Tuesday 17 January 2012

Stuff from the weekend

Lost in the CIS news over the weekend was the two hour delay in the UQAM at Concordia game due to the rim being pulled down by a Citadins dunk during the warm-up.  Concordia's student newspaper, the Link, provides the coverage.

Sluggish Stingers still Perfect

Concordia 68 UQAM 63

After a two-hour delay to tipoff, Concordia’s men’s basketball team overcame some sluggish play and extended their unbeaten streak in conference play to 5-0, beating the Université du Québec à Montréal Citadins 68-63.

Start time was scheduled for 4:00 p.m., but during the warm-ups one UQAM player made a highlight-reel dunk, shattering the backboard at the Loyola Gym. The game got underway after a replacement was installed, but it was easy to see the delay had left the Stingers moving a step slower. They weren’t the only ones, however.


John Decoste in King's County News with Acadia sweeps UNB  plus Turnovers hurt Axemen in loss to Huskies

Langley Times TWU extend win streak to 4 plus Kelowna News Spartans take two from Heat

Charlottetown Guardian on UPEI / X

well written by Marcel Vander Wier and including quotes from St. FX Coach Steve Konchalski on the player suspensions.

UPEI puts brakes on losing streak

The UPEI Panthers snapped their three-game losing streak Sunday afternoon, romping to a 100-76 win over the St. F.X. X-Men in Atlantic University Sport basketball action.

UPEI has now moved into a tie for third place with Acadia.


MBNA Capital Hoops Classic Media Notes

MBNA Capital Hoops Classic Media Notes... from uOttawa Sports Information
The MBNA Capital Hoops Classic, which debuted in 2007 as a single men’s game and has featured a doubleheader since its second edition, quickly became one of the highlights of the CIS basketball season.

The inaugural event attracted 9,730 fans, which at the time was a CIS record for a regular season game. That mark was broken in 2009 when a crowd of 10,523 turned up at Scotiabank Place for the third annual Classic.

Men’s results
2011: Carleton 78, Ottawa 65
2010: Carleton 74, Ottawa 66
2009: Carleton 87, Ottawa 72
2008: Carleton 70, Ottawa 66
2007: Ottawa 64, Carleton 62
Women’s results
2011: Carleton 71, Ottawa 63
2010: Carleton 53, Ottawa 40
2009: Carleton 62, Ottawa 53
2008: Carleton 53, Ottawa 43
Annual Attendance
2011 (doubleheader): 7,565
2010 (doubleheader): 8,074
2009 (doubleheader): 10,523 (CIS regular season record)
2008 (doubleheader): 9,124
2007 (men only): 9,730

1. Tanya Perry – 20 points, 7 rebounds - Carleton (2009)
2. Jenna Gilbert – 17 points, 7 rebounds – uOttawa (2011)
3. Courtney Smith - 15 points, 3 rebounds – Carleton (2010)
4. Hannah Sunley-Paisley - 13 points, 11 rebounds – uOttawa (2010)
5. Alyson Bush – 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals – Carleton (2011)
6. Sarah Nolette – 12 points, 2 steals – uOttawa (2011)

1. Stu Turnbull - 29 points, 7 rebounds - Carleton (2009)
2. Tyson Hinz - 25 points, 10 rebounds – Carleton (2011)
3. Kevin McCleery - 24 points, 6 rebounds – Carleton (2010)
4. Warren Ward - 22 points, 9 rebounds – uOttawa (2011)
5. Josh Gibson-Bascombe – 22 points – uOttawa (2007)
6. Aaron Doornekamp – 20 points, 10 rebounds – Carleton (2008)

February 26, 2011
February 19, 2011
January 26, 2011 Carleton 65, uOttawa 51 (OUA East Final Four) at Toronto
uOttawa 72, Carleton 68 (OT) at uOttawa
Carleton 71, uOttawa 63 (double OT - Capital Hoops Classic)  
February 27, 2010
January 27, 2010
November 3, 2009 uOttawa 59, Carleton 54 (OUA East Final) at Carleton
Carleton 53, uOttawa 40 (Capital Hoops Classic)
Carleton 70, uOttawa 46 at Carleton  
February 21, 2009
January 28, 2009
November 4, 2008 Carleton 62, uOttawa 53 at uOttawa
Carleton 62, uOttawa 53 (Capital Hoops Classic)
Carleton 52, uOttawa 50 at uOttawa

February 18, 2011
January 26, 2011 Carleton 81, uOttawa 60 at uOttawa
Carleton 78, uOttawa 65 (Capital Hoops Classic)  
March 6, 2010
February 20, 2010
January 27, 2010 Carleton 78, uOttawa 64 (OUA East Finals) at Carleton
Carleton 87, uOttawa 86 at Carleton
Carleton 74, uOttawa 66 (Capital Hoops Classic)  
March 4, 2009
February 21, 2009
January 28, 2009 Carleton 82, uOttawa 61 (OUA East Final) at Carleton
Carleton 76, uOttawa 69 at uOttawa
Carleton 87, uOttawa 72 (Capital Hoops Classic)  
March 1, 2008
Feb. 16, 2008
Jan. 27, 2008 Carleton 75, uOttawa 56 (OUA East final) at Carleton
Carleton 75, uOttawa 73 at Carleton
Carleton 70, uOttawa 66 (Capital Hoops Classic)  
March 3, 2007
Feb. 18, 2007
Jan. 23, 2007 Carleton 65, uOttawa 63 (OUA East final) at Carleton
uOttawa 77, Carleton 71 at uOttawa
uOttawa 64, Carleton 62 (First Capital Hoops Classic)

Highlights from last year’s Capital Hoops Classic:

Gee-Gees put up a fight at Capital Hoops Classic
Wednesday, January 26 2011
Men’s basketball (6-9 OUA)
Visited Carleton (15-0 OUA) for the 5th annual MBNA Capital Hoops Classic at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, ON on January 26, 2011, 8 p.m.

  1 2 3 4 FINAL  
CARLETON 9 22 27 20 78  
GEE-GEES 23 9 13 20 65

uOttawa: Warren Ward 22 points, 9 reb
Carleton: Tyson Hinz 25 points, 10 reb

Following a thrilling women’s game, it was time for the men to take to the court for the second half of the fifth annual MBNA Capital Hoops Classic at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ont. Clearly the uOttawa Gee-Gees were the underdog going to this one against the No.1 and undefeated Carleton Ravens. However, the Gee-Gees would prove early on that they would not be intimidated, and would come to play.
From the opening tip off the Gee-Gees would put Carleton in unfamiliar territory.

Third-year guard Warren Ward, London, Ont., would get things started for the Gee-Gees scoring their first seven points and leading them into an 11-0 run. They would continue to defend well and by the end of the first quarter it was 23-9 for the garnet and grey.

As to be expected, Carleton would wake up in the second to make a game of it. The Ravens would go on a run of their own, scoring 18 straight points to close the gap. Ward would add five more for his team in the second, as the Gee-Gees would keep a slim 32-31 lead at halftime.

Unfortunately for the Gee-Gees, the Ravens would retake their No. 1 form in the third to take control of this game. The Gee-Gees would be plagued with missed shots, turnovers, and a Carleton offence that suddenly came alive. They struggled to sustain the pressure that brought them early success in the first half of the game.

Nevertheless, the Gee-Gees would not quit, and would make a valiant effort late in the fourth to try and close the gap. But it was too little too late as Carleton would remain undefeated and take this one 78-65.

“We came out on fire. They are the number one team in the country, and I knew that wasn’t going to continue but I’m proud of our guys; we came out strong. I thought our guys battled, again that’s the number one team in the country and I thought we were right there with them,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin.

“Warren had twenty-two (points) and nine (rebounds) with Cole (Hobin) the defensive player of the OUA all over him. I thought he battled hard, and he was making a good effort to rebound the ball,” added Derouin.

