Mustang men win Brock battle
Western women net victory
Volleyball showdown at Western
Mustang men win Brock battle
By Jordan Bell
A wise basketball guru once said "defence wins games."
This statement could not have been more correct than it was Wednesday night at Alumni Hall. The Western Mustangs men's basketball team came up big at crunch time to hand the Brock Badgers a 69-63 loss.
On a night when the Mustangs couldn't buy a basket, their defence consistently made stops and kept the Badgers off the offensive glass. Mustang head coach Craig Boydell credited the ability of his squad to buckle down on the defensive end when their strong suit wasn't working.
"We have to think in terms of focusing on defensive objectives," Boydell said. "We won't always go 12-18 from the three point line as we did against Guelph."
In the key match-up of the game Mustang point guard Jimmy Grozelle and Badger point guard Jamie Duncan held each other in check, both finishing with six points. Duncan's lacklustre three for 11 shooting was the only difference between the two talented all-stars.
The Mustangs were fuelled by the relentless play of forward Chedo Ndur, who tallied 16 points on seven for 11 shooting. He also grabbed five steals. Explosive forward Andy Kwiatkowski had his typically strong offensive game finishing with 27 points, and centre Chris Brown added 13 points and eight rebounds.
On the other side of the ball, Ryan Dudley was nearly flawless from the field going 10 for 14 and throwing up 23 points. He also pulled down eight rebounds. The highly volatile Branko Miskovic added 12 points to help the Badger cause.
Brock came into the game with a 5-2 record, but not with a reputation as one of the more potent teams in the land. Ndur maintains that the Mustangs recognized the fierceness of the Badgers.
"You can't look past anyone in the [Ontario University Athletics West]," Ndur said. "Our league is consistently one of the toughest in Canada."
The Mustangs went into intermission up 39-29. Their control of the game from the opening tip seemed to be an illusion, and when Badger forward Ryan Dudley buried a three-pointer to even the score at 58, the tension mounted. The resilient Mustangs recaptured the lead on a Kwiatkowski up-and-under and eventually escaped with the win.
The points in the paint, a staple of the Mustang attack, were on show once again. The rebounding advantage was also drastically in favour of the Mustangs 36-23. Brock head coach Ken Murray was adamant about these facets of the Mustang power game being key.
"Andy and Chris are just a load to handle," Murray said. "It's very difficult for us to defend against them."
The Mustangs, the second ranked team in the nation, improved their regular season record to 6-2. The team travels to Laurier Saturday to face the Golden Hawks, a team they dismantled 104-62 a week ago.
If the Mustangs need any further motivation if their paths with Brock meet again, they might consider what Murray said about another potential meeting: "[If] we get into a one game situation, you have to feel pretty confident."