Ryerson and Carleton Aiming for Rematch

 

Ryerson and Carleton favoured to meet in Championship Final

Can any other team de-rail the favoured Rams – Ravens ?

Final 8  – Round 1 Previews – Thursday games (Atlantic Time)

12 Noon …   #2 Carleton Ravens  vs #7 Calgary Dinos 

The Ravens are aiming at winning their 7th straight National title, and they beat Calgary 101-79 last March in that 6th consecutive triumph.  Coach Dave Smart is the master at preparing his team for this 4 day event, and the Ravens, who are 27-1 against U-Sports teams this season are a daunting foe.

Kaza Kajami-Keane is the catalyst for Carleton’s offense. photo – Ottawa Citizen

Carleton are led by the OUA Player of the Year, Connor Wood, a 6-4, 5th year shooting guard, who pulls the trigger on the long ball as well as anyone in this field.  His back-court partner, Kaza Kajami-Keane, is a powerful, quick play-maker, who scores nearly 15 ppg, but is really the floor leader. The Ravens power in the post will be a huge plus again this Final 8 Tournament, with Eddie Ekiyor, a 6-8 rookie, teaming up with 6-7 Ryan Ejim, a 5th year vet who was so strong in the paint in last year’s win. As back-up, CU has 6-11, Cameron Smyth, a 4th year from Charles Tupper in Vancouver.  They are big, and can overwhelm  most teams.

Calgary were 24-5 vs all Canadian universities, are the ‘wildcard’ pick, and the 3rd Canada West team in the 8 team draw. The Dinos are a fast-paced attacking team, with 5th year wing man Thomas Cooper their scoring leader at 23 ppg.  Cooper will hope to have better luck against the Ravens defenders  in this re-match with Carleton, after he and the Dinos were thwarted in the 2016 Final.

UC  have had a run of injuries late in the season, which has depleted their very deep roster.  Lars Schleuter, a 6-7 wing man with a dangerous 3 point shot, has been out with a high-ankle sprain.  Also on the shelf was Dallas Karch, a 5th year, 6-7 forward, whose size and athleticism has been a big boost for UC.  Jasdeep Gill, another 5th year wing with the ability to score, has had ankle / leg issues, and is a ‘possible’ for Thursday’s game.

David Kapinga, the speedy 3rd year UC point man, can shoot the 3, and put pressure on opposing ball-handlers.  Jhony Verrone, a muscular 6-0, 4th year combo guard from Montreal is proving his worth as a versatile defender.  Mitch Ligertwood is a 6-6, hard-nosed, 4th year  post man, who should be the key guy inside in this smaller Dinos line-up.

Anytime Carleton plays, they are the favourites.  Eastern experts suggest this could be their best team yet. That says a lot about anyone else’s chances, but their lone loss did take place last Saturday.  Calgary a distinct long-shot in this Tournament opener.     Watch on U-Sports TV 1     9 am Mountain

 

2:00 pm  … #3 McGill Redmen   vs  #6  Manitoba Bisons

The Redmen have been dominant in the 5 member RSEQ in recent seasons, as they return to the Nationals for the 5th straight time.  Coached by Quebec Coach of the Year, David DeAveiro, the Redmen are a solid defensive club, with an experienced line-up, even without any 5th year seniors. 

McGill’s  top scorers are guards Jenning Leung (14.5 ppg) , a 6-4, 4th year shooter, who is a native of the Philippines, and 6-2, 4th year, Dale Ogundokun (12.7 ppg/ 7 rebs/ 3.5 assists).  Ogundokun, a Hamilton, ON high school star, was honoured as the Quebec Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

Up front the Redmen have 3rd year, 6-8 Noah Daoust, and 6-6 Michael Peterkin, but may be missing their top big man, 4th year, Francois Bourque, a rugged rebounder/scorer/defender who has missed 3 games with an undisclosed injury.

Manitoba have reached this National Tournament for the 1st time in over 30 years, and their seniors are ‘jacked’ with the prospect of competing on this ‘big stage’. Says 4th year  shooting guard , A.J. Basi “Our goal was to get to Halifax at first.  This is like our last week together so we want to make the most of it and we’re all focused on that first game on Thursday against McGill.” (From Global News – Russ Hobson).