Gee-Gees fall to the Ravens in double overtime
Women’s basketball (9-6 OUA)
Visited Carleton (13-2 OUA) for the 5th annual MBNA Capital Hoops Classic at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, ON on January 26, 2011, 6 p.m.

  1 2 3 4 OT 1 OT 2 FINAL  
CARLETON 16 12 11 11 9 4 71  
GEE-GEES 10 13 14 13 9 12 63

uOttawa: Jenna Gilbert 17 pts, 7 reb;Hannah Sunley-Paisley 11 pts, 10 reb; Sarah Nolette 12 pts, 2 steals
Carleton: Alyson Bush 13 pts, 9 reb, 3 steals

The fifth annual MBNA Capital Hoops Classic, Ottawa’s premiere basketball event, got underway as the unranked Gee-Gees women’s basketball team took on the No. 4 Carleton Ravens under the bright lights of Scotiabank Place. And fans would not be disappointed as this one would require double-overtime before a winner could be declared. In the end it was the Carleton Ravens who would prevail and take this year’s coveted Capital Hoops crown.

The first quarter would see the Ravens take an early lead as the Gee-Gees would battle some early game jitters. Fourth-year centre Hannah Sunley-Paisley, Toronto, Ont., would get into foul trouble early and would have to sit out for most of the first. With their leading scorer out, the Ravens would take advantage and pull ahead 16-10.

The Gee-Gees would come alive in the second to outscore Carleton 13-12, cutting the score to 28-23 at halftime. First-year guard Laura-Emilie Cyr, Montreal, Qué., made some excellent shots, and third-year forward Jenna Gilbert, Ottawa, Ont., was also great under the basket as both players would finish with 8 points at the half.

In the second half, the Gee-Gees would continue to chip away at Carleton’s lead as this game would come down to the final minutes of play. Unfortunately they would have to do it without their leading scorer Hannah Sunley-Paisley who would foul out with two minutes to play. First-year guard Sarah Nolette, Edmonton, Alb., would knock down two big back-to-back three pointers to put the Gee-Gees up 50-48 with 90 seconds to play. Still, the Ravens would respond on the following possession with two free throws, and the game would remain tied until the final buzzer.

In overtime, the Ravens would come on strong and score four unanswered baskets. Yet, the Gee-Gees would not go down without a fight. First it would be Sarah Nolette knocking down another timely three-pointer for her fourth of the game. Then it would be Jenna Gilbert who would make two huge three-pointers, one of which was from way downtown, to tie the game with 30 seconds to play in the first extra frame.

The second overtime would prove to be much of the same as the Ravens would jump out to an early lead. The Gee-Gees would come within three but that was as close as they would get. Carleton would maintain their lead to prevail by a final score of 71-63.

Following the game head coach Andy Sparks was disappointed his team could not pull out the win but credited his young team with a good effort. Still, Sparks did not want to dwell on the loss: “Credit to them, they are a very good basketball team and are ranked number four in the country but it’s not like we’re not there with them because we are there with them. But we just got to go back to the drawing board and work on a few things. We have a big game coming up on Friday against Queen’s so you got to refocus. This is a tough stretch with five games in eight days but we just got to tough it out now.”

Sparks admitted that having Hannah out for most of the game, especially in overtime, was a huge blow to the offence. The Gee-Gees were forced to play with four rookies on the floor for most of the two overtime periods.

Leading scorer for the Gee-Gees Jenna Gilbert, appearing in her first Capital Hoops Classic, expressed her team’s disappointment: “Obviously we’re extremely disappointed. I mean we had the chance three times to just finish the game but we just couldn’t get it done. So it’s extremely frustrating but we just have to move from here and learn from our mistakes,” said Jenna.

Monday 16 January 2012

Capital Hoops Classic this Wednesday

In what has become a Capital Region basketball tradition and a fixture on mid-January hoops calendars, cross-town rivals uOttawa Gee-Gees, pushing for a spot in the CIS Top 10, and #1 and defending National champions Carleton Ravens face off at Scotiabank Place on Wednesday night in the 6th Annual MBNA Capital Hoops Classic.  Ticket information  

The Ravens continue to dominate opponents, undefeated at 12-0 on the regular season after a pair of weekend wins over Ryerson and Toronto Varsity Blues in Toronto.  While reigning Moser Award winner 6'6" Tyson Hinz remains the focus of Carleton's offense, many believe that the early favorite for this season's Moser is Carleton's 6'3" combo guard Phil Scrubb, who continues to play with that quiet, expressionless smooth, getting to the rim, knocking down perimeter jumpers or finding open teammates inside or on skips.  6'5" Cole Hobin remains arguably the top lock-down defender of point guards and power forwards alike (and every position in between; although many would place Lakehead's dynamic Greg Carter in the discussion checking guards as well).  All three Ravens were members of Canada's Pan-Am Games team that played in Mexico in October.  Most believe that it is Scrubb who likely has the greatest long-term potential to be an impact player on the Senior Men's National side.  But the Ravens have significant talent beyond their big three, highlighted by 5'11" fifth-year sparkplug Willy Manigat (pictured above), who is playing in his fifth and final Capital Hoops Classic.  It was Manigat, as a member of the uOttawa Gee-Gees who hit two big 3's during his freshman season in the CIS that helped give the Gee-Gees their only victory in the six year history of this event, presently dominated by the Ravens 4 games to 1.

uOttawa Gee-Gees have moved comfortably into second place in the OUA East at 8-4 after a rough start to the season which began in November with a pair of road losses at Brock and at McMaster which in retrospect were both winnable games.  The Gee-Gees only 2 losses since have been to #7 Laurier by 1 on a last second shot by Hawks All-Canadian 6'5" Kale Harrison and at #3 Lakehead.  In addition, the Gee-Gees led #2 St. FX X-Men by 5 with under 2 minutes to play in the first round of the Dalhousie Rod Shoveller Memorial tournament, only to lose in OT - another winnable game.  Ottawa is dealing with the loss for the season of 6'6" Warren Ward, who twisted his knee against Laurentian about 10 days ago but it has since been revealed that his ACL is torn and he is definitely out for the season.  The Gee-Gees have rallied around 6'1" freshman point guard Mike L'Africian and 6'3" sophomore shooting guard Johnny Berhanemeskel to win their first 4 games of the second half including wins in Toronto and at Ryerson over the weekend.  Ottawa has an emerging star in the post in 6'8" Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue, only in his second season but already commanding double downs in the low post, which he saw consistently late in Saturday's Gee-Gees win at Ryerson.  After dominating Ryerson posts one-on-one, especially in the third quarter when Ottawa built a double digit lead, Rams coach Roy Rana wisely forced double teams on Gonthier-Dubue, who has an excellent blend of athleticism, power and now improved finesse around the rim.  Without Ward, expect Gee-Gees Coach James Derouin to shorten his bench and likely try to buy his key players some minutes by dropping into a zone, which Ottawa did on occasion on Saturday night.

We will have plenty more on this game in the coming days including extensive media coverage by Team 1200 all-sports radio, SSN Canada and Rogers Television.

