OUA East 2017-18 Men’s Basketball Predictions

While his new program has put together a solid pre-season and his new group has shown over the course of the past month or so to be competitive with most across the country, new York Lions Head Coach Nate Philippe has unfortunately entered the next phase of his burgeoning career squarely into by-far the toughest conference in the country.

Philippe and his new-look Lions will look directly into the face of at least three teams with legitimate national championship potential plus others that are clearly on the upswing with home playoff game aspirations.  Given York’s early-season successes combined with a very reasonable, growing excitement level around the program, picking Philippe’s group for 8th and last in the OUA East is very likely to stir up some head-scratching controversy – and/or serve as bulletin board motivational fodder.

But such is life in this conference in which each and every team is capable of knocking off anyone in the country on any given night.  Witness Queen’s Gaels home win over #7 Dalhousie, the Tigers only loss of the season thus far and Nipissing’s win at Acadia, an AUS title contender.  Laurentian comes off a pre-season that includes a win over NCAA Division 1 Montana and close losses to Western Kentucky and Kent State plus a 4-0 pre-season slate against U-Sports team including three road wins.

And we have yet to touch on the “Big 3″ of Carleton, Ryerson and Ottawa, perennial national championship contenders – all with their latest versions of deep, talented lineups.  Rams have battled some early season injuries but have been in every game despite the absence of their Moser Award candidate 6’5” Ammanuel Diressa and as many as three other starter-potential players.

Thus, our pick to finish first in the conference is Ryerson, fresh off a national championship game appearance and two-time defending Wilson Cup champions with arguably the best player in the country in Diressa.  Rams finally got another proverbial monkey off their backs last March with a road win at Carleton to claim their second straight conference banner and expect their experience – especially at the guard spots with now-veterans 6’0″ fifth-year Roshane Roberts and 6’0″ fourth-year Myles Charvis – to lead them to the pennant in the new-look OUA East.

As mentioned in the OUA West preview, only two teams from this division will appear in the OUA semi-finals so the “expected” quarter-final game between #2 seed and #3 seed in this division is likely to eliminate one team from the Final 8 – which by March could be a Top 5 team nationally.  I wonder out loud how long this OUA format will last given the process and ultimate decision that determined this season’s new OUA post-season bracket.  It remains to be seen whether or not the result will have the two or three best teams in the entire OUA conference represent at the Nationals.

We will be tracking with ongoing curiosity the cumulative record of inter-division games between OUA East and OUA West teams throughout the season as a gauge for relative comparative strength of the two divisions… 4-0 for OUA East and counting after the first weekend of play.

My predictions for final regular season standings in the OUA East:

  1. Ryerson
  2. Carleton
  3. Ottawa
  4. Laurentian
  5. Queen’s
  6. Nipissing
  7. Toronto
  8. York

OUA West 2017-18 Predictions

CORRECTION:  In the original post, we described the playoff structure as not crossing over until the Wilson Cup – this was in fact incorrect.  The correct playoff structure is as follows:

OUA Semi-Finals

Semi-Final 1 –Lower Remaining East @ Highest Remaining West

Semi-Final 2 – Lowest Remaining West @ Highest Remaining East OUA

Championship Winners of each Semi-Final (@ annual rotation, unless 2 teams from the same conference advance from the semi-final. Then the highest seed would host)

We apologize for any confusion.


The revamped OUA West may be have the youngest, most inexperienced set of teams near-top-to-bottom in the entire country with the most rebuilds of any league.  Still, in what in some circles was a very controversial and potentially divisive decision, the West is now guaranteed two teams in the OUA semi-finals after some off season administrative haggling that had some scratching their heads at the process involved in the finalizing the decision.

Programs in the newest 2017-18 edition of the OUA West have won only two Wilson Cup Final 4 games in the past seven seasons against teams from the new OUA East – last season’s Brock win over uOttawa in the Bronze medal game at Carleton and Windsor’s upset win at uOttawa in 2014-15 – against 8 losses.  Only one team (Windsor in 2015) has advanced to the Wilson Cup championship game since 2010-11 when Lakehead defeated Carleton, a span of seven years.  It is little wonder that OUA West teams lobbied long and hard for a format change that “levels out the playing field” arguably at the cost of sending the best teams in the OUA to represent the conference in the Final 8.  Based on recent results, finishing first in the OUA East could be even more advantageous.