Manitoba’s high scoring guard, Justus Alleyn photo – UM Athletics

Basi (13.6 ppg) is one of their key scorers, with his 3 point acumen, and he can be a ball-hawk on defense.  The Herd has a powerful leader in 6-5, 4th year Keith Omoerah, who scores 13.2 ppg, grabs 8.7 rebs and can defend inside and out. Ilarion Bonhomme, a quick, 5-10 import (Washington, DC) point man triggers the Bisons break, and 6-3 Justus Alleyn, is their top scorer at 17.5 ppg, and shooting over 40% from 3 point range.

The Bisons and Redmen should make for a fascinating match-up … McGill with their defense, and Manitoba a quick-strike offense.  This may go down to the wire, if UM can get the hot shooting in a big arena .    (12 noon Central time) 

 

6:00 pm  …   #1  Ryerson Rams  vs  #8  Saint Marys Huskies –  On the surface, this 1-8 match-up suggests a Ryerson win, but the ‘home team’ Huskies will want to have a say before we fill in our semi-final bracket !

Adika Peter- McNeilly is a force for the OUA champion , Ryerson      photo – Rams Athletics

For the 2nd straight season, the Rams are champions of the OUA, having beaten Carleton (86-79) on the Ravens’ home court this time around.  Coach Roy Rana has a team ‘on a roll’, having won 7 of their last 8 and are 22-4 vs U-Sports teams this season.  Ryerson has a pressing, running, and 3 point shooting attack, paced by Adika Peter-McNeilly, a 6-3, 5th year guard, who is the high scorer, but also a quick and headsy defender.  His ‘right-hand man’ is 6-5, 4th year wing, Ammanuel Diressa, who is the #1 disruptor on the defensive end, but also scores in bunches.

The Rams are deep in talent, with 6-8 Adam Voll a big body inside, and 6-6 , Juwon Grannum, a 5th year rebounder, who contributes as well to the 40% + 3 point shooting for the team. Guards Myles Charvis, a former rookie sensation at Waterloo, and quick point man, Roshane Roberts, keep the pressure  coming on defense.

Saint Marys have a history in this National Tournament, having 4 titles to their credit, and have a knack for answering the bell at the Atlantic Tournament, making many Nationals Final 8s.  This year’s squad had a 23-10 U-Sports record, but had limited play outside the Maritimes.

Their core group are led by 5-9 point man, Marquis Clayton, one of 6 Huskies in their 5th year.  Clayton scores 19 ppg, and keys their defense. Theon Reefer, a 6-6, 5th year swing-man, has the quickness to make an impact at both ends, and Brian Rouse, a 6-4 guard, is a tough match-up with his size and scoring touch.  The Huskies have size and experience with 6-8, 5th year post, Achuil Lual, and 6-6, 3rd year, Kingston, ON product, Brent Martindale.

A close 2nd (60-63) to the AUS champs, Dalhousie, Saint Marys pose a threat to Ryerson if they can get their offense on track against the Rams’ press.  This game will be at a very high pace, and turnovers could kill that Huskies attack. Ryerson should prevail, but Saint Marys know this court very well.

 

8:00 pm …   #4 Alberta Golden Bears  vs #5 Dalhousie Tigers –  Two League champions tip-off in the feature game of the night on Thursday, and aggressive defense is a calling card for both teams.

Alberta’s Mamadou Gueye has been a play-off stand-out for the Bears this season.

The Bears are playing their best basketball of the season at just the right time, with an impressive weekend of play in capturing their 12th Canada West  title with convincing wins over Saskatchewan 83-70, and Manitoba 92-73.  They are among the League leaders in points allowed at 74 ppg, and they shoot a CW best 40.6% from 3 point range.

Their forward combo of 4th year Mamadou Gueye, a 6-6 Quebec native, and 2nd year Brody Clarke, a 6-7  Toronto product gives them inside scoring and leads a strong rebounding team effort.  Clarke, the son of former Canada national team star, Norm Clarke ,  will require extra attention from Dal defenders in the paint.  Gueye saved his best games for the Canada West Final 4, and he is a threat from anywhere with his offensive explosiveness.