Recent Articles: Quack's replacement speculation begins

Yesterday's decisive loss at UPEI, ST. FX X-Men's second consecutive this week, knocked the previously-undefeated X-Men out of first place in the AUS and is likely to push them down the National rankings; as many know by now, X was shorthanded with 7 players unavailable yesterday afternoon.  These 7 players missed the important game while serving a team-imposed, one-game suspension for violation of team rules.  Good on Coach Steve Konchalski to ensure that his strict team rules are being enforced to the fullest.  These are lessons that these young men are likely to learn from and should serve them well going forward... UBC Thunderbirds went a long way to re-establishing themselves as a Canada West Pacific division title favorite with a solid pair of road wins over Thompson Rivers in Kamloops on the weekend.  Our newest B.C. correspondent, former St. FX All-Canadian Randy Nohr, reports that the Birds got a very strong effort on Friday from explosive 6'3" Doug Plumb, who went 11 for 15 from the floor and attacked the rim at every opportunity, taking only one 3 as part of his 23 point effort.  The following night the WolfPack was without 6'5" U.S. import Justin King, who injured his hand in the Friday affair and UBC took full advantage to sweep the weekend.  Howard Tsumura , he of the apparently hacked Twitter account (looks like that has been corrected :) ), of Vancouver Province summarizes UBC's pair of victories on the weekend.  Also, Birds are back to their stingy ways defensively as the Ubyssey reports... UVic Vikes gained a split of their weekend set against visiting Fraser Valley Cascades, dropping Friday night's lid-lifter as described by Ron Rauch of Victoria Times-Colonist Surging Cascades rain on Vikes parade ... Monty Mosher of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald presents his take on the two high-profile vacancies at Saint Mary's with football and men's basketball.  While Mosher touches on current Huskies assistant coaches Augie Jones and Jonah Taussig as potential replacements for the legendary Ross Quackenbush, expect the job to attract numerous candidates from across the country... Annual Silver Fox high school tournament has attracted much of the top talent in Ontario and Marauders coach Amos Connolly was quoted in this Hamilton Spectator article... Brock Badgers have lost one of their talented big men as 6'9" Theo Davis has left the program.  The well-travelled Davis, who once played NCAA Division 1 basketball, showed some flashes of brilliance especially with his passing skills but missed Brock's Florida training camp over the Holidays and then was a DNP for the first game back while working back into shape.  In Davis first game back for him after the holidays two weekends ago at Laurier, he was whistled for a tough foul on an attempted blocked shot but followed the referee to the scorer's table and then was assessed a technical.  His minutes were limited in Brock's next game and Coach Brad Rootes shared yesterday that Davis is no longer with the team.  St. Catharines Standard reports on fifth-year Badger Andrew Ferguson and Badgers loss on Saturday at home to Western... Somewhat quietly, the Guelph Gryphons have moved up the standings in the OUA West and the Guelph Mercury reports on Gryphs latest victory against Waterloo... Larry Moko of Hamilton Spectator reports on Windsor/Mac as Marauders spirited comeback falls short...Christine Rivet of Waterloo Record covers the first-place showdown in OUA West as Hawks rebound for key win... uOttawa Gee-Gees will have to prepare for the rest of the season including this Wednesday's Capital Hoops Classic without the services of 6'6" Warren Ward, who injured his knee early in the Gee-Gees win at Laurentian two Friday's ago.  Late last week, it was determined that Ward tore his ACL and will definitely miss the remainder of the season.  Coach James Derouin has done a fine job refocusing his troops in the face of the injury to his All-Canadian candidate, taking a pair of road victories over Ottawa's closest rivals in Toronto, Varsity Blues and Ryerson Rams... Te'Jour Riley, the highly-touted McGill freshman from Hamilton, Bermuda, has yet to rejoin the team after going home for the holiday break. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard has been stuck at home and is still awaiting a student visa from the Quebec government.

AUS: X loses second straight; Capers lead conference

UPEI 100, St. FX 76  The X-Men were hammered in Charlottetown as only 7 players got minutes with 6'5" Terry Thomas, 6'8" Bol Kong, 5'9" Marquis Clayton and 6'5" Shane Coupland all sitting out for up-to-now unknown reasons.  We have been in transit from a family funeral and have been unable to determine why X's lineup was so decimated today.  UPEI, bouyed by three consecutive 3's from Donathan Moss (18 points) late in the first, took full control with a 21-3 during a five minute span between the end of the first and start of the second period, stretching to a 20 point lead with 8 minutes left in the first half.  X never got it below 18 thereafter and Panthers built leads as large as 32 toward the end of the fourth to claim an important 4 points in the standings.  All 5 UPEI starters played big minutes as 6'6" Manock Lual led the way with 22 points while Terrence Brown added 20.  Box Score

Cape Breton 88, Memorial 84   Despite a gameful comeback attempt by the visiting Sea-Hawks, the Capers hung on to sweep 8 points from MUN at Sullivan Field House in Sydney this weekend.  After hammering the Sea-Hawks last night, CBU reeled off a 17-3 run to lead by 16 at 55-39 early in the third and the route appeared to be on.  But Memorial was resiliant, staying within 10 until Mike Helsby and Jason Shepherd went to work, to get the game back to 2 after Shepherd's 3 with 40 seconds remaining.  CBU was able to clinch it at the foul line but Helsby had one of the top fourth-quarter performances of the season with 14 of his 20 in the final frame including 2 3's.  Shepherd, who finished with a game-high 34 on 7-13 shooting from downtown, added 10 in the final frame as the dynamic pair scored 24 of MUN's 27 fourth-quarter points.  6'1" Jimmy Dorsey led the Capers with 28 points as CBU climbed into first place in the AUS with a record of 7-3. The fourth-year guard from Baltimore, MD also contributed with 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals.  6'5" Al Alilovic, who scored the final 7 points in the earlier Caper run that built the big lead, finishing with 27 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.  Julian Smith chipped in with 14 points and five steals in a winning cause.  Box Score

AUS Standings
CBU 7-3, 20
St. FX  7-2, 18
Acadia 4-4, 16
UPEI 7-3, 16
Dal 4-4, 14
SMU 5-6, 12
UNB 3-7, 12
MUN 1-9, 2

Sunday 15 January 2012

Wellsie's World: Unique CIS Takes from Dave Wells

The first in what we truly hope is an ongoing series of entries from Dave Wells, who has been an integral part of Canadian basketball for almost 40 years.  Presently located in Lethbridge, Wellsie brings a unique candor and experienced set of insights to the CIS game.  We all look forward to continued columns from Wellsie.