Brock Badgers return virtually their entire rotation from last season’s OUA Bronze medal winner and are the prohibitive pre-season favorite to take home the West championship this season – in what was previously referred to as an OUA “semi-final” games, the new format makes the “Final Four” a bit of misnomer as both games will act as division championships.  Windsor Lancers have 5’11” Mike Rocca in his fifth and final season plus a pair of impact transfers and the hopeful maturation of 6’7″ Luke Allin.  Laurier is deep and talented but very young, especially in the post although 6’5″ Kemel Archer, the transfer from Canadore College, provides some experience for the rapidly-improving Golden Hawks.  Western and Waterloo are both young with Warriors dotted with high-potential first and second year players who are learning to win.  Much like Cape Breton, UPEI and York, McMaster Head Coach Patrick Tatham has had literally weeks to assemble what is essentially a brand new team/rotation and has thus far taken the transfer route toward respectability.  Guelph has a veteran set of wings and guards and two young but athletic post players and could mature toward the end of the season.  Lakehead and Algoma have struggled thus far.

  1. Brock
  2. Windsor
  3. Laurier
  4. Western
  5. Waterloo
  6. McMaster
  7. Guelph
  8. Lakehead
  9. Algoma

AUS 2017-18 Men’s basketball Predictions

Can Tigers “Four-Peat” ? …  If the early season is any indication, there is every reason to believe that the revamped Dalhousie Tigers are in a legitimate position to capture their fourth consecutive AUS tournament victory – Tigers have won 7 in a row at the great Halifax early March event and have impressed this early season with 6’6″ All-Canadian candidate Sven Stammberger leading the way aided by the emergence of 6’4″ combo guard Keevan Veinot, one of the top freshmen in the country… Expect the AUS playoff race to be closer than the past two seasons when the post-season participants were all but decided with weeks remaining in the regular season.  St. FX X-Men have a veteran core that was within one “in-and-out” three pointer of knocking off the Tigers this past Saturday night in Antigonish and X has two more chances this week at being considered a conference favorite with games at Dal on Wednesday and at home in Antigonish against the Tigers on Saturday.  Three games in 8 days between two programs generally in the forecast for finishing at/near the top of the AUS is likely to test the emotions of both sides so expect some high-tempo, high-energy action even this early in the regular season – alot at stake already in these games.  X tries to shake off last season’s first round one-point loss to eventual AUS runner-up Saint Mary’s with 6’7″ Kevin Bercy‘s missed free throw with 3 seconds remaining being the difference.  UNB Varsity Reds had a solid pre-season that saw the roster slowly build in depth as players returned from injuries.  This will be the fifth and final season for 6’0″ Javon Masters and the lefty from Kitchener, who is just 128 points away from tying UPEI’s 6’6″ Curtis Robinson on the AUS all-time individual career points scored list, looks to shake off an 0-4 post-season record with all losses at the Metro Center including last season, when V-Reds finished second in the regular season and had a first-round tournament bye before losing handily 81-68 to Saint Mary’s… With a guaranteed spot at the U-Sports Final 8, Acadia does not have to play their way into the National championship tournament however Axemen have played several exciting matches at the AUS tournament recently including last season’s semi-final when Acadia led eventual tournament champion Dalhousie by six with 4 1/2 minutes remaining but watched as Stammberger completed another gut-check Tigers comeback with a breakaway slam in a 78-75 win.  Tigers welcome back 6’8″ center Rhys Larry after a two year absence and have at least one impact freshman in 6’6″ Mason Maddaugh to augment their pair of AUS honours candidates in 6’9″ Eric Nissen and 6’3″ Ben Miller.  Saint Mary’s must replace virtually their entire rotation from last season with the exception of 6’3″ Kemar Alleyne but return 6’8″ Osman Barrie who sat out all of last season plus impact 6’6″ freshman Nikita Kasango (Montreal).  Second-year Cape Breton coach David Petroziello welcomes his first true recruiting class to Sydney and expect that the virtually brand new roster will require time to absorb Petroziello’s emphasis on defense and rebounding and what the rotation will look like down the stretch of the season.  A situation similar to CBU’s last summer is evolving in Charlottetown where former Panther star Darrell Glenn only took the reigns of UPEI in May, hardly enough time to a thorough job of evaluating his team, let alone recruit.  Still, Panthers have brought in multiple new, high-potential faces, potentially the most impactful of which could be 6’8″ Southern U.  (NCAA D1) transfer D’Adrian Allen (Brampton, ON) and 6’2″ Moshe Wadley.  Getting his team to play the way the experience mentor Glenn wants to, especially consistently at the defensive end, will likely be the near-term challenge.  Memorial lost several starters including 6’9″ Vasilije Curcic to graduation but returns 6’6″ sophomore Nathan Barker, a rising star in the AUS and will need 5’11” fifth-year point guard Davion Parnsalu, injured for much of the pre-season, to set the table for their array of athletic finishers led by 6’3″ Daniel Gordon.

