OUA: First Round playoff previews


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OUA first-round match ups go tomorrow (Wednesday) night with all games beginning at 8 PM ET and all available on OUA.TV.

#9 Lakehead at #8 Western  Having just met this past Friday, also in London, with Mustangs dominating during a key stretch of the third quarter to win going away, 84-69, one would expect Mustangs to be heavily favored.  While 6’3″ Greg Morrow (25 points, 7 rebounds) had his usual sterling offensive effort, Western got a career-high 29 points from 6’5″ Tony Spiridis, mostly in the paint, to break open what was a 5 point game late in the second quarter.  Spiridis had 22 second-half points including 10 during a 29-7 run that broke the game open and extended Mustangs lead to 29.  While Thunderwolves got another consistent effort from 6’5″ Bakarius Dinkins inside, both 6’0″ Henry Tan and 6’4″ Alexandre Robichaud struggled offensively.  Robichaud will likely be tasked with keeping Morrow in check.  Both teams need to get secondary scoring – this past Friday, Western got it from Spiridis and 6’5″ Peter Scholtes and dominated.  Mustangs are looking to avenge last season’s upset home playoff loss to Laurier with a victory but this game should be much tighter than this past Friday.

#10 Toronto at #7 Queen’s  Another re-match from this past weekend when the Blues jumped out to leads as high as 13 in the first half – 6’0″ freshman Devon Williams knocked down 3 3’s on consecutive possessions to help build the lead.  But Gaels recovered for an 81-73 victory that, although highlighted by 23 points from lefty Andrew Mavety – 13 in the first half to keep Queen’s close, was actually a well-balanced effort as 8 different Gaels scored in the second half.  Still Mavety’s 3 gave Queen’s the lead for good with about 8 minutes remaining.  Blues out-fouled Queen’s 21-14 and need to get more than a 6 for 22 effort from the floor from star forward Devin Johnson to pull off the upset.  Still, with very little to lose given the new life provided, Toronto should be loose – expect another tight affair between two closely matched teams.  6’5″ Tanner Graham could be the difference maker.

#11 Laurier at #6 Brock  Badgers are happy to get a home playoff game and dominated the Golden Hawks in their only meeting in Waterloo before Christmas as 6’5″ Dani Elgadi dominated.  Hawks however are a very dangerous team which plays with a ton of confidence under Head Coach Peter Campbell, with added motivation given Coach Campbell is in his final season.  Given how Campbell likes to play and the free reigns he gives his shooters, Laurier teams are rarely tight in a playoff setting – we saw how this was of benefit last season at Western.  While the season records and head-to-head meeting would have most favor the Badgers, if Laurier starts making shots early, this could be a closer game than expected.

#12 Laurentian at #5 Windsor  The Lancers finished the season strong albeit with all tough games at home (9-1 at St. Denis Center this season) and have a high-end difference maker in 6’5″ Alex Campbell.  Although the Voyageurs are the 12th seed and have won just 2 of their past 10 games, Laurentian did play uOttawa tough for a couple of quarters and took Brock to OT in St. Catharines in recent games.  Head-to-head during the regular season, Lancers took a double digit lead in the second quarter at home in early February and won 82-62 with Vees coming no closer than 8 points in the second half.  Windsor starting point guard Mike Rocca missed part of the Lakehead game and all of the Algoma game this past weekend but should be ready to play tomorrow night.

Winners advance to Saturday’s sudden death quarter-final games:

Winner Laurentian/Windsor at McMaster 2 PM ET

Winner Queen’s/Toronto at Ottawa 8 PM ET?

Winner Laurier/Brock at Carleton 8 PM ET?

Winner Lakehead/Western at Ryerson 8 PM ET?

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