In terms of ongoing Canada West game-related info there is no way I could even begin to remotely approach the level of coverage being provided by former University of Calgary player (starter on a team that finished second in the CIAU), assistant coach and interim head coach Wayne Thomas on this site. It’s remarkable. Truly!
So, what I’ll do in this space is offer some random observations in point form from my beloved hometown of Lethbridge. (For me, Lethbridge is the best place in the world; Barbados, where my mom is from, comes second; the GTA is third. Not sure there is a fourth.)
* The biggest issue facing Canada West, and indeed CIS men’s basketball as a whole, is finding ways to earn more fabulous moolah (yeah, I’m a pro wrestling guy.) I know schools are working hard to enhance visibility (one awesome addition to the league this year has been www.canadawest.tv which shows every regular season and post-season game on the web. Overall www.canadawest.org does a comprehensive job providing a wide array of cyber content too), however much more needs to be done. Frankly, after helping promote an array of well-attended sporting events over the years, I don’t believe in going the free admission route either. Often, if you tell fans your product isn’t worth an admission fee, they’ll believe it isn’t worth watching period.
* Attendance (or lack of same) puzzles me in many Canada West locations. Perhaps the two I’m most frustrated with are Manitoba and Fraser Valley. Certainly, the Kirby Schepp and Barnaby Craddock-led crews deserve average crowd gatherings of over 300? On the other end of the spectrum I see on the Canada West site Alberta (1,195) and Lethbridge (1,064) top the average home attendance lists. I hope, and actually expect, Lethbridge’s numbers to rise after this weekend when Calgary comes to town for a twin-bill.
* The brand new Saville Centre (originally called the Go Centre) at Alberta is a very nice basketball playing venue, seating about 2,800, quite equally divided between individual chair and bleacher bench seating. It is an absolutely amazing training/club/practice/tournament facility! Twelve hoop games can be held at the same time.
* One issue that has been up for discussion in Canada West men’s hoop this season is whether the league should adopt the same import quotas as the rest of CIS (currently amax of three), or continue with self-imposed tougher standards (two non-Canadian citizens or landed immigrants.) This is a passionate debate.
* Northern British Columbia and Mount Royal join Canada West next year. That will bring the total number of basketball-playing institutions to 16. There have been ongoing discussions as to format and structure. To me 16 is workable, with either two, or four divisions.
* However, I have heard credible rumours Edmonton Grant MacEwan is preparing to apply to Canada West. As well, Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island University have applied in the past. At what point would Canada West basketball become too unwieldy? From a basketball perspective the league – with significantly fewer members - was split in two for decades (into Great Plains and Canada West.) Alas, a subsequent split is much bigger than basketball-specific. Two sports cost much more than basketball at the CIS level; football and hockey. It’s hard to see a need for two university football conferences west of Ontario (there are six programs now) and even growing hockey to that extent (seven programs now) is highly unlikely. As well, the rest of the CIS would have to agree to Canada West being split in two when it comes to national tournament berths.
* I can’t see “tiering” any time soon in the CIS. Heck, the CIS just isn’t that big – and the country is. British Columbia and Alberta governments expanded the number of potential CIS potential institutions out here on their own. The big schools out here can’t expect the rest of the country to bend to their will because of that.
* Kudos to UBC for staying CIS. I saw potential benefits if UBC were absolutely serious about expanding their athletic budget exponentially and going NCAA DI, but when that door was closed, on the whole – and particularly in football and men’s basketball – NCAA DII made no sense to me whatsoever. I believe pressure from UBC grad (and former CFL commissioner) Doug Mitchell likely played a large role in UBC staying in the CIS. Want just one example of where UBC made a good move? Well, look at the Vanier Cup this past November in Vancouver. The announced attendance was 24,953. Does anyone really believe any NCAA DII sporting event will ever draw 20 percent of that mark in the Lower Mainland?
* Having said that I think it’s past time the CIS men’s national basketball championship is held in Vancouver. Why, I believe there’s a suitable venue right on campus. It’s called The Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre!
* I really do feel Simon Fraser would be better off from a men’s basketball perspective returning to CIS. Part of me wants to list off a bunch of reasons here, but I’ve already trundled on-and-on in this space. Perhaps in a later missive.
* And finally, although not directly related to Canada West, here’s a rhetorical question. When they came out of high school Carleton’s Phil Scrubb, was considered a similar level of player by many knowledgeable folks to Julian Clarke (who is at Santa Clara) and Emerson Murray (playing for Cal.) Now, which of the three similar height guards do you think has developed more – especially in terms of eventual hoop earning potential – in their first two years out of high school? One potential reason. I believe Scrubb has received likely twice as many hours of coaching from the Carleton staff. NCAA really restricts the time their staffs work with kids, especially out of season. (Well, the Carleton season seemingly never ends eh…)

AUS Today: Resurgent CBU

Two games this afternoon in the AUS with St. FX visit to UPEI for a 4 PM AT start being most interesting.  Although this is their first meeting of the AUS regular season, the teams have met on three occasions already this season with X taking all 3:  in October at Mickey Place UPEI tournament 97-88, first round of the NIKE X Invitational 101-81 and in the semi-finals of the recent Rod Shoveller Memorial tournament at Dal, 78-69.  Game is available on PatherTV.  Cape Breton hosts Memorial in the second of a two game set this weekend in Sydney.... Last night, Cape Breton pounded the Sea-Hawks at home in Sydney 94-61 as the suddenly-resurgent Capers hold MUN to 29% shooting and get 24 points and 7 assists from Jimmy Dorsey, who only played 24 minutes as the route was on reasonably early.  Box Score  The teams go at it again today and Capers are playing much stronger team defense recently as Coach Thom Gillespie patiently installs his systems after the late start taking over the Capers.  Dal Tigers had a nice second-half comeback over Saint Mary's last night as the Huskies welcomed back injured 6'5" forward Harry Ezenibe who played 24 minutes  Box Score

AUS Standings
St. FX  7-1, 18
CBU 6-3, 16
Acadia 4-4, 16
Dal 4-4, 14
UPEI 6-3, 12
SMU 5-6, 12
UNB 3-7, 12
MUN 1-8, 2

A win by Cape Breton combined with an X loss today at UPEI (both 4 point games) would lift the Capers into sole possession of first place in the conference, a testament to the quietly efficient job that Gillespie is doing in Sydney.

Wayne Thomas Canada West: Barrett's 40 propels Huskies

Barrett Buries Dinos With a Barrage of Buckets

Dinos Cannot Stop Saskatchewan’s Whirlwind Guard

Saskatchewan Huskies 90 at Calgary Dinos 83 - "Marks for Jamelle Barrett on 
the double tuck- to a full layout, left handed teardrop move - 9.5!" The 
Saskatchewan Huskies point guard had a 2nd half reminiscent of his 29 point 
effort at Victoria last week, with the Calgary Dinos playing the Washington 
Generals role on Saturday as the Sled Dogs earned a 90 - 83 win to improve to 
7-4 in Canada West play.

Barrett hit every shot in his arsenal, finishing with 40, and, remarkably, 
still had time to deliver 9 helpers. Late in the game, he suffered a ‘serious 
soccer injury’ , but leapt off the bench after a quick and full recovery to 
apply the coup de grace to the Dinos. No amount of trapping, hedging, denying, 
or the odd bumping would deter the 5-9, 4th year flash from Rancho Cordova, CA.

The 3 point shot figured prominently in the attack for Sask. as they hit 12/29 
attempts, with Barrett accounting for 4 of those. Ben Baker had 14 , Duncan 
Jones 11, and Peter Lomuro scored 10, before he had to leave with an ankle 
injury in the 4th. The Huskies out-boarded the Dinos 42 - 33, as Michael 
Lieffers led with 10, while Calgary got 9 from Boros Bakovic and 8 from guard 
Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson.

The Dinos steadied the ship late in the 1st half, when they had trailed by as 
much as 12, pulling to with 3 at 37-34. The 3rd quarter was ‘JB’ time, and 
Saskatchewan put up 32 points to Calgary’s 22. Calgary took a late run with 
Ogungbemi-jackson scoring 20 and Bakovic hitting 19, but it was not enough as 
the Huskies controlled the inside and the clock. The free throws were 19/22 
for Calgary and 14/20 for Saskatchewan. 

Calgary falls back to 4-8, and will travel to Lethbridge for a 2 game set next 
weekend against the 5-7 ‘Horns, in an important match-up in the playoff picture 
for both teams.  Box Score

Other Canada West Results - Saturday

at Alberta Golden Bears 85 Lethbridge 77 - A 19-8 run beginning the third quarter pushed a two point halftime lead to 13 during which 5 different Bears scored as Alberta moved to 8-4 before 921 fans in Edmonton.  Bears attack featured 26 points from Daniel Ferguson as Bears retain a share of 1st in the Prairie. Lethbridge, which was able to cut it to a six point game with just under a minute to play, had 24 from Daryl Cooper and 15 pts. / 10 boards by Dom Coward. Alberta spread the scoring around with Jordan Baker and Rob Dewar hitting 14 apiece, and Matthew Cardoza scoring 12. The ‘Horns had 16 turnovers to just 9 for Alberta. Box score

at Manitoba Bisons 94 Regina Cougars 83 - Bisons broke the game open after a 12-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters broke a 62-62 tie.  The game-deciding stretch featured a three by Kevin Oliver and a technical on the Regina bench. Regina stayed closer tonight and did get it to 4 with under 2 minutes remaining, but the Bisons got the win after trailing 45-40 at the half, as the home team hit for 30 in the 3rd quarter led by a 2nd straight stellar performance from Oliver who had 24 points and 12 rebounds. Kurtis Sansregret had 16 and Jonar Huertas 13 for Manitoba, who moved into a 1st place tie in the Prairie Division at 8-4. Regina (3-8) got 16 pts. / rebs. from Paul Gareau, and 12 pts. 10 boards by Connor Burns, but turned it over 25 times, taking 21 fewer shots than the Herd. Box score

