Basketball: OUA & AUS playoffs

  • OUA bronze medal game: No. 3 Ottawa 73, No. 9 Windsor 59 — The Gee-Gees erased all doubts about their Final 8-worthiness, with combo guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe responding from an off-night vs. Carleton in the OUA East final with 24 points and nine assists. JGB was just a sophomore when Ottawa last went to nationals in 2007, so this is the first time he's done it on a team where he was expected to do more beyond get his points.

    It wasn't quite a quadruple double, but Gee-Gees centre Dax Dessureault, playing his final home game, had 15 points, nine rebounds, five blocks and five assists. Meantime, Ottawa held Windsor's Greg Surmacz, one of the best bigs in the country, to 16 points on 7-of-22 shooting, although it's a fair bit of lot of those misses came when Windsor was getting desperate. The Lancers just seemed to like the varied threats to really challenge this season.

  • AUS Final: Dalhousie 72, co-No. 5 St. Francis Xavier 60 (see Chad Lucas' live blog)— There's probably nothing to do justice to the roll X-killer Josh Beattie got on in the third quarter. By Lucas' count, he made five straight threes, 17 points in all, during a 22-5 Dalhousie run to start the second half. The Tigers were playing with a contagious confidence and are now headed to the Final 8 for the first time since '96.

    Beattie finished with 25, making 7-of-11 threes. Simon Farine had the double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds and the Tigers put Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw (13 points, but on 4-of-17) through the wringer. He had just three points after the break.

    One can only imagine the euphoria the Tigers are feeling. Forward Sandy Veit (game-high 14 rebounds) and rookie Stephen Lopez (10 points) also chipped in, along with post player Germain Bendegue, who was on the sidelines with an injury when Dal lost out in the AUS semi-final in '08.

    There's a lot to be said for stability. Dalhousie was one of the few AUS contenders who stayed with the same group it had '07-08 and it ended up having everything fall into place over the course of 48 hours.

  • OUA Final: No. 1 Carleton 71, No. 4 Western 57 — That flinty Eastern Ontario toughness was on full display at a raucous Alumni Hall in London.

    As you might expect in a coaching matchup between the Ravens' Dave Smart and the Mustangs' Brad Campbell, neither team laid back and the refereeing crew basically allowed a bit of hand-to-hand combat. Carleton, which was led by Stu Turnbull's 19 points — including a dagger three-ball that opened a 14-point lead midway through the final quarter — and eight rebounds, stymied Western. The Mustangs' 57 points was a season low and they shot an effective 32%, after dropping 98 and an effective 58% on Windsor three nights earlier.

    All in all, it was a pretty good prelude if these teams should meet again on semi-final Saturday (figuring the Mustangs will be seeded either No. 4 or No. 5).

    Carleton had a 45-28 edge on the boards without a double-digit rebounder, as Rob Saunders and Aaron Doornekamp (limited to 28 minutes by foul trouble) each grabbed nine and three others had at least a half-dozen. Western's Garrett Olexiuk did a good job against Doornekamp, by the way.

    Carleton has now held its last nine foes below 70 points and eight of them below 65. That roll call includes some pretty good point guards, including Western's Matt Curtis, York's Tut Ruach and Wright of Ottawa, twice.

    Bradley Smith
    topped the Mustangs with 16 points, while Keenan Jeppesen had 14 & 11. Western was as close as eight in the third quarter and 11 in the final period. The Mustangs had some good looks which rattled out, so they might have kept this game closer with a little more good fortune. They're very close to Carleton in skill.

    Three-point specialist Eliot Thompson, off a kick-out by Mike Kenny, dropped in a rainmaker from the right wing at the third-quarter buzzer. That was a killer.
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