Men's basketball Top 10: Stingers, Tigers knocked off

Updates from Saturday afternoon in the OUA West. Western, not to any great surprise, gave a young McMaster team some comeuppance with a 26-point win and tightened their hold on top spot in the division, while Windsor did some healing with a win at Laurier.
  1. Carleton (1) — Had few problems beating York (89-72) and Laurentian (110-58).

    This actually happened: Carleton power forward Kevin McCleery and point guard Mike Kenny were the subject of an Ottawa Sun feature this week, and they were high scorers for the Ravens Friday vs. Laurentian, totalling 25 and 16 points. (Yes, Carleton won.)

    Incidentally, Dave Smart will be on The Team 1200 in Ottawa at 10:45 a.m. Eastern on Monday, for anyone who wants to listen.
  2. Ottawa (5) — The OUA East's top rookie, Warren Ward, had 22 points Saturday to help the Gee-Gees pull away for an 83-64 win over Laurentian after leading by just a point at halftime. The Gee-Gees game at Queen's next Friday should give a better idea of how they're straddling the gap between the East's Big Two and (this year, anyway) Little Six.

    Fatigue might have been a factor. A York/Laurentian road trip is no treat for an Eastern Ontario team. The Gee-Gees trip from Toronto (they beat York 86-57 Friday, with Josh Gibson-Bascombe hooping 20) to Sudbury was delayed after the women's game went three overtimes.
  3. UBC (2) — Earned a pair home wins over Winnipeg and Manitoba, with Blain Labranche hooping 25 points Saturday in a 91-64 win over the U of M. It was actually tied 42-all at the half.

    UBC beat Winnipeg 98-58 on Friday. They have a two-game trip to Fraser Valley next weekend before playing Calgary on Jan. 31.
  4. Calgary (13) — Swept Lethbridge (100-82 and 88-75) in their last games before beginning a four-game stretch vs. B.C. opponents, including Simon Fraser and Trinity Western next weekend and a game at UBC on Jan. 31.

    Henry Bekkering returned Friday and scored a game-high 28 points as the Dinos won going away after going into the half down by a bucket. Calgary's bench totalled only 25 points in the two games. That seems a bit low when a Top 5 team is playing a sub-.500 club.
  5. St. Francis Xavier (7) — Swept Memorial, 71-60 and 94-68. They scored 120 points over their last five quarters of basketball. Guard Tyler Richards had 25 points in the first game.
  6. Concordia (9) — They scored 82 points in each game vs. McGill, winning the road game after losing at home Friday. Jamal Gallier responded well with 19 points and 17 rebounds on Saturday, one game after he was taken out early after being outplayed by McGill's Michael White, whom he dwarfs by three inches and 65 pounds.

    McGill, led White's 22 points and 15 boards, played probably its best game so far this season on Friday.

  7. Western (t-11) — Point guard Matthew Curtis had a game-high nine assists to help direct the Mustangs' 81-55 rout of McMaster on Saturday in at London's Alumni Hall. Alex Brzozowicz had 18 points in 20 minutes, sinking 5-of-7 threes. Keenan Jeppeson had a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double as fellow big Colin Laforme was limited to 16 minutes due to foul trouble. Mac has made strides since I saw them in person two months ago, but they're still a WIP.
  8. Windsor (t-11) — All-Canadian candidate Greg Surmacz went off for 27 points in the Lancers' 75-62 win over an overmatched Laurier team Saturday. Windsor shot close to 55% from the field, but went just 4-of-13 from the foul line.

    Windsor's Craig Oliver might have been quoting a line from the season opener of Friday Night Lights: "I need something good to happen," lately. They had something akin to that Saturday.
  9. Dalhousie (19) — The Tigers ran hot and cold all weekend. A nine-point third quarter did them in Saturday in a 65-57 loss to Cape Breton. Their best player, Simon Farine, gutted out a 21-point night, but on 6-of-16 shooting. Granted, when the No. 1 and No. 4 teams in scoring defence are playing, it's not on the shooters.

    One night earlier, a 30-point first quarter helped the Tigers down UPEI 77-61. Farine had a 17-point, eight-rebound, five-assist night.

    In the AUS, three teams are 7-3 Dal, Cape Breton and Saint Mary's. With the four-point games, the Tigers are in second with 20 points.
  10. Victoria (3) — Beat Winnipeg 76-55 on Saturday, with Jeff Spoor (10 points in 17 minutes), Julian Spear Chief-Morris (nine in 14) and Cyril Indome (eight in 15) having good nights coming off the bench.

    It's unclear what to read into the Vikes' 84-80 win over Manitoba Friday (Mitch Gudgeon had 17 points). The Vikes had a 12-point lead going into the fourth quarter before Manitoba, which made 14 three-balls (five each from Nathan Dixon and Chris Pereira) rallied.

    UVic also has a two-game series next week, at Thompson Rivers.
Outside the top 10
  • Saint Mary's 113-111 overtime win over UPEI is an eye-opener. The 224 points topped the output from any NBA game played Saturday and it's testament to how dangerous the Huskies can be. Mark McLaughlin (25 points) and Joey "King Handles" Haywood (24) never left the court each played the entire game, while Ikeobi Uchegbu and Jack Gallinaugh also topped 20.

    Sophomore big man Luke Reynolds also had 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench in 16 minutes, which was invaluable.
  • There are plenty of weeks when Ryerson big Boris Bakovic, the CIS scoring leader, could be recognized, but he'll probably get some officially from the OUA after back-to-back 31 points vs. RMC and Queen's. He upped his scoring average to 26.6 points.

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  1. I really don't like this season's Quebec schedule, specifically all the back-to-backs against the same team.

    As shown by the recent McGill - Concordia games, it's very difficult to beat the same opponent twice in 24 hours - kind of like sweeping a double-header in baseball.

    The Quebec conference may very well have some top-notch teams, but it won't show in the won-loss records: the conference winner will likely wind up with mediocre 9-7 or 10-6 records on account of this somewhat bizarre schedule.

  2. Top game scores from this week:

    31.2 Michael Anderson (UNB, 1/18)
    28.8* Mark McLaughlin (Saint Mary's, 1/17)
    28.2 Ross Bekkering (Calgary, 1/17)
    26.9 Joey Haywood (Saint Mary's, 1/13)
    26.2 Alex Traikov (Acadia, 1/13)
    25.5 Alex Traikov (Acadia, 1/18)

    * overtime game

    Anderson had 37 points in 29 minutes. It's hard for him not to top the list.

    I don't know much about Traikov, but those two game scores are top-25 among some 5600 individual game scores so far. Pretty impressive week for him.

  3. Traikov's an emerging big for Acadia, a player out of Mississauga.
    He played in the shadow of Achuil Lual and Leo Saintil last season.

    Not sure about Traikov's M.O. on offence. He's a burly guy, 6-foot-6 and 230 lbs. He came up with some big baskets off the bench when Acadia beat X in the AUS championship two seasons ago.