallied to come from behind and shock the first place Rouge et Or in front of 1,173 excited fans in Lennoxville for Bishop's second win of the season.  With the loss, Laval drops to second place and allows Concordia Stingers, who made an unlikely come back last night at McGill, to control first place and home advantage through the QUBL playoffs.  Audette-Genier's biggest shot was a three that gave Bishop's a four-point lead with just under a minute to go and came immediately on the heels of a three by Laval's 6'3" J.F. Beaulieu-Mahieux, who led all scorers with 30 points.  The game was tight throughout with no team leading by double digits however the Gaiters jumped on Laval early in the fourth with an 8-0 run, getting the ball inside to 6'10" Mike Andrews and 6'9" Mike McLean.  Laval was never able to re-take the lead in the fourth quarter.  6'7" Tim Hunter had 21 points to lead Bishop's, including 5 in the fourth quarter with some key free throws down the stretch.  Hunter went 4 for 5 from downtown and 7-9 from the field overall.  Gaiters played their second game without former starter 5'11" Orien Green, who is no longer listed on Bishop's roster.  Box Score

Concordia 11-4
Laval 10-5
McGill 9-6
UQAM 5-9
Bishop's 2-13

Canada West Playoff picture set

Thanks to last night's UBC's victory at Victoria, Regina's trouncing of Manitoba and Fraser Valley hammering Brandon, the Canada West first round playoff matchups are set as follows:

#1 UBC hosts #8 Manitoba
#2 Trinity Western hosts #7 Fraser Valley
#3 Saskatchewan hosts # 6 Regina
#4 Alberta hosts #5 Victoria.

All series are Best-of-3 affairs with all games in the home gyms of the top seeds. 

Victoria at Alberta series begins Thursday in Edmonton (7 p.m. MST). The Bears were forced to bump the start-date of the series back to Thursday as they are also hosting women's basketball and men's and women's volleyball playoffs the same weekend. Game 2 goes Friday afternoon and Game 3, if necessary, Saturday afternoon (both games 3 p.m. MST).  Fraser Valley at Trinity Western also begins Thursday at 7 PM PT with subsequent games in the series on Friday (7 PM PT) and then Saturday at 7 PM PT if necessary.  Both Alberta and Trinity Western had byes this past weekend and will be rested and await the arrival of their opponents although UFV and TWU are only about 32 km. apart.   UBC hosts Manitoba on Friday, February 26 and Saturday, February 27, both games at 8 p.m. PST, with a third game going on Sunday if necessary.  Saskatchewan hosts Regina, also on Friday and Saturday, with both games at 8 p.m. CST, with a third game going on Sunday if necessary, also at 8 PM CST.

The highest remaining seed after this coming weekend's quarter-finals will host the Canada West Final Four during the weekend of March 5th and 6th with the two semi-final victors advancing to the CIS Final 8 in Halifax the following weekend.

Wayne Thomas Canada West report from last night.

Ron Rauch's article from the Victoria Times-Colonist on last night's UBC win over the Vikes.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Concordia 86, McGill 83

The Stingers staged an unlikely comeback as Decee Krah hit consecutive 3's in the final 18 seconds to allow Concordia to steal a victory at McGill.  The Redmen led 78-72 with 2 minutes left and broke Concordia's press with 5'11" Olivier Bouchard deciding to attack the rim - he was rejected and the Stingers then got an offensive rebound off a free throw miss and 6'2" Kyle Desmarais hit a three, igniting Concordia.  Still, McGill led 82-78 after a pair of free throws from 6'2" Winn Clark but Krah then drove the lane and got the benefit of the doubt on a questionable block call against 6'7" Tristain Tremblay.  Krah made both and then freshman Karim Sy-Morrissette made 1-2 with 18 seconds left to give McGill a three point lead.  Concordia then ran a back screen for Krah off the inbounds and he got free for a 3 from the top of the bowl to tie the score.  On the subsequent possession, Sy-Morrissette drove into a sea of Stingers, was rejected and Krah got loose from about 8 feet behind the 3 point line and made no mistake with about 1 second remaining.  Michael White's attempt at a tie came off and the Stingers clinched a home game in the QUBL semi-finals.

McGill had done a terrific job defending the Stingers when it mattered in the fourth quarter, allowing only 7 points in the first 8 minutes of the final frame while taking their largest lead of the night at 6 on a nice spin move inside by Tremblay.  But Bouchard's decision to take the ball at Concordia's bigs when beating the press and McGill's decision not to switch all screens late were the two key factors outside of Krah's dramatic shooting.

The Redmen were able to control the tempo for much of the third until some defensive breakdowns late allowed the Stingers to finish the quarter on a 7-0 run led by Krah who scored the final 5 of the quarter after being held scoreless since the first.  But McGill quickly put together a 7-0 run of their own to lead by 2 at 67-65.  McGill then led 69-68 when Bouchard hit a three from the right baseline and the Redmen looked to be off to the races, especially after 6'3" Simon Bibeau took a charge on the perimeter from a frustrated Desmarais who had only 10 points - the favorite for QUBL MVP averaged only 14 points per game against McGill this season, well below his average of 21.6 ppg against the rest of the league.  Desmarais also turned it over 24 times (6 to's per game) against McGill - Desmarais has only 40 turnovers in 12 games against the rest of the league.

The Stingers kept the lead for much of the first half as they dominated on the offensive glass, getting numerous putbacks and second chances.  But Concordia also got out in transition as 6'2" Decee Krah had 10 first quarter points to propel the Stingers to their largest lead at 29-22.  But McGill changed their defenses, going to a 2/3 zone for some possessions and their dynamic 5'11" guard Olivier Bouchard was able to create off the dribble, keying a 5-0 run to end the quarter culminated in a sweet dime to 6'3" Michael White, who beat the first half buzzer with a layup to bring the Redmen to within 1 at the half.