Trinity Western Spartans 83 at UBC-O Heat 56 - TWU did not let UBC-O off the 
canvas on Saturday, and the Spartans jump over Thompson Rivers into 4th place 
in the Pacific. Sean Peter hit 17 pts. and grabbed 7 boards, while Kurtis 
Osborne scored 15 and Calvin Westbrook 14 for Trinity. The Heat (2-10) could 
generate little offense, as they shot 37%, turned the ball over 25 times, and 
were out-rebounded 39 - 29. Bret MacDonald scored 17 for the Heat, and had 7 
boards.  Box score

UBC T-Birds 78 at Thompson Rivers WolfPack 54 - An early third quarter 14-1 run that included 8 points from Doug Plumb pushed the lead to 16 and UBC handled the WolfPack for the 2nd night in a row, improving to 8-2.  TRU, which could get no closer than 7 in the second half, dropped to 5th spot in the Pacific at 5-7. Tommy Nixon led the ‘Birds,who led by as many as 20 in the fourth, with a strong double-double of 22 points and 13 boards. Chas Kok scored 19 and had 12 rebounds for TRU, but UBC’s defense allowed only 29% field goal shooting from the ‘Pack.  Box score

at Victoria Vikes 91 Fraser Valley Cascades 67 - Victoria (10-2), finished the first half on a 15-2 run to lead by 16 and then quickly pushed the lead to 23, to make amends for a flat performance on Friday, as they secured a split in the series.  Zac Andrus hit 16 points and had 9 assists, while Ryan McKinnon added 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 helpers , with the Vikes hitting 50% from the floor. 5 Victoria players hit double figures for the game, while UFV ( 7-5) were under pressure right from the tip, and only Kyle Grewal (21 pts. , 8 rebs.) and Joel Friesen (13 pts.) could do any significant scoring. Box score

Notes ...

* Our knowledgeable reader, Tyler Penner, tells us that the exceptional play by play man on Winnipeg home games is Paul Edmonds, who also handles Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball and some MJHL games as well.
* The Playoff structure for Canada West is as follows - the top 4 teams in the Prairie Division, which is 8 teams strong, will enter the quarter-finals with the top 3 squads from the 6 team Pacific Division, plus a wild-card team chosen from the Prairie’s 5th place team and the Pacific’s 4th team. 

Canada West Standings (with playoff teams if playoffs began today in BOLD)
Alberta 8-4 
Manitoba 8-4 
Saskatchewan 7-4
Brandon 5-7
Lethbridge 5-7 
Calgary 4-8 
Regina 3-8 
Winnipeg 3-8 
Victoria 10-2 
UBC 8-2 
UFV 7-5 
TWU 6-6 
TRU 5-7 
UBC Okanagan 2-8

Lethbridge and Brandon meet for a pair of games in the Wheat City on the first weekend in February. 

On Feb 23 - 26 -Quarter-Finals: (Best 2 of 3) 
March 2 and 3 sees the Canada West Final 4 ( at the home of the top-ranked team), 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3. 
The CIS Nationals are in Halifax, and will have 8 teams,
including the Canada West Champs, the CW Finalist, the OUA Champs
and Finalists, The Quebec Champs, the Atlantic Champs, a host
team from the AUS, and a wildcard team chosen from across Canada.
(Messy details to be explained later)
* Do you want to know one of the toughest things to deal with when you’re a travelling basketball team? Check out this interesting story from the Edmonton Journal.
* The UC Athletic Department is selling advance tickets for the 2012 CIS Women’s Final 8 Championship Tournament, to be held at the Jack Simpson Gym in Calgary from March 17-19. Tickets for the championship are on sale now, with early bird pricing in effect until Jan. 31. They can be purchased at any Dinos basketball home game for the remainder of the season, and online at www.goDINOS.com/ticketweb.
* The top 2 teams in the Alberta Colleges League play tonight in Lloydminster, as the 11-0 Lakeland Rustlers host the 9-1 Mount Royal U. Cougars. The Cougars, along with the U. Northern B.C. Timberwolves of the B.C. College loop, will join Canada West next Fall to bring us to a 16 team League. MRU are national contenders in the CCAA this season, while UNBC is 5-2, tied for 2nd spot in the PAC West-B.C. standings so far.
* We note the playing time logged by rookie Sebastian Cava, a talented ball-handling guard out of Jasper Place HS, Edmonton, who joined the Golden Bears on the Christmas break. It looks like Coach Greg Francis has faith that the young man can give Alberta some help off the bench.

Laurier earns split

The Hawks come up with a much-needed split to stay in the race for first place, holding on for a 92-89 win over Lakehead in the second of two at Laurier.  Lakehead owns the tiebreaker between the two by virtue of their five point win on Friday night.  Plenty of fireworks again last night as, with Laurier up 3 with the ball and under 2 seconds remaining, T-Wolves 6'2" Venzal Russell stole the in-bounds pass but a buzzer-beating 3 point attempt rimmed out.

Lakehead basketball blog reports "Costly turnovers including a "3 in the key" call with 1:35 remaining in the game did not help the Thunderwolves cause".  Laurier was led by Kale Harrison who had 19 points and 6 rebounds and received a big game off the bench from 6'5" lefty Conor Meschino, who had 16 points on 4-8 shooting, most of which came in the third quarter when Lakehead was making a run.  6'5" post Matt Buckley added his second double-double of the regular season. 

6'0" guard Marcel Hyde was also instrumental for Laurier with 7 points off the bench, all in the fourth quarter.  Laurier welcomed back 6'3" Jamar Forde after almost 3 months out with an injury (did not play in Friday's game) and he sparked Hawks bench also with 6 points in 14 minutes.

Lakehead had 6 players in double figures led by Ryan Thomson who had 19 ponts and 11 rebounds and 0 turnovers in 36 minutes of action. Greg Carter, who was banged up in Friday's win, toughed out 34 minutes adding 12 points 6 assists and 3 steals. Ben Johnson had 18 points on 5-10 shooting.

From a team perspective WLU won the valuable rebound battle grabbing 13 rebounds on 36 misses while LU grabbed 12 on 39 misses. Turnovers were also key as LU had 15 to WLU's 11.

Coach Morrison on the Loss.
Credit to Laurier - I thought our defence was actually better tonight but guys like Coulthard and Buckley hit timely shots late in the shot clock with hands in their faces. I was disappointed with our turnovers and poor finishing in the fourth quarter - better execution might have got us over the hump. No time to reflect on this weekend with a tough opponent like McMaster coming to the Thunderdome next weekend.

Laurier will now head out on the road for three straight games and will take on the Guelph Gryphons Wednesday night. 

Saturday 14 January 2012

OUA East: Gee-Gees sweep through GTA

Ottawa 83, Ryerson 77  In a highly entertaining and intense game with a playoff-like atmosphere, the visiting Gee-Gees survived a fourth-quarter Rams comeback as 6'1" Jacob Gibson-Bascombe knocked down a wide open 3 after a scramble following an offensive rebound to give Ottawa the lead for good and later 6'6" Vikas Gill made a key steal of a kickout look by Jahmal Jones when Ottawa nursed a 3 point lead with only seconds remaining as Gee-Gees took a stranglehold on second place in the OUA East.  6'3" Jordan Gauthier led Rams late comeback, providing Ryerson with their first lead since early in the game, driving home an "and 1" dunk along the baseline after blowing past his defender.  Earlier, Ottawa took a double digit lead on a string of slick and powerful inside moves from athletic 6'7" Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue, who later fouled out.  Ryerson started their fourth quarter run with a series of clever double downs on Dubue, creating a turnover and forcing tough shots.  Great game between two emerging teams.

Carleton 98, Toronto 64  5'11" Willy Manigat and 6'3" Thomas Scrubb came alive during the key second-quarter run that pushed the Ravens lead to double digits and Carleton was rarely threatened thereafter in a victory at Toronto.  Manigat came off the bench to hit a 3 and key some transition scores while Thomas Scrubb, somewhat overshadowing his more decorated brother's contribution at least on this night, made no mistake with several 3's coming off nice looks from his brother or 6'6" Tyson Hinz.  Thomas finished with 21 points while 6'2" Phil Scrubb had 22 many in his usual quiet-assassin manner.  6'5" Alex Hill came out firing, scoring 9 early points and finished with a game-high 30 points including 17 in the first half after which Blues trailed by 15.

