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Mustangs Trample Golden Bears, Move on to National Semifinals

Zach Friedman

            The Western Mustangs defeated the Alberta Golden Bears 86-72 in the opening game of the USports National Tournament. With this win the Western Mustangs will move on to the national semifinals Saturday evening – there first time achieving such a feat since 2002.


            The game started off rocky for the Western Mustangs, as from the get go the Mustangs did not have that competitive aggressive spark they’ve shown throughout the regular season. It was evident especially in the rebounding battle as Golden Bears’ big men Cole Knudsen and Brody Clarke were having their way with the Mustangs on the low block. That combined with a stagnant, inefficient offense, the Mustangs found themselves down 13 by the end of the first quarter.


            Then, like a flip of a switch, everything changed. Coach Brad Campbell must have said something in the huddle between quarters because the Mustangs came out firing on all cylinders. A barrage of threes from guards Omar Shiddo and Nikola Farkic propelled the Mustangs to an 18-0 run to start the second quarter. The Mustangs were electrifying on both ends of the floor and finished the half up by a score of 46-36, 35-12 in the quarter.


            The second half played out mostly the same as the second quarter, finishing the game shooting 46% from the field, and a mind boggling 61% from three point range, hitting a total of 17 from the land beyond.


            The great play of the Mustangs can be attributed to many players on this talented roster. Omar Shiddo led all scorers with 24 points and 6 three pointers. Eriq Jenkins had 21, as well as 6 rebounds and five assists. A surprise contributor for the Mustangs was Aryan Sharma. In 26 minutes off the bench Sharma put up 17 points and shot 4 of 4 from deep. Nikola Farkic was consistent as usual, with 13 points, 6 assists, and he also contributed on the defensive end with 6 steals.


            It was an all-around team effort from the Western Mustangs and they will play tomorrow at 6pm against the winner of Carleton vs. Calgary later this afternoon.