AUS 2017-18 Regular Season Forecast:

  1. Dalhousie
  2. Acadia
  3. St. FX
  4. UNB
  5. Saint Mary’s
  6. Cape Breton
  7. UPEI
  8. Memorial

AUS 2018 Tournament Predictions:

First Round – St. FX over Cape Breton; Saint Mary’s over UNB

Semi-Finals – Dalhousie over Saint Mary’s; St. FX over Acadia

Championship – Dalhousie over St. FX.

CANHoops.ca U-Sports men’s Top 10 for 30 October 2017

CANHoops.ca 2017-18 Top 10 as of 30th October 2017

#1 Carleton (6-0, 0-0/ LW: #1)… A “uuge” victory at Providence on Saturday not just for the Ravens program but for U-Sports, showing our teams can play with the best down south.  Ravens scrimmaged at Colgate on Sunday.  Carleton hosts winless Guelph and Algoma next weekend at the Raven’s Nest.  A special twist this season has one of the two Canal War games against bitter rivals Ottawa Gee-Gees played before Christmas in mid-November, also at the Raven’s Nest.

#2 Alberta (6-0, 2-0/ LW: #2)…  Bears pounded Trinity Western twice at home with all 12 players who dressed seeing ample time in both games.  Alberta travels to Winnipeg, who split a pair at Mount Royal in Calgary this past weekend, for two games Friday and Saturday at the Duckworth Center.

#3 Brock (5-0, 2-0/ LW: #3)… Badgers swept a pair of home games against Western and Laurier with Golden Hawks keeping it close for much of the game.  Quality, experienced depth remains a whisper issue as Badgers rotation presently has six quality veterans with at least two freshmen 6’2″ Kascius Small-Martin and 6’6″ Godsman Kwahwah looking to step up to meaningful minutes.  Brock finally hits the road for the first time all season this weekend with difficult tests at resurgent York (Friday night) and at Queen’s on Saturday.

#4 UBC (7-0, 2-0/ LW: #4)…  T-Birds pounded Fraser Valley twice as the Canada West regular season kicked off.  UBC has by far their toughest test of the season this coming Friday and Saturday with games at #5 Calgary – the best match-up of the U-Sports regular season thus far.

#5 Calgary (7-1, 2-0/ LW: #6)…  6’6″ Mambi Diawara continues his explosive offensive production and Dinos have been well tested with tough home (McGill, Acadia) and road (Brock, Ryerson, Windsor) games in the pre-season in preparation for this weekend’s key pair of home games against #4 UBC in the Jack.

#6 Ryerson (2-2, 1-0/ LW: #7)… Injuries have ravaged this nationals-co-favorite lineup in the early season as 6’6″ Keevon Small missed Rams weekend game at Algoma, joining 6’5″ Ammanuel Diressa, 6’6″ Nathan Culbreath and 6’8″ Adam Voll on the injury list.  Ryerson still handled Thunderbirds on the road and get set for a pair of away games this weekend at Windsor on Friday and at Western on Saturday in London.

#7 Dalhousie (8-1, LW: #8)… Tigers completed their successful pre-season with by capturing the tournament championship at St. FX as 6’4″ freshman Keevan Veinot knocked down the winning three late and Dal survived a “in-and-out” three at the buzzer from X’s 6’3″ Julius Antoine to survive for the win.  Tigers have been solid with pre-season wins against York, Concordia 2x, Regina, Lethbridge, Nipissing, Cape Breton, St. FX and a loss at Queen’s.  Tigers and X-Men kick off the AUS regular season this coming Wednesday night at DalPlex with a return engagement in Antigonish on Saturday.