York 66, Queen's 62  The Lions grabbed a two game lead in the "battle" for the six and final playoff spot in the East with a win in Kingston as 5'11" David Tyndale had a game-high 20.  After trailing by as many as 9, the Gaels got it back to 2 on a Bernard Bergesson basket with about 4 minutes remaining.  But the Lions held to sweep their games in Kingston this weekend.

AUS Tonight: Big 2nd Half spurs Tigers

Dalhousie 72, Saint Mary's 70  6'6" Robert Nortmann generally had his way inside, finishing with 17 points and 15 rebounds including several on the offensive glass following his own misses as the Tigers pushed back up into the first-round playoff bye hunt with a come-from-behind win at the DalPlex in a battle of Halifax rivals.  Tigers held Saint Mary's to just 32 second-half points as 6'5" Torrey Fassett had 18 points and 10 rebounds but only 3 points after halftime.  6'0" Jerome Smith singlehandidly kept SMU in the game in the second half finishing with 22 points.  Fellow 6'6" forward William Yengue aided Nortmann with 14 points/9 rebounds while 6'3" Alex Arthur added 14 including 3's in the first half.  Saint Mary's star shooting 6'0" Miguel Pink had a good look at a potential game-winning 3 but the shot came off and Dal's comeback held.

Acadia 95, UNB 60  Axemen blew open a tight game at halftime outscoring the hometown Reds 60-27 in the second half for the decisive win.  After the Reds tied the game at 35 early in the third,  6'10" Owen Klassen, who played only 17 minutes due to foul trouble, hammered home a dunk, starting a 24-4 run that blew open the game.  7 different Axemen scored during the run. Later Acadia turned the game into a route with a 17-1 run  to lead by as many as 36.  Klassen and 6'3" Jonathan Tull each had 17 to lead the way.

Windsor spoils Marauder Day: OUA Today

Windsor (9-3) 78, McMaster (9-3) 74   The Lancers jumped out to a 20 point first-half lead before holding off a valiant Marauder fourth-quarter comeback attempt as Windsor swept the season series with a road win on Marauder Day in Hamilton.  Much like he did against Brock on Wednesday night, Mac's prized 6'2" freshman Adam Presutti came out of the gates on fire, scoring 11 first quarter points including a trio of 3's, as Mac led 7-0 off the opening tip; Presutti finished with a team-high 20 points (blistering 6-7 shooting from downtown).  But Windsor's core stars 6'0" Josh Collins and 6'2" Enrico Diloreto, back after two games away with a high ankle sprain, were equal to Presutti with numerous 3's and takes of their own and Lancers had an 18-4 run bridging the second and third quarters to build a 20 point lead.  After an early third quarter Mac run closed the gap near 10, Marauders had a couple of fourth quarter runs, the first led by 6'3" Victor Raso (12 points, 11 rebounds) who had 5 straight points to cut the gap to six.  After Lancers reestablished their double digit lead, 6'4" freshman Aaron Redpath (16 points off the bench) knocked in a 3 and the lead was 2 with 1 1/2 minutes remaining.  But Mac could get no closer as once again the Marauders relied heavily on the three point shot, with more than half of their fg attempts from beyond the arc (14 for 36).  Diloreto led Windsor with 17 while Collins added 13 as the two all-star candidates combined for a 7-10 effort from 3.  6'7" Lien Phillip (12 points, 15 rebounds) was again solid if not dominant inside against a Marauder club that appears content to try to win games with a perimeter focus.

Guelph (7-5) 82, Waterloo (4-8) 63  The Warriors absorbed their fourth consecutive loss after the holidays as constant Gryphon full court pressure eventually wore down Waterloo and Guelph pushed into contention for hosting a home playoff game.  6'1" Kareem Malcolm was the offensive catalyst for the Gryphs with 24 points, continually getting himself into the lane and either finishing or finding teammates to add 5 assists.  6'1" Zac Angus had one of his better offensive efforts with 16 which was critical as 6'2" Danny McCarthy battled foul trouble all afternoon, finishing with only 11 points in 22 minutes.  Guelph got a big lift off the bench from Toronto St.Mike's grad George Mason, back after missing the past two months with ankle injuries, as the slick shooting wing went 3 for 3 from downtown and finished with 10.  Gryphs made life very difficult for 6'1" sophomore Mike Wright (10 points on 3-13 shooting with 7 turnovers) with consistent double teams and ball denial but had difficulty with 6'2" Wayne Bridge off the bounce, who finished with 20.

Western (4-8) 101, Brock (7-5) 93  6'4" sophomore Quinn Henderson keyed a game-deciding 17-1 run with three 3's early in the fourth as the Mustangs pulled off a very important road win in St. Catharines.  The affair was foul-filled with teams combining for 59 fouls and 68 free throws.  But Mustangs made big shots during the important run that pushed their lead, once as high as 10 that had been later whittled away back to 1, all the way to 91-74 with 4 minutes remaining.  Western had 4 players foul out of the whistle-filled contest including 5'10" Ryan Barbeau (21 points) and 6'0" Jermaine Bernard (Toronto Oakwood) who had 15 points off the bench before the disqualification.  Henderson finished with 21 points and 9 rebounds while going 4 for 9 from downtown, part of 10-23 'Stang effort from 3.  Tshing Kasamba led Brock (7-5) with 19 points.

OUA Today: Windsor/Mac this afternoon

Feature games in the OUA West include the second of back-to-backs at Laurier between #3 Lakehead (10-1) and the Golden Hawks (9-2).  With a victory, expect the T-Wolves to move into at least the #2 ranking (pending Carleton game at Toronto).  Another large affair has Windsor (8-3) visiting McMaster (9-2) on Marauder weekend for a 2 PM start.  Both teams have visions of a first-round bye and at a minimum are the present favorites for a home playoff game.  At 3 PM Western (3-8) visits Brock (7-4) in St. Catharines and Waterloo (4-7) visits Guelph (6-5) where the Gryphs look to catapult themselves back into the first round home game race.  Lakehead and Laurier go tonight at 8 PM... Feature games in the OUA East are in Toronto as the Varsity Blues (5-6) host #1 Carleton (11-0) and the surging Ottawa Gee-Gees (7-4), showing there is life without Warren Ward, meet Ryerson (5-6) at Kerr Hall.

OUA East
#1 Carleton 11-0
Ottawa 7-4
Ryerson 5-6
Toronto 5-6
Laurentian 4-8
York 1-11
Queen's 0-11
RMC 0-11

OUA West
#3 Lakehead 10-1
#7 Laurier 9-2
McMaster 9-2
Windsor 8-3
Brock 7-4
Guelph 6-5
Waterloo 4-7
Western 3-8

Dinos Shock Huskies: Wayne Thomas Canada West Report

Dinos Surprise Saskatchewan As 'O-J' Returns

Dinos Upset Win Sparked By ‘O-J’

(some extra editing and box score links added)
at Calgary Dinos 83 Saskatchewan Huskies 79 - Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson 
returned to the Calgary Dinos line-up with a vengeance Friday night, scoring 21 
points including 2 free throws with 8 seconds left, which iced it for the home 
team. Missing for 8 weeks with a hand injury, ‘O-J’ was one of the essential 
ingredients missing as the Dinos fought to keep their heads above water in 
League play, and his role in this big win is proof of his value to Calgary.

