The first round of the OUA men's playoffs went tonight: the No. 3 seeds won and the #4 seeds lost. On the women's side, Ottawa and Windsor won their division finals.
Laurier 48 @ McMaster 56
A pair of double-doubles by Marko Gacic (12 points, 15 boards) and Mouctar Diaby (15, 11) paced the Marauders. As many rebounds as those players got, the rest of the team nearly matched as they grabbed 50 to Laurier's 30.
Tough night for Laurier: lost by 8; Jesse MacDonald and Kale Harrison combined to shoot 6-for-26. Throw in a 3-of-11 by Matthew Buckley, one of two Hawks to hit 10 on the night, and that's a lot of points they didn't get.
Waterloo 71 @ Guelph 63
It got a little close near the end, but Waterloo had a ten-point lead at many points in the fourth quarter and that's tough to come back from when there are six minutes left. Dan White had 25 of those 71; those came on 15 shots, whereas Duncan Milne's 23 came on 20 shots. Some of those 20 could have been blocked by Matt Hayes, who had three on the night.
It was surprising that, with 40 seconds left and down by four,, the Gryphs let the Warriors run off half the remaining game time instead of fouling. Better minds can analyze their last-minute decisions, but from the stands, that seemed strange, and it wasn't helped by their decision to try an alley-oop about ten seconds later. (Big Man on Campus has more.)
Queen's 48 @ Toronto 63
Only one Gael hit double digits (Robert Shaw with 12) as U of T won rather convincingly, it would appear. 11 points and 15 boards for Nick Snow; 14 and 11 for Ahmed Nazmi. The Varsity Blues meet Ottawa in the OUA semi-final for the third straight season.
York 71 @ Ryerson 69
Someone who attended this one needs to do it justice. Lions point guard Tut Ruach (22 points) got the first word and last word in as he helped bring the Lions after being down six points going into the fourth quarter.
Ruach, who led York to the OUA East title and the then-Final 10 in 2006, hit the go-ahead jumper with 18 seconds go and after Ryerson coughed up the ball off the inbounds pass (near as one can establish), made the clinching free throws. He scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, which also included a steal and subsequent jumper which sparked an 11-0 run to start the quarter, forcing Ryerson to empty its tanks.
Twenty-five points from Boris Bakovic (and 11 rebounds) added to Joseph Imbrogno's 14 and 17, combined with 15 more points from Ryan McNeilly would, you'd think, be enough for Ryerson. Four blocks from York's Stephan Hayes presumably swung things back towards the Lions' side, and maybe the minutes logged by those three Rams (40, 37, and 39 respectively) had something to do with it too, as they had to empty their tanks in the fourth after coughing up the lead.
We have Waterloo at Western, McMaster at Windsor, Toronto at Ottawa, and York at Carleton in Saturday's division semi-finals.
East final; Ottawa, 68, Toronto 55: The Gee-Gees have traversed from turmoil to triumph (too many words starting with T), qualifying for the Final 8 one season after four veterans quite the team early in the season, hastening a coaching change at the end of the season.
Allison Forbes and Kelly Weir (who said Weir might be good for an outlier performance?) each had 14 points for Ottawa. The Gee-Gees, as they have most of the season under first-year coach Andy Sparks, played tough D (32.8% shooting and just 21 second-half points for Toronto) and were 24-of-27 at the foul line, including 10-of-11 by Forbes.
West final; No. 2 Windsor 82, No. 8 Western 61: A 23-point night from Dranadia Roc and 21 from Alisa Wulff (on 5-of-6 shooting) accounted for most of the damage for the Lancers, who had this one put away after three quarters.
Amanda Anderson, one of six Mustangs in her fourth year of eligibility (Bess Lennox, the OUA rebounding champ, is done), had 28 points.