Austin Waddoups, a 6-2 import guard (Utah)  has been a major addition, and he controls the pace as a point man, but also hits the timely trey on a regular basis. Coach Barnaby Craddock utilizes guards Dwan Williams (6-2, 2nd year, Toronto)   and  6-5 , 4th year, import shooter, Geoff Pippus as complimentary weapons, and both can score when needed.  7-1 Brett Roughead is in his 5th year, and can make things tough on the interior.

Dalhousie will have big local support, and count on their veteran core of senior vets Kashrell Lawrence, Richie Kanza Mata, and Sven Stammberger to lead the way.  The Tigers return to this Final 8 for the 2nd straight season, with a 25-10 record, and wins over Ryerson and Brock earlier this year.

Lawrence,  a 5th year, and only 6-2, is a muscular dynamo up front, and galvanizes teammates and Dal fans with his rugged play on the boards, and in scoring against bigger opponents. Kanza Mata was voted the AUS Defensive Player of the Year, but he can also score from an offense that led the Atlantic League in FG% at almost 47%.

Last season’s U-Sports Rookie of the Year, 6-0 Jordan Aquino-Serjue, is a valuable 6th man off the bench, and 5th year guard, 6-3 Jared Reid, is a solid wing man with a nice offensive game.  In reserve, the Tigers have a pair of big posts in 6-7 Ryall Stroud (tsf Queen’s), and 6-10 import, Sascha Kappos (Miami, FL) .

This promises to be an entertaining finale for Thursday’s card, and picking a winner here may be tough.  Both teams will aim to make life difficult with physical defense, and the ability of the scorers on both squads to break free will be paramount.   This is a 5 pm Mountain tip-off.

Remember, you can   Watch on U-Sports TV 1

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Overtime –

Dave Smart, Carleton, is Canada’s winningest coach

  • Coaching records (U-Sports overall) for the 8 Head coaches in this tournament –    Dave Smart, Carleton – 520-46 (.919) … Roy Rana, Ryerson – 139-69 (.668)  … Dave De Aveiro, Ottawa / McGill – 341-183 (.651) … Jonah Taussig, Saint Marys – 99-67 (.596) … Barnaby Craddock – Brandon, UFV, Alberta – 221-151 (.594) … Rick Plato, Dalhousie – 76-53 (.589) … Dan Vanhooren, Calgary – 304-213 (.588) … Kirby Schepp, Manitoba – 112-124 (.475)
  • This National Championship Final 8 Tournament returns to Halifax for the first time since 2012.  The event will have been played in this venue a total of 30 times in the 44 years since competition began back in 1963.

 

 

Road Teams Look Good In Opening Games

 

 

Bisons shock UBC,  ‘Pack play Dinos tough, and Winnipeg scares the Huskies

3 of the 4 Canada West  1/4 Finals see the visiting underdogs play inspired games on the opening night.  The Manitoba Bisons go and hand the #2 UBC Thunderbirds their only home loss so far this season.  The ‘road warrior’ TRU Wolves gave as much as they could before bowing by a slim margin to UC. #9  Saskatchewan needed some last minute heroics to subdue a fired up Winnipeg team by the single point.

  Manitoba 79   #2 UBC  75 –   The Bisons plant the seed of doubt, with some good clutch shooting and very strong team rebounding (42-38 over UBC) .  Faced with a looming comeback bid from the home side, and seeing their 10 point lead disappear with 3 minutes left, the Herd circle and hold their ground.  The last of 4 treys from A. J. Basi and 5 free throws from Ilarion Bonhomme seal the deal.

UBC may have lost this for a number of reasons, but their free throw average of 52% (13/25)  wasn’t nearly up to the 22/30 = 73% for Manitoba. Basi leads the Brown with 22 points, while Keith Omoerah adds a nifty double of 17 pts/ 15 boards.  Bonhomme controls the attack at key times , as he counts 12 points/ 6 rebs/ 3 assists.

The T-Birds appear poised in the 4th, but just did not have their rhythm in the last 2 minutes, with shot opportunities falling off the rim. Jordan Jensen-Whyte 22 points led UBC, with Will Ondrik adding 16 / 5 rebs. Conor Morgan was not his usual self, tallying just 12 points on 5/16 from the floor.   Box Score     Game 2 on Friday is at 7 pm Pacific.