Starting fast, the #4 ranked Huskies had a 15-9 lead after just 4 minutes, but 
Calgary responded with a 16-6 run to grab a 25-21 lead after a quarter. 
Calgary’s defense was shutting off the lane to Saskatchewan’s ace point guard, 
Jamelle Barrett, and the slippery 4th year star made some nice passes to Peter 
Lomuro and Michael Lieffers for hoops, but the Dinos were getting good shots 
for Tyler Fidler and Boris Bakovic in the paint at the other end. Fidler, who 
sat for a prolonged period in the 2nd half, finished the game with 19 points 7 
rebounds ands 4 assists, and converting a couple of key free throws down the 
stretch. Bakovic, also a recent returnee from the injured list, scored 17 on 
the night.

The Huskies applied more defensive pressure in the 2nd half, denying 
Ogungbemi-Jackson the ball on the inbounds, and they caught and passed Calgary 
in the early part of the 4th quarter. This was O-J’s night however, as he was 
everywhere, grabbing 11 rebounds, and slipping through the defense leading the 
Dinos to a 25 point final stanza, and their 4th win against 7 losses in Canada 

The Huskies got 18 pts./15 rebounds from Michael Lieffers, their 5th year post 
man, and 19 from the speedy Lomuro, mostly off a blistering fast break. Barrett 
(13 pts./ 7 rebs./7 assists) and a hot-shooting rookie, Matt Forbes, (13 pts.) 
were also in double figures for Saskatchewan, who drop out of 1st place with a 
6-4 record. Calgary outshot Saskatchewan 17/20 to11/20 from the foul line, 
while the Huskies had 44 rebounds to Calgary’s 37.

The teams go at it again on Saturday at 8 pm with the game live on Canada West 
TV.   Box Score

at Alberta Golden Bears 91 Lethbridge 83 - Lethbridge, trailing by double digits twice, got it to as close as 5 midway through the fourth but the Bears go to 7-4 in edging the Pronghorns behind 25 points and 10 rebounds from Jordan Baker. U of A had 5 players in double figures - Daniel Ferguson, 15, Robert Dewar 13, Lyndon 
Taylor, 14, and Matthew Cardoza, 10. Dom Coward had a big night for the ‘Horns, who drop to 5-6, as he matched Baker, scoring 25 and claiming 10 boards.  Box Score

at Winnipeg Wesmen 66 Brandon Bobcats 61 - the Ws turn the tables on Brandon 
with a huge 12 point, 14 rebs./ 8 assists from guard Andrew Cunningham.  Winnipeg held Brandon to 4 for 26 shooting from 3 and only 28 second-half points before almost 900 fans at Winnipeg.  Helping the home team’s cause was Mark McNee with 17, and Travis Krahn with 11 pts/ 17 rebs. Brandon got 20 from Donovan Gayle, and 16 from Michael Smith, plus 10 boards apiece by Ali Mounir and Jordan Reaves. Winnipeg goes to 3-9, while Brandon drops to 5-7.  Box Score

at Manitoba Bisons 116 Regina Cougars 87 - Thundering Herd ! The Bisons (7-4), bouyed by a 31-7 run beginning early in the third, built leads as large as 35 and  unloaded all the guns on Regina led by 23 points, 9 rebs. by Kevin Oliver. U of M also had Stephen Walton with 17 pts and 7 helpers, Xavier Smith hitting 14 pts., and Jonar Huertas and Tanner Draward at 12 each. Regina, now 3-7, had 17 points and10 boards from Connor Burns.  Box Score

Trinity Western Spartans 83 at UBC-O Heat 77 - The Spartans led all the way, 
and held off a strong finish by UBC-O to claim their 5th win vs. 6 losses. Kyle 
Coston scored 20, while Calvin Westbrook and Sean Peter had 19 each for TWU. 
Yassine Ghomari scored 33 for the Heat, and added 9 boards, and Simon Pelland 
notched 23 points. UBC-O is now 2-9 on the year.  UBC-O came back from a 12 point deficit to take the lead briefly but Kurtis Osborne's bucket with under 4 to play gave Spartans the lead for good.  Box Score

UBC T-Birds 83, Thompson Rivers WolfPack 66 - UBC’s Doug Plumb scored 23 in 
leading the ‘Birds to a 7-2 mark, as he was helped by 15 from rookie Malcolm 
Williams, with the team shooting 52% on the night including 10/20 from 3 pt. 
range. TRU got 14 pts and 9 rebounds from Justin King, 13 from Akeem Pierre, 
but Chas Kok their 2nd leading scorer had only 9 points as the WolfPack (5-6) 
shot just 31 % vs UBC’s aggressive D.  UBC freshman Nakai Luyken was back in the lineup, scoring 5 points in 10 minutes.  UBC was 10-20 from downtown and survived a rare off night from Nathan Yu who finished with 9 points.  Box Score

at Victoria Vikes 79 Fraser Valley Cascades 70 - UFV had a critical 14-3 run early in the 4th, breaking the 12th tie of the night, and never looked back in a very important road win that catapults Cascades into the CW Final Four discussion.  The league leading Vikes are at 9-2, but have lost 2 of 3, both on their home court. Fraser Valley recovers from a home loss to Lethbridge and moves to 7-4 sparked by 18 points and 6 boards by Kyle Grewal, 17 pts. from Joel Friesen, and 15 by Sam Freeman. Victoria, who shot just 36% against a tight UFV defense, got 19 from Mike Berg and 17 from Michael Acheampong.  Box Score

Notes ...

* In the Winnipeg home game tonight vs. Brandon, viewers on Canada West-TV were treated to a ‘standard Manitoba accent‘ from a calm, informative Dave Crook, former Wesmen and U of L Pronghorn coach ... ‘Crookie’ partners with a very good play-by-play man, whose name we were unable to catch. Very good presentation from
TSN radio 1290-Winnipeg.
* A cameo appearance in a Canada West game (Dinos-Huskies) tonight for Calgary ref Michael Weiland, who is still working games in the NBA Development League, in places like Sioux Falls, SD, Boise, ID, Bakersfield, CA, and Reno, NV, with hopes of making it to the ‘big show’ in the future. Meanwhile, Weiland still refs games in Canada West, when his schedule allows.
* In their 1st game back after the Holiday break, the Nijmagen Magixx of the Netherlands Pro League had the services of both Henry and Ross Bekkering, as they defeated League leaders, Den Bosch, 84-82. Henry scored 19 points, while Ross, returning after a 6 week absence with an injured hand, hit for 7 points and had 9 rebounds.
* The UC Athletic Department is selling advance tickets for the 2012 CIS Women’s Final 8 Championship Tournament, to be held at the Jack Simpson Gym in Calgary from March 17-19. Tickets for the championship are on sale now, with early bird pricing in effect until Jan. 31. They can be purchased at any Dinos basketball home game for the remainder of the season, and online at www.goDINOS.com/ticketweb.

Bill McLean's AUS Report: Just got a whole lot wackier

The AUS just got a whole lot wackier as we reach the midway point.
The UNB Varsity Reds pulled off the shocker of the new year, upsetting the UPEI Panthers 80-77 at the Richard Currie Centre in Fredericton.
Alex DesRoches scored 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Reds to their biggest win of the season and provide a huge momentum lift as they get right back into the thick of the race for the AUS Championships at the Metro Centre.
Two weeks ago the Panthers were in the hunt for a national ranking and looked like a lock for a first round bye at playoffs, while the Reds looked like a team that would almost certainly be on the outside looking in come March.
But now, by virtue of earning four points in the standings with their win over a struggling Panthers team, the Reds are now part of a five team log jam for second place in the AUS with 12 points.
Terrance Brown scored 22 points to lead UPEI who has dropped their first three conference games of the second term after sprinting out to a 6-0 record before the holidays.
UNB led 41-30 at the half. The Panthers tied the game with three minutes left but UNB answered the bell and held on down the stretch as UPEI struggled to score. 
WIth five more "4 point" games on the schedule this weekend, expect more chaos in the standings before Sunday night. UPEI now has to get ready for the #2 ranked X-Men on Sunday afternoon in Charlottetown (Panthers TV), while the Reds will get right back at it tomorrow night versus the inconsistent Acadia Axemen (varsityreds.ca). If Brent Baker and the Reds can gain another four points, they should find themselves in contention for the rest of the season as they get ready to play five home games in February. 

