2. MBB: TRU (26%) over Victoria, Friday (box). Ta'Quan Zimmerman gives the people what they want. 14-29 shooting, three 3s, 31 points. Add in nine rebounds, four assists and a lone turnover. Kid can hoop, and his effort led Thompson Rivers to the win over the No. 4 ranked Victoria Vikes. The 82 points on 71 possessions from TRU is the impressive number here, because Victoria had the best DRtg in the conference, at 87.
1. MBB: Memorial (22%) over Dalhousie, Saturday (box). The box score from this one is bizarre. Dalhousie shot 28 per cent and only lost by five. They only had five turnovers though, which is why the margin was so slim. No standout performers on either side — Memorial was just efficient. Caleb Gould had 15 points on 7-10 shooting while also snagging 12 rebounds. The win doesn't do much for the standings, as Memorial is 2-14 and Dalhousie is 4-12. Interesting note: Jacob Hynes of Memorial played 27 minutes and did not attempt a field goal. He split a pair of free throws, grabbed three rebounds, an assist and a block. Unsurprisingly, he has the lowest usage rate (5.6%) in the country.
The teams who should have lost, but didn't.
4. MBB: McGill (4.1%) over UQAM, Saturday (play-by-play). Fairly close game throughout, but a Simon Bibeau three with seven seconds left tied the game and sent it to overtime. The low point for McGill was just before nailing that three. They went on to outscore UQAM 7-5 in the OT period and won 78-76.
3. WBB: Laurier (3.9%) over Lakehead, Friday (play-by-play). Lakehead continues their 2014 surge and nearly swept the Golden Hawks this weekend. Laurier was able to steal the first game on the double-header, despite being down 30-16 with 7:27 left in the first half. The Golden Hawks didn't just win; they were actually able to come back and hold the lead going into the locker room, dropping 28 points in the quarter. The OUA West continues to be the strangest conference in women's hoops.
|WBB: UNB 57 at Cape Breton 62 (OT) (Feb. 7, 2014)|
1. WBB: Cape Breton (<0.1%) over UNB, Friday (play-by-play). Down 13 with 4:27 to go, and their chances of winning basically at zero (see chart), Cape Breton mounted a ridiculous comeback, albeit in a low-scoring affair. With 29 seconds left, the Capers took a 50-49 lead. UNB tied it with a free throw, and yet again, the game headed to overtime. Free throws with 42 seconds left gave the Capers a one-point lead, and the Varsity Reds went cold for the rest of the game to concede the loss.
Biggest changes in SRS
Up: Laurentian MBB (+3, 15 to 12) and Lakehead WBB (+3, 24 to 21).
Laurentian has been inconsistent this year and most of that has to do with playing on the road. They are 3-6 away from Sudbury and 9-2 at home. They beat Ryerson this weekend, hanging 82 points on a team with a better defensive rating than Carleton. The Voyageurs probably have the best home atmosphere I have been to this year (and yes, I have been to Lakehead). The place is packed, the fans are loud and the players love it. Expect them to sink next week though, as they travel to Ottawa to take on the Gee-Gees and Ravens.
Beating a dead horse a bit here, but Lakehead is putting out a solid women's basketball product. Jylisa Williams is damn fun to watch and the team can get points from a handful of other players. The Thunderwolves let the first game against Laurier slip away, but they were able to win the second. Should they have completed the sweep, their ranking would have soared even higher. If they had Williams all season, the OUA West would be even more competitive than it already is. Scary thought.
Down: McGill MBB (11 to 15).
Can we rally to rescind RSEQ's berth in the Final 8 this year? McGill seems likely to emerge from the conference, but they have not taken advantage of weaker teams. Their offense is 10th in ORtg and they play against a division that has not had anyone else sniff the top-ten rankings. Someone is going to miss out on the tournament so we can watch McGill get pummelled. This RSEQ rant is a recording.
Slowest game of the week: WBB UQAM at McGill, Thursday (66 possessions).
62-59 is the final, and the teams combined for 39 turnovers. Probably not the game you would want to show someone who has never watched basketball before. Their rematch was just as slow. RSEQ hoops, you guys!
Fastest game of the week: MBB SMU at UPEI, Saturday (96 possessions)
In a match-up of the No. 2 (UPEI) and No. 3 (SMU) teams in pace, 96 possessions should not come as a surprise. A 97-93 win for UPEI was the result, but SMU actually launched a late comeback attempt. Down 91-73 with 2:17 left, SMU went on a tear and made it a two-point game late. Not too surprising to see an up-tempo team put up points in a hurry, though.
Ta'Quan Zimmerman Watch
Have to give credit to Zimmerman this week for his performance over a fantastic defensive team. I talked about his stats in the win over Victoria early, but in the rematch, Zimmerman was just as impressive. He had 23 points on 9-17 shooting, including three of six from beyond the arc. Only four rebounds and two assists, but an efficient evening nonetheless. Thompson Rivers has just an outside shot of making the Final 8, but it would be fun to see what he could do on the national stage.
Best games of the upcoming week (all times Eastern)
All listed games include webcast link.
WBB: Western at Brock (Wednesday, 6:00pm). This tilt is massive. Brock is tied at 11-9 with McMaster, and Mac has the tie-breaker in points. Western is sniffing Laurier, only one game behind. Brock needs to create separation to earn a home playoff game, but Western could get an important bye and home game.
MBB: Laurentian at Ottawa (Friday 8:00pm). Ottawa's No. 2 seed is safe, but Laurentian could use a win over Ottawa to give themselves an outside shot of getting ahead of Ryerson. The Voyageurs are behind two games but they need this one to even have a chance.
WBB: Saskatchewan at Alberta (Friday 8:00pm, Saturday 7:00pm). A win for Saskatchewan would tie the two squads and give the Huskies some more credibility as a wild card bid. They have beat the better teams in the Pacific division, and splitting the games with Alberta — the loss being a close one — would be a positive.
MBB: Saskatchewan at Alberta (Friday 10:00pm, Saturday 9:00pm). Same schools, different teams. Saskatchewan peaked at No. 5 in the CIS rankings (now No. 9) and a win over Alberta would be beneficial to their playoff run. They can't get first place in the Prairie division, but they could at least raise some eyebrows about their chances at making the Final 8.
MBB: Victoria at UBC (Friday 11:00pm). UBC does not have many wins over good teams this year. They have a notable win over Saskatchewan, but a win over Victoria could put them over Thompson Rivers and help UBC avoid the Vikes in playoff action for as long as possible.
WBB: Western at Laurier (Saturday, 1:00pm). This could be the most important game in the OUA on Saturday. Should Western beat Brock and Mac beat Laurier, the teams would be tied for 2nd place. It would be a winner-take-all battle and an important one, because you get home-court advantage and a bye. Both teams have been shaky against the other playoff teams, so you can guarantee that they want to play as few games as possible in playoffs.