Men's basketball Top 10: Concentrated power of Will drives X

Will Silver's triple-double in St. FX's comeback win at Acadia and Henry Bekkering's big night for Calgary are highlights from this weekend; Cape Breton lost in its first game as a ranked team. Both Cape Breton and St. FX are in action Sunday.
  1. Carleton — Saturday's 74-54 road win over Toronto was the first time the Ravens have been kept below 80 points since November. One read into that is that Carleton probably didn't mind getting into a defensive grind, just as a reminder that points are supposed to be hard to come by (they had averaged 97.5 points in their last 11 OUA games).

    Carleton also beat Ryerson 98-62 Friday. Stu Turnbull was top scorer both nights, with 23 vs. Rye and 18 vs. U of T. Emerging frosh Kyle Smendziuk and second-year man Cole Hobin each scoring in double figures vs. the Rams.
  2. UBC — Beat Thompson Rivers (89-73) and Fraser Valley (84-63) to finish the regular season 21-2. notes that Chris Dyck, Bryson

    The T-Birds will face Simon Fraser in a best-of-3 division semifinal.

    Fifth-year seniors Chris Dyck (15 points, eight rebounds) and Bryson Kool (14 and seven), led a balanced scoring effort vs. Fraser Valley. The third fifth-year T-Bird, Matt Rachar, hooped 11 points as the trio played their final home games (glove tap: Little Man on Campus).

    Cascades freshman Sam Freeman had a near-perfect shooting night, making 6-of-7 from the floor for a game-high 18 points.

    UBC reserve guard Nathan Yu had 14 points in 17 minutes on Friday, making 4-of-7 threes.
  3. Ottawa — Won at Toronto (80-72) and Ryerson (89-70). Their scoring pretty much came exclusively through six players: Dax Dessureault (37 points, 20 rebounds over the two games), guards Josh Gibson-Bascombe and Josh Wright, wing Donnie Gibson and forwards David Labentowicz and Warren (Dub Dub) Ward. Granted, most teams rely on 5-6 players for most of their points.

    Ottawa shot 85% from the foul line over the two games (40-of-47).

    Toronto, meantime, probably served notice that it can be very tough in the playoffs.

  4. Calgary — The Dinos had a mutually satisfactory final series vs. Alberta, losing 86-76 in U of A coach Don Horwood's final regular-season game Saturday after a 99-92 win Friday.

    Henry Bekkering had a monster 41-point effort in the 99-92 Dinos win in the first game. Calgary can put up numbers when it has stable guard play; Jamie McLeod had eight assists.
  5. St. FX — X small-balled Acadia to death on Sunday, wining 97-80 on the road after a 78-68 win on their home floor.

    Steve Konchalski did not give more than 15 minutes to any player taller than 6-foot-5, as X put up 85 points through the first three quarters. Tyler Richards had 23 points and seven assists, while most of the minutes went to Christian Upshaw, Will Silver, defensive stopped Dwayne Johnson and two 6-5 guys Terrence Taylor and soph forward Chad Warren, a native Newfoundlander who had 14 points in 17 minutes.

    On Friday, Upshaw did not play, so Silver, who's played alongside him and Richards since they were each at St. Patrick's High School in Halifax, stepped in and delivered with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

    X was minus-12 on the boards in that 17-point over Acadia, but a 26-9 margin in turnovers evened that out. Friday, X pulled off a 26-point swing in the second half. Centre Alberto Rodriguez also had 14 points and 10 boards despite foul trouble.
  6. Western — Beat Lakehead twice, 77-68 and 87-58, improving to 15-3 in the OUA West.

    Second-year point guard Ryan Barbeau scored 16 points off the bench; Keenan Jeppesen had an 18-point, 14-rebound double-double in the second game. Coach Brad Campbell's team's magic number for clinching the OUA West regular-season title is down to two.
  7. UVic — Forward Mitch Gudgeon had double-doubles in both of the Vikes' regular-season ending wins over Fraser Valley (84-65) and Thompson Rivers (82-56), including a 21-point, 20-rebound night in the first game.

