LONDON, Ont - A 24-point game from Anthony Spiridis helped drive the Mustangs to a 25 point victory over the Toronto Varsity Blues at Alumni Hall on Sunday afternoon, as Western walked away with a final score of 81-56.
"It was a good win for us," said head coach Brad Campbell. "We got off to a great start. Our defence got some steals and lead to some easy baskets at the start of the game. We did a much better job executing after that."
The Mustangs record now moves to 3-2, keeping them in third place in the OUA West Division behind the Laurier Golden Hawks and Windsor Lancers, who have records of 4-1 and sit two points ahead of the purple and white. The Toronto Varsity Blues take their fourth loss of the season, moving their record of 1-4 and keeping them in last place in the OUA East.
Four Mustang players hit double digits on Sunday, with Greg Morrow following Spiridis with 19 points. Tom Filgiano, who recorded 13 points, led the Mustang defence with eight rebounds and two steals. Jedson Tavernier played one of his better games of the season, sinking 12 points while registering six rebounds and four steals.
"It was great team defence," said Tavernier. "Everyone was focused today. Everyone knew their defensive assignments. We only had one day to prepare for the team and we really stuck to the details"
One of the top five scorers in the CIS, Devin Johnson recorded the game-high 24 points for the Varsity Blues. Two teammates followed, with Manny Sahota making 11 points and Daniel Johansson sinking 10. Johnson led Toronto's defence with eight rebounds.
The Mustangs scoring success came early in the game. They outshot the Varsity Blues with a 85.7% success rate at the free throw line while shooting 46% on field goal attempts. The Blues recorded a majority of their points from the three point line, scoring a successful 37.5% compared to the Mustangs 29.4%.
The Mustangs were quick to the board to ensure an early lead. Spiridis and Tavernier started making smart and fast plays for the purple and white, combining 16 points for the home team in the first ten minutes. The Varsity Blues had their key player, Johnson, make huge moves for their score, making ten points including two successful three point shots within the last four minutes in the frame.
Despite the Blues early success at the arc, they were outshot in the first quarter by the Mustangs 25-16.
Making five points and four rebounds in the second quarter, Filgiano proved to be a key threat on the Mustang defence. The home team's challenges kept the Varsity Blues unsuccessful on the court, as they only scored eight points in the frame. Despite having a lower scoring quarter than the first frame, the Mustangs were able to extend their lead to 18 points late in the quarter. They buzzer sounded the half with a Mustang lead of 40-24.
The Mustang play continued to dominate in the second half of the game, extending their lead to 20 points within minutes of the third frame. The Varsity Blues came out from the half ready to bring their scoring up, going an even 18-18 in the third frame.
Despite the Varsity Blues player Johnson scoring three points through the whole second half of the game, the Mustang defence we able to limit their scoring in the fourth frame. The Mustangs were able to extend their lead to 25 points to end their last home game until January with a final score of 81-56.
"Overall, our team did a nice job of staying together on things and not getting some of their isolation," said Campbell. "We stayed as a team unit and we didn't get isolated one on one."
"It's all about team defence," added Tavernier. "Our team is all about trust. Today we had good help, we're just there for each other. In the end it worked out well."
The Mustangs take on CIS no.2 Carleton Ravens on November 27 at the Raven's Nest. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. and can be watched live at OUA.tv.
Source: Western Mustangs