#8 McGill (4-2, LW: #10)… With a decisive 21 point win over uOttawa on Saturday that was under control in the first half, Redmen appear to have re-established their defensive identity.  With five rotation regulars in their 4th and 5th years and at least two freshmen ready to play right now, this is as deep a McGill team as Dave DeAveiro has had in recent memory.  Redmen kick off their RSEQ regular season on Thursday, November 9th against Laval Rouge et Or in Montreal at Love Competition Hall.

#9 Ottawa (7-1, LW: #5)…  Gee-Gees rebounded from a lackluster effort in Montreal to pull away in the third quarter for a 20 point home win over Laval last night.  Ottawa has pre-season wins against UQAM, Regina, MacEwan, Laurier, Concordia, Bishop’s and Laval with their only loss to #8 McGill.  Ottawa’s younger talent is starting to emerge with 5’11” Calvin Epistola and 6’4″ Gage Sabean leading the way last night while 6’4″ Alex Muise continues to impress with his mature offensive reads, ability to attack close outs intelligently and perimeter shooting.  Gee-Gees host Algoma and Guelph this coming Friday and Saturday at Montpetit Hall.

#10 Laurentian (4-0, LW: #9)…   Vees drop one spot without having played a game for a few weeks.  Laurentian has an opportunity to further prove they belong in the Top 10 discussion coming this weekend as they get set to host Waterloo and Laurier in Sudbury as the OUA regular season kicks off.


Acadia (4-3), UNB (6-2), Lethbridge (6-2, 2-0), Manitoba (5-1, 2-0)

Epistola leads Gee-Gees to pull away victory

#5 Ottawa (7-1) 79, Laval (3-4) 59… 5’11” Calvin Epistola, shaking off a recent stretch of indifferent play while battling a painful foot injury, ignited the Gee-Gees with 18 points off the bench including a perfect 4-4 from downtown as Ottawa pulled away midway through the third with a 27-11 run to defeat turnover-plagued Rouge et Or.  Laval put together a 8-2 run early in the third quarter behind 6’7″ Joel Muamba and 6’5″ Alexandre Leclerc to get the game back to within two at 44-42 but Epistola knocked down a deep make from about 3 feet behind the arc and then got to the rim with a dandy take to give Ottawa a nice lead and 6’3″ freshman Alex Muise, who continues to impress with his decision-making and quiet ability to beat close-outs to get to the rim had all 5 of his points in consecutive fashion during the run and the lead ballooned back to double digits quickly.  Earlier Epistola had 13 first-half points including all three makes from downtown, combining with 6’5″ Gage Sabean to give Ottawa a lift in the second quarter, building leads as large as 11.  Sabean had four first half 3’s and a breakaway two-handed dunk off a steal that allowed the Gee-Gees to eventually take a 7 point lead into halftime.  Laval has a talented group of athletes, especially on the wing and forward spots however Rouge et Or turned it over 22 times, on many occasions trying to play fast with questionable decision making, which turned out to be their undoing in the final 15 minutes or so this evening.  Leclerc went off early in the third making a three (he went 4-11 from downtown) and finished with a game-high 20 points but turned it over 9 times and did not get to the free throw line (Rouge et Or were only 4-7 from the stripe).  Muamba, who has struggled with injuries in the early season, looks even stronger and leaner than his freshman season in ’16-’17 and he remains a load inside (20 points on 8-9 shooting).  Ottawa did a tremendous job of keeping the normally-active Laval forwards off the offensive glass with gang rebounding as 6’9″ Jean Pierre-Charles finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.  Ottawa grabbed 16 “o” boards of their own, showing much more energy at both ends after yesterday afternoon’s lackluster effort at McGill.  Ottawa was 13-31 from three and turned it over only 7 times on the night as their newer and younger back-court continues to get comfortable.  6’7″ Brody Maracle had 15 points and 6 rebounds, including 11 in the second half, helping to push the lead to 22 at one point with some nifty inside finishes while 6’4″ Brandon Robinson continues to mature as a decision maker with some crafty looks (8 points, 6 assists).  Ottawa hosts Guelph and Algoma next weekend and it was discovered this evening that 6’7″ Connor Gilmore, an OUA All-Star last season at McMaster who announced in the spring his intention to transfer to uOttawa for next season, has left the program.  No official word on where Gilmore may end up.