Tonight's game could be a preview of the QUBL semi-finals although pairings are still to be officially determined.

AUS Tonight: Top 3 win on the road

Dalhousie 81, Acadia 73  The Tigers pulled away late after Acadia came back from an early double digit deficit to push the Axemen closer to the brink of missing the playoffs.  Fifth-year seniors 6'1" Simon Farine (26 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists) and 6'9" Joe Schow (18 points, 10 rebounds) again led the Tigers, offsetting tremendous second-half efforts from 6'3" Anthony Sears (36 points - at least 20 or more in the second half) and 6'6" Justin Boutilier (4-6 3's in the second half).

After Dal controlled the tempo and took a 14 point lead after a 12-0 run made primarily at the end of the first quarter, the teams traded baskets until, with about 6 minutes left in the half, Axemen switched to an active 2/3 zone and trapped out of it, creating the opportunities for a 12-3 run that got the game back to within 1 at 34-33 late on a nice take by 6'3" Anthony Sears, who knocked in a couple of 3's in the first half.  6'8" Owen Klassen also got going during the run with a two-feet, two-hand slam inside off a nice high/low feed followed by a conventional "and 1".  The Axemen zone gave Dal trouble and traps created the occasional turnover leading to open 3's.  6'1" reserve guard Jeremy McEvoy finished the half with a 3 which allowed the Tigers to lead by 4 at the half.

Cape Breton 88, UNB 66  The Capers held V-Reds to just 6 first quarter points, establishing a double digit lead that was never really threatened as 6'4" Phil Nkrumah had 22 points.

St. FX 107, Memorial 87  6'5" freshman Terry Thomas had a career-high 26 points and added 9 rebounds as the X-Men built a 25 point lead after three quarters to cruise to the easy win that further threatened the Sea-hawks playoff chances.

OUA West this afternoon

Waterloo 95, McMaster 94  6'2" Wayne Bridge knocked down the game winner after a scramble with less than 2 seconds remaining to lift the Warriors to an improbable comeback at McMaster.  With the victory, Waterloo moved into a three-way tie for the final playoff spot in the division however Guelph wins the three-team tiebreaker to finish sixth and will meet Laurier Golden Hawks in Waterloo on Wednesday night in an OUA West sudden-death playoff game.

With the Marauders leading by 9 and about 2 minutes remaining, 6'3" Victor Raso, in foul trouble all afternoon, was whistled for his fifth.  Raso finished with 15 points in just 18 minutes for the Marauders.  Still, Mac led by 6 with 30 seconds remaining but Warriors improbable rally continued as after a steal, 6'1" fifth-year senior Jordan Hannah culminated a tremendous final game of his career with his 5th three of the game, bringing it to 94-93.  On the ensuing possession 6'0" Jordan Tew was fouled and after he missed both free throws, Tew almost recovered the offensive rebound.  The ball then went out of bounds to Waterloo and Warriors tried a lob from the sideline which was tipped to 6'0" fifth-year senior Luke Kieswetter and the coach's nephew, on the final play of his career, found Bridge open who made no mistake from 15 feet, shocking the Marauders.  Another Warrior fifth-year senior enjoyed one of the best games of his career as 6'6" Alan Goodhoofd contributed 22 points and 17 rebounds in the win.  Hannah was unbelievable from the perimeter, finishing with a game-high 24 points including 5-9 3's.  6'1" Kenan Etale led Mac with 18 points including 4-6 3's but turned it over a couple of times late. 

The Marauders again played without 6'8" Taylor Black (status for playoffs is unknown) and 6'9" Scott Brittain (out for season) while Waterloo did not have 6'3" Cam McIntyre in the lineup.  The Marauders went deep into their bench for much of the first half but the Warriors played hard and did not wilt despite already knowing they were eliminated from the playoffs.  Despite the loss, Mac (11-11) will host Western in their first round playoff game Wednesday night in Hamilton.  I may have reported otherwise earlier.

Brock 78, Laurier 73  6'6" Mark Gibson had a career-high 32 points on 9-19 shooting including 14 for 16 from the foul line as the Badgers came back in the fourth quarter, doing what they had to do but falling short of a playoff spot after Waterloo's improbable comeback at Mac.  6'5" Kale Harrison had 19 for Laurier, which played without 6'7" forward Patrick Donnelly, who has concussion-like syndromes and got only 6 minutes out of injured 5'11" guard Travis Berry.  Brock was able to pull out today's victory but finishes out of the playoffs after losing 6 games this season by 2 points or fewer.  A pair of fifth-year senior transfers closed out their post-secondary careers for the Badgers as 6'1" Andrew Kraus had 11 points on 4-13 shooting and 6'2" Mike Cruickshank added 14 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists.  Laurier hosts Guelph on Wednesday night in an OUA West sudden-death playoff.

Windsor 92, Guelph 85  The Lancers continued their torrid recent perimeter shooting, going a white-hot 13 for 19 from downtown to come back in the second half and defeat the Gryphons in Guelph.  By the time the second half had started, Guelph had already clinched a playoff spot.  6'3" Isaac Kuon continued his tremendous play of late, going off for 23 points including 4-5 3's and 6'1" soph guard Josh Collins added 21 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds, also knocking down 4 of 5 of his 3's.  Guelph stayed in the game with a solid 11 for 27 display from downtown, getting 22 points from 6'2" Dan McCarthy and 20 from 6'4" Jonathan Moscatelli, who continues to round back into top form offensively.  5'11" Mike Petrella added 19 for Guelph but fouled out late in the contest.  Windsor gets a first round playoff bye while Guelph travels to Laurier on Wednesday.