    The Vikes will face Trinity Western in a best-of-3 first-round series. The Spartans having home-court advantage presuming they beat Winnipeg on Saturday.
  8. Concordia — Swept Laval, 77-58 on the road and 75-66 at home. Evens Laroche was the men of the match each night. He had a team-high 17 in the first game, and was on the receiving end of an alley-oop dunk which staggered Laval in the late going on Saturday.

    Guard Damian Buckley had a team-high 19 on Saturday, topping 1,000 points for his career. In light of the 16-game regular seasons in the Q, that's a noteworthy feat.
  9. Windsor — Are back in the driver's seat for a first-round bye in the OUA West after a 90-70 home win over Brock of Saturday, led by Isaac Kuon's 21 points, seven rebounds and three steals (Greg Surmacz also hooped 19, with 13 rebounds). Owen White had 33 points for Brock.

    The Lancers moved one game ahead of McMaster, which lost to Laurier, 96-88 in overtime (despite Mouctar Diaby posting 24 points and 17 rebounds, despite missing much of the second quarter with foul trouble). If the form holds, the Lancers should hang on.

  10. Cape Breton — Split at UPEI, winning 87-66 on Sunday after a 97-95 loss the night before.

    The Panthers got 32 points from Gamaliel Rose and 30 from Andrew Black in their victory. Guelph native Scott Jaspers-Fayer had 24 points and 11 rebounds on 11-of-12 shooting for the Capers.

    Those two-game trips over to the island, be it to Charlottetown to play the Panthers or St. John's, N.L., to face MUN, are usually fraught with unpredictability. No wonder Bill Simmons never writes about Canadian university basketball. It's not predictable enough.
Outside the Top 10:
  • Brandon snatched away the CW Great Plains title in the final seconds, with Tarik Tokar hitting a NBA-length three-pointer with 6.1 seconds left for a 69-68 win over Regina. That was nails; he was anywhere from 4-6 feet behind the line.

    The four games between Brandon and Regina were decided by all of a six points. It's odd that it unfolded that way this season with realignment set to come in next season.

    The benefit of rest and an extra home game is a huge advantage. Regina did extend a much better Brandon team to the full three games in the playoffs last season.
  • UQAM won a pair of thrillers over Bishop's, 81-80 in overtime and 78-77 in the return game in Montreal. In the first game, Souleymane Diagne hitting a 12-footer at the buzzer in overtime.

    The Citadins are 8-6 in the Q and can probably match up with Concordia. They're at least an intriguing outside shot to make it to the CIS Final 8.
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  1. Re: the Con U - Laval game.

    The Stingers led by as much as 23.

    Laval stormed back to tie the game at 66 with three minutes left. Concordia's Evens Laroche then converted a sick half-court alley-oop dunk that completely demoralized Laval: they didn't score the rest of the game

    Easily the best play I've seen in 15 years of watching CIS b-ball: this dunk would make NBA highlight reels.

    I'm sure there will be YouTube evidence shortly.

  2. Thanks, will write in ... let's hope that gets YouTubed.

  3. FYI,

    I saw The Gazette's Randy Phillips at the game, so there will be a story in tomorrow's paper.

  4. Guys, do not forget McGill in the mix. They own tiebreakers against Bishop's and UQAM, won last two games against UQAM, beat Concordia in Concordia's gym.

  5. Brandon-UR games on Friday and Saturday were probably the two best I've ever seen in Canada West. Tokar's 3-ball was beyond nails and totally stunned the crowd in Regina.

    Nice to hear about Will Silver's triple-double as well, good to see him getting some substantial burn at this point in the season for X.

  6. Top game scores of the week:
    33.9 Showron Glover (Saskatchewan, 2/7)
    28.2 Henry Bekkering (Calgary, 2/6)
    25.7 C.G. Morrison (Alberta, 2/6)
    24.5 Michael Lieffers (Saskatchewan, 2/7)
    23.6 Alex Traikov (Acadia, 2/8)

    Glover's game puts him fourth all year (he already occupies second place with 39.7). Both of his big games were against Lethbridge, though, who are in last in their division.

    Bekkering's "monster game" is also on there and Traikov shows up again.

  7. The alley-oop dunk I talked of above in the Con U - Laval game is posted on YouTube.

    OK, it's probably not the best play I've seen in the CIS, but still pretty exciting.