Lakers end pre-season with come-from-behind victory at UQAM

Nipissing (2-3) 87, UQAM (3-6) 80… Lakers stormed back from a 7 point deficit with just 3 minutes remaining as a pair of sophomores, 6’2″ Jaaden Lewis and 5’11” Justin Hill combined to score 14 points in the waning moments for the character win in Montreal.  Lewis finished with a career-high 29 points and added 13 rebounds while Hill had most of his 10 down the stretch catalyzing the game-winning run.  Lakers played without starting 6’4″ wing/forward Marcus Lewis and 6’7″ forward Kalil Langston but were able to shake off 18 turnovers and another strong game from UQAM’s 6’6″ Ibrahima Sylla (27 points, 8 rebounds).  6’5 3/4″ forward Justin Shaver added 11 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists in 36 minutes for the Lakers while sharpshooting 6’0″ two-man Charles Miller added 16 for UQAM.  This was the final pre-season game for both teams and Nipissing now prepares for home games next Friday night against Laurier and Saturday against Waterloo as the OUA regular season kicks off.  UQAM travels to Bishop’s next Saturday in an important game between the two teams most believe will battle for the final RSEQ playoff spot this season.


Laval visits uOttawa tonight; Stingers at Vermont

6 PM ET Laval (3-3) at #5 Ottawa (6-1)… Gee-Gees come off a disappointing loss at McGill yesterday afternoon in a game in which uOttawa was never really in.  Ottawa’s interior defense and rebounding is a rising concern and Rouge et Or are one of the better teams in the country attacking the offensive glass with their array of bouncing, athletic somewhat-undersized bigs.  Expect an array of above-the-rim action in the final pre-season tune-up for both teams at Montpetit Hall in a rare Sunday night game.

2 PM ET Concordia at Vermont (NCAA Division 1)… Stingers hope to make it two in a row for U-Sports teams after Carleton’s 10-point win at Providence yesterday with a visit to Burlington, VT against the Catamounts.  Vermont are the defending America East conference champions, receiving a #12 seed in last season’s NCAA tournament and finishing with a 29-6 in 2016-17 after a first-round tournament loss to #4 Purdue.  Vermont comes off an 87-66 thrashing of Boston University Terriers at home this past Friday night and feature three Canadians on their roster:  6’2″ senior Trae Bell-Haynes (11.2 ppg last season), 6’8″ senior Drew Urquhart (4.5 points/3.2 rebounds per game in ’16-’17) and 6’1″ freshman Stef Smith from Markham Bill Crothers.   LIVE VIDEO

Late Saturday: Wagner’s career-high allows Bisons to pound Sask


Manitoba (5-1, 2-0) 81, Saskatchewan (1-6, 0-2) 58… 6’8″ James Wagner had a career-high 30 points on 12-17 shooting while 6’1″ point guard Rashawn Browne added 15 points and 9 assists as the Bisons dominated the Huskies for the second consecutive night in Saskatoon.  Manitoba shot 11-23 from downtown and 46% overall holding Sask to 19% from downtown and 30% shooting overall.  Video highlights

Alberta/Trinity Western highlights

#6 Calgary (7-1, 2-0) 85, UNBC (1-4, 0-2) 75… 6’5″ Mambi Diawara had 25 points and 9 rebounds as the Dinos erased an early 21-5 hole to retake the lead by halftime and defeated the Timberwolves in Prince George.

Winnipeg (4-4, 1-1) 90, Mount Royal (2-5, 1-1) 78… 6’2″ Narcisse Ambanza had 30 points and 10 boards while 6’4″ Denzel Lynch-Blair was a perfect 10 for 10 from the floor for 25 points as Wesmen pulled away in the third quarter to gain a split with the Cougars in Calgary.

# 4 UBC (7-0, 2-0) 105, Fraser Valley (0-4, 0-2) 64… 6’10” freshman Grant Shephard led eight different players in double figures with 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Thunderbirds had 50+ point first half in a home thrashing of the Cascades.  UBC forced 25 Fraser Valley turnovers in the win to sweep the weekend.

MacEwan (2-5, 1-1) 86, Thompson Rivers (2-2, 1-1) 73… Griffins stunned TRU with a 17-1 run bridging the third and fourth, holding WolfPack scoreless for over 6 minutes in a key road win for Eric Magdanz‘s young squad.  MacEwan knocked down four 3’s during the run – from four different contributors – in getting a weekend split in Kamloops.  6’0″ Deonte Doslov-Doctor led the way with 19 points including 4-9 3’s – his late third-quarter three got it back to within 1 after TRU led by 7.

