Another week in the OUA West has gone by, and once again, another team has started to fall from top of the West. Last week it was Brock and Guelph, this week it’s McMaster’s turn. They stayed in tight with Lakehead on Friday night, but were blown out on Saturday by 20 points. The weekend sweep by Lakehead has pushed McMaster into fourth place in the West. Laurier and Lakehead remain tied with Windsor third. This week also saw Lakehead move from third in the CIS into second and Laurier from seventh to sixth.
Wednesday, Jan. 18
Laurier 97 vs. Guelph 91
Guelph can’t buy a break since the CIS returned from Christmas. It seems like week after week Daniel McCarthy and either Adam Bering or Kareem Malcolm put up 20 points, but still come up short. Friday night at Guelph was no different. This time, though, Bering had 20 points and 8 rebounds, McCarthy had 23 points and 6 rebounds, while Malcolm finished with 19 points 8 rebounds. The rest of the team: 29 points.
This game wasn’t exactly one for fans of defence with 4 players on both teams reaching double digits. And, if you’re going to forget defence against Laurier, they’re going to burn you. Laurier’s bench had 32 points to Guelph’s 16, which is rarely a stat you can lose and still win a game. Laurier’s Kale Harrison had an off night by his standards with 15 points and 5 rebounds. Max Allin ended with game highs with 27 points and 11 rebounds.
Friday, Jan. 20
McMaster 76 vs. Lakehead 83
Heading into Thunder Bay, McMaster had a chance to make up some ground and challenge for top in the West. Well, at least that was the plan until they ran into a Lakehead squad that has hit full stride. McMaster threw everything they could at Lakehead. They tied or beat them in most offensive and defensive categories, had full contribution from their entire line-up (40 points off the bench) and went into the fourth quarter with the game tied. So, what was the difference? I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say turnovers. McMaster had 18 to Lakehead’s 7, which Lakehead turned into 13 points.
Cam Michaud led the way for McMaster with 14 points and 7 rebounds, while Adam Presutti finished with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists and a team high 31 minutes. Venzal Russell ended the game with 19 points, 5 steals and 3 assists. Yoosrie Salhia had 15 points and a game high 13 rebounds.
Saturday, Jan. 21
Brock 57 vs. Windsor 78
With both Laurier and Lakehead sweeping their weekend games, Windsor needed to keep pace, especially with an upcoming series against Lakehead this weekend. Windsor took it to Brock, who continues to free fall further from the top of the West. The Lancers were also helped by 27 points coming off the bench compared to the Badgers 11. It also helps when you outrebound a team 60 to 41 like Windsor did. Andrew Kraus finished with 11 points and 5 assists for Brock, while Rotimi Osuntola Jr. had 17 points and 8 rebounds. Also, Lien Phillip absolutely dominated inside the paint with 15 rebounds for the Lancers, which 12 were defensive. Phillip also added 12 points for Windsor.
Player of the Week
Max Allin stepped up in a big way this weekend for Laurier. He had 27 points and 11 rebounds against Guelph. He followed it up with 23 points and 8 assists against Western on Saturday night. Laurier relies on their offence more than any other team in the West and when your best scorer, Kale Harrison, has a couple of so-so games (15 points against Guelph and 2 against Western) someone has to pick up their game and Allin answered the call. His weekend totals were 50 points, 15 rebounds, 14 assists and he only had 4 turnovers in 74 minutes of playing time. This weekend was, by far, the Maxwell Allin show.
Upcoming Game(s) of the Week
Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday, Jan. 28: Lakehead vs. Windsor
The West is down to three teams challenging for first in the West. After these two games, it could be down to two. The Thunderwolves are tied with Laurier for first place and Windsor has third to themselves. If Windsor is going to take over first they need a weekend sweep over Lakehead, which isn’t likely going to happen. If Windsor comes away with one win I think they’ll be happy. Lakehead though, they need a sweep. Laurier has a fairly easy week against Brock and Western. Lakehead can ill-afford to fall behind Laurier this close to the playoffs. I’m expecting the Thunderwolves to come out with one of their best defensive weekends since the season started.