 

David Kapinga is the Calgary Dinos’ defensive ace   photo – David Moll

#6  Calgary  75  Thompson Rivers 71 –  A tale of 2 halves, as the Wolf Pack recover from a 19 point 1st half deficit, and win the 3rd quarter 24 – 9, finishing the 2nd half with 47.  Calgary shoot 44% to start the game, but go ice cold in the 2nd half, finishing at 35%. TRU are 34% after 20 minutes, but hit 53% in the last 20 minutes.

Volodymyr Iegorov has a monster game for the Orange, scoring 27 and grabbing 15 rebounds, and dealing out 6 assists.  Derek Rhodes with 14 pts and Trent Monkman on 10 help the Thompson Rivers cause.  The Dinos secured the win with a stronger 4th quarter, with key hoops from guards Jhony Verrone and David Kapinga down the stretch.

Thomas Cooper with 21 points/ 10 rebounds/7 assists led the UC attack, backed by Kapinga’s 19 pts/ 6 rebounds/ 6 steals.  The Dinos get all they could have expected from a Thompson Rivers squad whose busy play-off travel schedule  we have chronicled.  The Wolves fought extremely hard to get back in, and came close to tying it up in the last minutes. Box Score    Game time for the 2nd in the best of 3 is 7 pm Friday.

 

#9  Saskatchewan 85  Winnipeg 84 –  The Huskies pull out the win, as they come off the ropes in the final 2 minutes, courtesy of a clutch trey from Trevor Severinski to tie it at 81, then a dunk and a highlight reel shot block from Shane Osayande. The teams are back and forth in this one, with multiple lead changes in the final 20 minutes. U of S shooters hit 51%, as Osayande has another huge night as their leader;  the 6-6 post man scores 26 points / 15 rebounds/ and 5 big blocks. Lawrence Moore with 15 pts/ 7 rebs, and Trevor Severinski hitting 13 pts on 4 of 8 from 3 point range are also key to this win.

The Ws looked like winners  at times in the final 10 minutes, but could not quite get the horses in the corral. Their impressive rookie, Narcisse Ambanza, leads the Wesmen with 24 pts, aided by Jamar Farley’s 16 on 4/6 from outside. Sean Tarver plays his 6th man role nicely, scoring 18 points/ 4 rebounds.   Denzel Lynch-Blair, their high scoring guard is absent for Winnipeg in this game, and not sure why?

 Box Score    Game 2 is at 8:30 again on Friday.

 

#8 Alberta 80  Lethbridge 59 –  Not close in this one, as the Bears’ defense make the

Mamadou Gueye leads the Bears over UL  photo – Bears Athletics

Pronghorns attack largely ineffective.  Lethbridge are a woeful 27% FG on the night, and their floor leader, Dejon Burdeaux leaves the game mid-way in the final frame with just 7 points.

Alberta are led by wing man, Mamadou Gueye, with a solid double-double of 20 points/ 10 rebounds. Geoff Pippus hits 4/6 from outside for 14 points, and Dwan Williams adds 12 pts/ 5 rebs.   Box Score     Game 2 is Friday at 8 pm Mountain.

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In the East –  Wednesday

Ontario Play-offs – Round 1 –  Nipissing 77 Queens 74 ,  Laurentian 88  Laurier 72 ,  Toronto 82  Lakehead 61,  McMaster 71  Windsor  63

Saturday’s Quarter Finals –  at #1 Carleton  McMaster , at #3 Ryerson  Nipissing, at #4 Ottawa Laurentian,  at #5 Brock  Toronto

 Quebec –  Concordia 79  Bishops 76, and on Thursday, it was McGill 62  Laval 45

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Overtime –

  • CW Women’s 1/4 Finals –  at  #3 Regina 82 Trinity W 59,  at #6 Winnipeg 82  Victoria 70, at # 8 Saskatchewan 78 Fraser V. 55 ,  at Alberta 62  UBC 58  … all the home sides come out on top.
  • “We’re not celebrating yet”, said Manitoba Bisons Coach Kirby Schepp  after his team’s big game 1 win at UBC.  “This was a physical game, and our guys hung in there when it counted.”
  • It was a last second desperation heave by Winnipeg’s Jamar Farley that closed the score to just 1 point at the buzzer, but it was a sobering sight to see what might have been in this very tight game.

