Shiddo Shoots Mustangs Past Student Princes
Western Mustangs Men's BasketballJohn Urban
The Western Mustangs men’s basketball team came into Friday afternoon’s game with a 2-2 record so far in the 2018 preseason, hosting the Heidelberg University Student Princes with a 2pm tip-off at Alumni Hall With two straight losses to American NCAA Division III teams (Lincoln Memorial and Grand Valley), followed by two straight wins over Canadian OCAA schools (Lambton and St. Clair), Western was looking to get above the .500 mark in exhibition play.
Heidelberg University is a private liberal arts college located in Tiffin, Ohio who competes in the NCAA Division III. Unlike baseball, volleyball and track & field, basketball has had limited success for the small Ohio school founded in 1850, with an OAC Tournament Championship and becoming NCAA Regional Participant as a result back in 2008 being the lone spotlight.
The two teams stayed neck and neck to start the contest tied 10-10 through the first half of quarter number one. Midway through the opening quarter, the Heidelberg University Student Princes continued to try an establish a three-ball game, despite great perimeter defence by the home side. The Mustangs would pull away with a 21-17 lead after the first quarter of play, thanks to a combined 13 points from Guards Eriq Jenkins and Omar Shiddo.
After the rough opening quarter, the physical play continued in the second with ‘The Berg’ picking up four straight fouls to start the frame. Allowing the purple and white to push the lead to double-digits 34-23. The officials would try to settle down the chirpy affair by handing out a pair of technical fouls to Heidelberg’s Alex Arellano and Western’s Eriq Jenkins after an intense stare down with words. A couple late quarter three-balls by the Student Princes would cut the Mustangs lead down to 43-38 at halftime, with a first half that featured 22 fouls by both teams (Heidelberg 12-10). Omar Shiddo’s 12 first half points, was supported by teammate Marko Kovac with 9, while the visiting team was led by Cleveland, Ohio native Myron Prewitt with 9 points and Guard Dylan Woods with 8.
Back to back three’s by Prewitt and Woods early in the second half, would bring the Student Princes back to life and allowed them to grab their first taste of the lead 48-47 with 7 minutes left in the third quarter. Unfortunately for the team from Ohio, the lead wouldn’t be savoured thanks to an 8-0 run by Western and Guard Omar Shiddo grabbing the last 8 points in the quarter to restore a 69-58 advantage. While the 6’5 Forward Myron Prewitt continued to battle for the visiting team with 9 points in lone quarter, giving him 18 points going into the fourth.
Omar Shiddo would continue to shine late in the contest scoring five straight points, following a five-point run by sophomore teammate Julian Walker. The Student Princes would continue to get in foul trouble, being the first team to 5 team fouls each quarter, something visiting Head Coach Andy Bucheit made clear to the officials. The trips to the charity stripe resulted in free points which inevitably put the game out of reach for Heidelberg, in the 94-87 win for Western. The Toronto, Ontario native Omar Shiddo led all players on the court with 29 points in the victory.
The Mustangs will not have an opportunity to lay back and enjoy some turkey this Thanksgiving weekend, with another two games still to play this weekend. Taking on the Drew University Rangers, an NCAA Division III school from Madison, New Jersey twice: Saturday (4pm) and Sunday (10am) at Alumni Hall.