Victoria (6-3, 1-1) 81, UBC-Okanagan 52 (1-6, 1-1)… UVic outscored the Heat 35-8 in the third quarter and rode to an easy win avenging Friday night’s last second loss.  Vikes returned to their traditional lock-down “d” holding the Heat to just 30% shooting including just 1 for 8 from three-point land.  6’6″ Justin Kinnear led the way with 17 points while 6’4″ Jordan Charles had 9 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in the easy win.

Horns pull away in third to sweep Bobcats

Lethbridge (6-2, 2-0) 100, Brandon 89 (1-5, 0-2)… With thanks to our Canada West correspondent … Pronghorns improved to 2-0 in Canada West besting Brandon to sweep the season opening weekend series in Lethbridge.  Horns led 30-24 after 10 minutes but trailed for stretches of the second quarter, before heading into intermission up 51-48. Lethbridge outscored the visitors 34-16 in the third stanza to seal the deal.  One thing that made the affair remarkable was the defence employed by both squads, primarily 2-3 zone in a league where man-to-man overwhelmingly predominates, although Lethbridge extended the zone much more frequently. Practically given engraved invitations to shoot 3s, Brandon went 12-28 from extra-point country, while Lethbridge was 7-21.  The deciding factor was Lethbridge’s 6′ Dejon Burdeaux who stuffed the stats with 27 points, five assists, six rebounds and eight steals. He was arguably the host’s most effective post player too, shooting 11-17 overall on the night.  By far Brandon’s best player was 6’11” and let’s guess 280-pound post John Paul with 16 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks. His improvement skill and conditioning wise in the past three seasons is truly remarkable, a credit to himself and the Brandon program.  Lethbridge’s additional double figure scorers were 6’6″ Saren Westrop (17 points, 11 rebounds), 6’8″ Zac Overwater (17 points, nine rebounds), 6’2″ Kyle Peterson  (17 points) and 6’4″ Awak Piom (14 points, 10 rebounds).  6’6″ Jonathan Range (18 points), 6’1″ Tyvon Cooper (13 points),  6’4 Steven Chieng  (12 points) and 6’3″ Jaleel Webb (11 points) were in double-digits scoring for the visitors. Chieng was really solid off the bench.  Lethbridge is in Edmonton to challenge Grant MacEwan for two games next weekend, while Brandon entertains Victoria twice.

Third quarter surge propels York to victory

York (5-4, 1-0) 90, Lakehead 78 (2-6, 0-2)… 6’5″ freshman Prince Kamunga and 6’3″ Gene Spagnuolo each knocked down a pair of threes during a decisive 23-2 third quarter run that erased an 8 point deficit and led the Lions to victory in their OUA home opener.  The game featured 60 three-point shots and was played at a sizzling tempo with plenty of athletic attacks at the rim and first looks going up.  Lions feature a deep lineup and new Coach Nate Philippe is using his entire bench to support the up-tempo play.  6’1″ Chevy Brown led the way with 18 points including 6 in the final minute as Lions clinched it on the line while 6’3″ Josiah Riley added 14 points and 6’5″ veteran Brandon Ramirez had 13 points and 9 rebounds.  Kamunga (13 points) and Spagnuolo (12 points) each finished 3 for 4 from three off the bench, the perimeter keys for York – the remainder of the lineup went a collective 2 for 23 from downtown.  Lakehead continued their confident three-point shooting going 8 for 29 and were led by 6’1″ Nick Burke with 18 points but were held down at the key point of the game midway through the third.


Toronto (5-3, 1-0) 84, Algoma (3-6, 0-2) 69… Blues authored a solid road win, shooting 79% from the line and turning it over only 7 times in a solid win at Algoma.  6’2″ Nikola Paradina knocked down back-to-back threes late in the second quarter, part of 14-3 run that established a double digit lead that Blues maintain for much of the remainder of the game.  Algoma did get it down to six with about 3 minutes remaining, but the Blues were equal to it, knocking down 8 of 8 free throws and locking down defensively for a nice road win.  6’3″ Reilly Reid finished with 18 points while 6’3″ freshman Evan Shadkami added 11 on 3-6 threes.  Paradina finished with 13 while 6’7″ Daniel Johanssen added 15 points.  Thunderbirds rode their five starters for 30 minutes each and got 20 points from 6’1″ Ian Nash.