Four Point Game Weekend
Saturday's Games
8 PM AT  Saint Mary's at Dalhousie (4 point game)  SSN Canada
8 PM AT  Memorial at Cape Breton (4 point game)  Capers TV
8 PM AT  Acadia at UNB (4 point game) V-Reds TV
Sunday's Games
3 PM AT  Memorial at Cape Breton (4 point game)  Capers TV
4 PM AT  St. FX at UPEI  (4 point game) Panthers TV

St. FX  7-1, 18 pts.
Acadia 3-4, 12 pts.
Dalhousie 3-4, 12 pts.
Cape Breton 5-3, 12 pts.
UPEI 6-3, 12 pts.
UNB 3-6, 12 pts.
Saint Mary's 5-5, 12 pts.
Memorial 1-7, 2 pts.

Friday 13 January 2012

T-Wolves strike first; Carleton/Ottawa romp

Lakehead 88, Laurier 83  The feature game of the night was filled with runs as the Hawks fell behind 10-0 off the start before going on a 43-23 run using their vaunted transition game for many easy scores until late in the second.  Lakehead's ability to convert defensively to limit the break combined with some hot shooting and 20 offensive rebounds on the night allowed T-Wolves to lead by 4 after 3, a lead they extended to as many as 12 with a now-patented fourth quarter run.  Lakehead had four guys in double figures led by 6'2" Venzal Russell with 24, with Brendan King scoring 18 on 7-10 in only 18 minutes and Greg Carter with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 6 steals on 6-7 shooting.  6'5" Kale Harrison had 24 points but did not make a three as Hawks went only 2 for 14 from beyond the arc. 6'6" Max Allin added 12 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.  The teams meet again tomorrow night at Laurier.

Ottawa 88, Toronto 67  Playing without All-Canadian candidate Warren Ward, the Gee-Gees outworked the Blues, beat them up in transition and got a 1st Team-like performance from 6'3" Johnny Berhanemeskel with 29 points and 10 rebounds.  After a slow start, uOttawa outscored Toronto 81-51 over the final 3 quarters.  6'1" freshman Mike L'Africain added 16 points on perfect 6 for 6 shooting from the floor as Ottawa shot 54% including 50% from downtown, holding Toronto to just 34%.  Fellow freshman 6'6" Vikas Gill went 3 for 5 from 3 and finished with 14 points.  Blues got 19 from 6'5" Alex Hill including 5-7 3's but grabbed only 1 rebound.

Carleton 87, Ryerson 56  The host Rams led by 6'1" Jahmal Jones stayed in it for much of the first half as Jones battled 6'2" Phil Scrubb possession-for-possession during that time however Ravens finished the half on a 23-7 run to lead by 19 by halftime and then won going away.  6'6" Tyson Hinz had 11 points by halftime.

Laurentian 74, Queen's 61  Manny and Isaiah Pasquale combined for 41 points as the Vees kept hometown Queen's winless and moved closer to solidifying a playoff spot.

York 107, RMC 49

UQAM 74, Laval 62  In what is becoming the nightly norm in the Q, the teams combined for 33 offensive rebounds, 41 turnovers and 8 for 33 shooting from downtown in Montreal.  Citadins jumped out to a 13-3 lead off the opening tip and never lost the lead although Rouge et Or got it to 1 midway through the second before UQAM broke away on a 11-2 run.  Later a 5-0 Laval run including a 3 by Hughes Ryan (9 points) got it back to 2 but the home side continued to pound the "o" glass and built leads as large as 15 late in the game to win going away.  Gregory St.Amand led all scorers with 22 points on 9-10 shooting, grabbing 6 offensive rebounds.  6'8" Boris Hadzimuratovic had 20 points, 13 rebounds for Laval as his excellent freshman season continues but Big Boris again struggled from the line, going only 4 for10.  Box Score

UNB 80, UPEI 77  The post-holiday blues continue for the Panthers, who dropped their third road league game in a row, losing to the V-Reds in Fredericton.  6'6" Alex DesRoches had a 20 point, 14 rebound double double as UNB dominated the second quarter to lead by double digits heading into halftime.  Michale Fosu had 14 points as 5 Reds were in double figures and the thin Panthers had at least 3 players in foul trouble including impact big Jermaine Duke who's minutes were limited as a result.  Box Score

Articles from around the country

Yvonne Zacharias of the Vancouver Sun has an excellent piece on Nathan Yu of UBC

Ron Rauch of Victoria Times-Colonist profiles Victoria's transfer from Humber College/GTA Michael Acheampong  Vikes have an important matchup tonight with Fraser Valley

Manitoba / Regina video preview and story

Rita Mingo of Calgary Herald  Wins at a premium for 3-7 Dinos

Shoot and a miss.  Reds fall to X on weekend  Sean O'Neill The Brunswickan

OUA / Quebec Tonight

Thanks to Bill McLean and Wayne Thomas, readers have full insights into AUS and Canada West action this evening (see previous posts).  Here is a quick overview of the other games tonight, including the first of a two game series that could easily decide the OUA West pennant winner with #3 Lakehead at #10 ? Laurier.

Lakehead (9-1) at Laurier (9-1) 8 PM ET    One of the potentially best matchups in the entire OUA season could take place with 6'0" Greg Carter and 6'6" Maxwell Allin who both usually bring the ball up and start the offense at big times.  Carter is arguably the top defensive ball-hawk in the nation while Allin is big, strong and very skilled.  Another high-end matchup is 6'6" Kale Harrison with 6'6" Ryan Thomson - upon closer thought, these guys have very similar games although right now Harrison can score in more ways.  6'5" Matt Buckley, enjoying a consistently strong season will have his hands full with 6'6" Yoosrie Salhia, when he is in there.  Both teams are deep, love to push the ball and have All-Canadian-type talent.  Difference could be the athletic stable of guards the T-Wolves have and what that does wearing down the Hawks less-athletic backcourt.  6'2" Jamar Forde returns to offset some of that but this will be Forde's first action since October.  Both games on Hawkcast.

Undefeated Carleton visits Ryerson in a rematch of last season's OUA East semi-final which the Ravens took handily after pulling away mid-way through the second quarter.  Ryerson is as healthy as they've been all season with prized 6'4" freshman Aaron Best and 6'8" sophomore Bjorn Michaelson back in the lineup.  The Ravens should have 6'8" Kevin Churchill back in the lineup.  uOttawa Gee-Gees, without star 6'6" Warren Ward, visit Toronto to face the Varsity Blues who have been very inconsistent despite a lineup laden with fifth-year guys.  While their issues at the point have been well documented here, 6'0" Justin Holmes has competed much better as the lead guard recently.  Holmes will have to work against a deep, athletic backcourt led by freshman 6'1" Mike L'Africain and 6'3" sharpshooter Johnny Berhanemeskel.  Gee-Gees and Blues last met in the OUA East semi-final last season in Toronto for a spot at the OUA Final Four and Ward had arguably his greatest game at the University level with 40+ points on almost perfect shooting (don't recall specifics)...  In Kingston, York visits RMC and Laurentian meets Queen's with a win by the Vees all but assuring themselves a spot in the playoffs.

Laval at UQAM The third and fourth place teams in Quebec face off.

SSN Canada will carry Toronto and UQAM games.  Ryerson generally shows their games on webcast also along with live stats.  Check Ryerson's site for more information.

Capital Hoops Classic this Wednesday

While there is plenty of action across the country on the weekend, next Wednesday's Capital Hoops Classic is already garnering significant attention, at least in the Capital Region.  Expectations are for the crowd at Scotiabank Place to be in upwards of 10,000 for this annual event and House Edge Productions has a Capital Hoops Classic primer  that tees up the action.  As well, Tyson Hinz and Johnny Berhanemeskel were recently  guests on Team1200 radio and we are attempting to post that interview when it becomes available.