WINDSOR, Ont – A jump shot from Greg Morrow with 4.3 seconds left in overtime proved to be the game winner in a thrilling 85-83 win for the Western Mustangs men's basketball team over the CIS No. 5 Windsor Lancers on Thursday night at the St. Denis Centre.
The Mustangs rise to the top of the OUA West Division standings with a 6-3 record passing the Lancers, who have a game in hand, who move from the coveted first place to second with a record of 5-3.
Morrow's winner in the final seconds were two of his 19 points on the night, which combined with his 11 rebounds gave the London native his first double-double of the season. Anthony Spiridis topped the Mustang scoresheet on Thursday, recording a career-high 23 points and also grabbing five rebounds. Quinn Henderson was third among Mustangs scorers with 17 points, while Tom Filgiano joined Morrow in the double-double club, contributing 15 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.
Not to be outdone by his opponents, Lancer guard Mitch Farrell scored 22 points in the loss with teammate Rotimi Osuntola, the sixth-leading scorer in the country heading into Thursday's game, following close behind sinking 16 points.
After opening the regular season with loss to the Lancers, the Mustangs entered the court eager to avenge their loss. Refusing to concede a large lead for the Lancers, the starting line up for the Mustangs grabbed rebounds and created plays from turnovers, including a pair of steals half way in the opening quarter by Morrow and George Johnson who stepped on the court for the first time this season after spending the first semester as a receiver on the Mustangs football team.
Spiridis started the momentum for the Mustangs early by exerting tough force and smart plays in the key to sink a number of layups and finish the quarter with 11 points. First-year Mustang Jedson Tavernier became a strong leader on the court and on the board making early steals and grabbing rebounds, one of which assisted Quinn Henderson in sinking a three-pointer to end the quarter. The Mustangs continuously fought to keep themselves on top and ended the first with a score of 21-19.
The second quarter was no enemy to the purple and white as they kept their eye on the ball and refused to stray from their defence. However, the Lancers did not let themselves fall behind the Mustangs and matched a majority of their shots keeping the score within one possession. The tough defence from Farrell, who finished with 10 rebounds, helped the home side stay close to the Mustangs and end the quarter trailing slightly behind with a score of 40-36 in favour of the visitors.
The Mustangs hit the court for even more exciting half where they spent the third quarter in the lead, refusing to give the Lancers a significant lead. Both quarters in the half never saw either team exceed a lead of more than three points, resulting in the game being tied 75-75 after four quarters, sending the game to overtime.
Western's first overtime game of the year didn't disappoint with both sides continuing to keep things close and ensuring the audience spent extra time on the edge of their seats. The Mustangs were able to capitalize on their defence and grab a number of rebounds and force turnovers to ensure the Lancers could not maintain a lead.
With the game tied at 82 with a minute left the two sides traded free throws to set the scoreboard at 83-83 before Morrow brought everyone to their feet by sinking a step back jumper with 4.3 seconds left on the clock. Despite one final attempt in the dying seconds, Morrow's shot proved to be the difference, giving the Mustangs an 85-83 win over the fifth-ranked team in the nation.
The Mustangs are back on the court on January 14 in away game action against the Laurier Golden Hawks. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. And can be watched live on OUA.tv.
Source: Western Mustangs