Huskies Hot – Hands Earn Road Win

 

Furious Dinos rally falls just short

Matt Forbes leads the Huskies to a big win in Calgary     photo – Huskies Athletics

Saskatchewan Huskies 83  at  #5 Calgary Dinos  81 –  It was a cake-walk in progress for the visiting Huskies for the first 30 minutes (70-51). U of S were on their way to burying 10/20 from 3 point range, led by 5 from import guard, Lawrence Moore, who had 21 pts on the night.  The ‘Dogs were out-working Calgary on the boards, getting loose balls and hitting their open shots (53% from the floor).  But UC (11-3) launched an improbable 4th quarter come-back fuelled by the 25 points/ 11 rebounds from Thomas Cooper, treys from David Kapinga (16 pts) and  Mambi Diawara (13). Cutting the lead to 2 with seconds left after forcing 21 Huskies turnovers for the game, a tying shot attempt rimmed out.  Saskatchewan moves up to 9-5, with 22 pts/ 8 boards from big Matt Forbes and a double of 16 pts/ 10 rebs from Shane Osayande.      Box Score   

 #3 UBC Thunderbirds 88  at  Mt. Royal Cougars 79 –  After Mt. Royal cut their lead to 6 after 3/4s, the Thunderbirds steadied in the final frame to claim their 13th win vs just 1 loss. 51 first half points for the vistors staked them to a solid lead, as UBC shoots 52% from the floor and 19/22 (86%) from the line tonight.  The Cougars get just 8/11 free throws, and that spelled a big difference in the result. Conor Morgan with 24 points/ 7 rebs and Jordan Jensen-Whyte 19 pts/ 7 rebs/ 6 assts led the ‘Birds’ attack.  MRU        ( 7-7) got a big game from Brett Layton, as he counts 31 pts/ 8 rebs; he got help from Derek Wolf with 16 and Ryan Cunningham’s 15 points.   Box Score  

at #6 Alberta Golden Bears  95 Fraser Valley  78  –  Up by 6 at the break, Alberta pulls away with 52 in the 2nd half, as 6 Bears tally 11 pts or better. Brody Clarke counts a double of 11 pts/ 12 boards, while Mamadou Gueye is high man for U of A with 18 pts, and Dwan Williams 13 pts/ 9 rebs. Alberta (12-4) has a 16/19  vs 4/9 free throw advantage, but UFV uses the long-ball effectively again, with 14/26 for 54% from 3. Manny Dulay has a huge game for the Cascades (6-8) with 27 pts on 8/10 from outside, and Denver Sparks-Guest tosses in 18 points in support.   Box Score  

Lethbridge Pronghorns 94 at   Victoria Vikes 81  –  Up by 5 at the half, the Vikes give up 54 points in the 2nd to absorb their 9th loss vs 5 wins. The ‘Horns (10-6) shoot a red-hot 61% from the floor, as Dejon Burdeaux is high with 25 pts/ 5 rebs/ 6 asst, and Elliott Sentance has 15 pts including 4/4 from outside. Grant Sitton has another big offensivee night for Vic with 32 points, as he goes 4/8 from 3 pt range, and adds 10 rebounds for his double. Justin Kinnear chips in with 15 pts/4 rebs, but his Vikes are fading from the playoff picture.    Box Score  

at Brandon Bobcats 95  Regina Cougars 85 –  This one started slowly, with the ‘Cats

Coach Gil Cheung has his Bobcats tracking a play-off berth

up 38-30 after 20 minutes, then someone threw gasoline on the fire!   It was 57-55 Brandon in the 2nd half as it turned into a fire-works show. The ‘Bobcats shoot 53% from the floor, and Coach Gil Cheung’s crew claim their 2nd series sweep of the Canada West season, and are now 7-9, with Regina dropping to 6-8 .  BU’s big men, Earl Thompson Jr (25 pts/10 rebs) and John Paul (13 pts/11 boards) both registered doubles.  The ‘Cats shooting ace, Tyvon Cooper shone again, with 25 points.  Regina got 22 points from Brandon Tull, and 15 from Carter Millar off the bench, but the Cougars lose their 5th straight.  Box Score 

Manitoba Bisons 115 at Trinity Western Spartans 91  –  No holds barred in this tilt, as the ‘goalies are pulled in favour of an extra 3 point shooter’ on both sides. The Bisons (8-6) light it up with 56% from the floor, and they amass 64 points in the 2 middle frames.  Ilarion Bonhomme (5th year import guard) scores 24, with 6 rebs/ 7 assts, while AJ Basi adds 21 points.  Trinity has 6 players in double digits, with 17 pts/ 6 rebs from Vartan Tanielian;  the Spartans (2-12) hit only 37.5% from the floor, however.   Box Score

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In the East on Saturday –  

AUS – Saint Marys 102  Cape Breton 72  , UNB 66  at #9 Dalhousie 63 , at Memorial 86         St. FX 83

Quebec –  UQAM 98  Bishops 79 ,   at #7 McGill 63  Concordia  51

OUA –  #1  Carleton 96 Lakehead 58,  #2 Ottawa 85 Guelph 68 , #4  Ryerson 100  Waterloo 68,   #8 Brock 82 York 64 ,  #10 McMaster 87 Queens 75 ,  Algoma 79 Windsor 78 , Laurier 91 Toronto 80

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Overtime – 

  • Canada West Women’s scores on Saturday … Regina 75  Brandon 55 ,    UBC 87  Mt. Royal 59,  Saskatchewan  91  Calgary 70  , Alberta 56   UFV 53 , Trinity W 93 Manitoba 71 ,  Victoria 72  Lethbridge 61
  •  After their  big Friday road  win over Alberta ,  UFV head coach Adam Friesen said,  “We’ve been playing well in the second semester, and the guys are just playing with a confidence and belief and togetherness that makes us a challenging team – a team that you need to play well to beat,   “We were able to hit some really clutch shots down the stretch tonight to pull it out.”    Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics
  • Longest win streaks in Canada West Men’s  at this moment …  Manitoba 6, UBC 5, …  no one else more than 2.

CIS Update – League Standings


 

 

League standings –

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 8.07.22 AM

 

 

 

 

Ryerson beats Carleton and Ottawa in league play, and we have quite a separation in all but the OUA West.  Ottawa, Carleton, Ryerson, Brock, McMaster, and maybe Queen’s are in with a chance in the playoffs.  In the West, we have a scramble between Western, Laurier, and Windsor.   Our guess –  Ryerson and Ottawa , then a battle between Carleton, Brock, and McMaster for the 3rd OUA spot in Nationals. The Ontario league plays 5 more ‘weeks’ in the regular season; plenty of games left!

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 8.07.41 AM

 

 

 

 

Further East –

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 8.08.11 AM

The Atlantic is a dog-fight all the way …  from #1, UPEI, to #7, Saint Marys, with St FX, unusually, on the outside this campaign. Because of the 5 weeks of play remaining in the regular season, and the AUS Tournament (Halifax) format, it is almost impossible to make any definitive choices at this stage.

 in Quebec the same would hold true, where the air has gone out of the McGill balloon, with 2 losses to cross-town rival, Concordia. The Stingers , Redmen, Laval, and UQAM will play in the semi-finals it would appear most likely;  it’s too early to be picking a tournament winner, and their lone CIS Nationals rep.


 

UnknownCanada West Pioneer Division games –   all games are on Canada West TV
Friday  –    From East to West (early-late) –
8 pm  Central  –  Regina at Manitoba   …    Saskatchewan at Winnipeg
8 pm Mountain  – Alberta at Lethbridge
8 pm Pacific  –  Brandon at Trinity Western      …   UBC at Victoria
Saturday –  (early – late)
4 pm Central – Saskatchewan at Winnipeg
6 pm  Central – Regina at Manitoba
7 pm Mountain – Alberta at Lethbridge
7 pm Pacific –  Brandon at  TWU  …   UBC – UVic
Calgary has a bye.  All Explorer Division teams have a break this week.


 CIS Scores –  
OUA Weds – Brock 83  Guelph 49,  Windsor 90  Laurier  78, Western 65  Waterloo  46


Overtime –   

  •  We missed it back in December, but Alberta post man, Sebastian Denault apparently returned to Quebec over the holiday, and will not play for the Bears.  Also missing from their line-up since the mid-season break is Toronto guard, D’Wan Williams; this leaves Jonah Wyessa (Father Lacombe HS, Calgary) as their point guard coming off the bench in support of starter, Colby Jackson.