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Sault College battles Fanshawe to win and a loss

It was a successful night on the court for the Sault College Cougars basketball teams.

It was a successful night on the court for the Sault College Cougars basketball teams.

Playing in front of packed house at the Sault College gym, the Cougar men posted a 93-84 win over the Fanshawe Falcons after a much improved Cougar women's squad fell to the defending champion Falcons 74-53 in Ontario Colleges Athletic Association action on Friday night.

In the men's contest, Ron Kelly poured in a game high 31 points to lead the Cougars offense. Jordan Sanders added 23 points, Chris Burk scored 14 while Chris Muncaster and Ryan Court contributed 10 each.

"We had some trouble with them in the first half because they were double teaming and triple teaming us and we hadn't seen that yet this year. But we calmed down a little bit and starting moving the ball to the opposite site and started to get things going," said Cougars head coach Tom Cory.

The Cougars took control of the game in the second half after beginning the frame with a 9-0 run, which Fanshawe was never able to recover from.

"Once we went on that run, our defense picked up because we knew we had that lead. The guys had that understanding that we needed to start putting them away and we came up big at the foul line in the second half," said Cory.

James Falconer and Andrew Jones scored 24 points each for the Falcons.

The Cougars improve to 1-1 on the season after losing their home opener to Lambton two weekends ago.

In the women's contest, the Cougars played well and hung tight with the Falcons, but Fanshawe took advantage of their scoring opportunities to hold on for 74-53 win.

"I was happy that our work ethic was there," said Cougars head coach Randy Russon. "From day one we said we would have to out work the other team to be successful. I don't know if we out worked them but we definitely weren't out worked ourselves.

"We had just as many scoring chances as they did and we controlled the boards by pulling down 60 per cent of the rebounds but we had trouble with their press. I would be disappointed if we didn't have our chances to score but we did."

Sault College was participating in their first OCAA women's regular season game in 20 years.

Jill Esposito led the Cougars with 11 points while Simone Taylor added 10. Carly Uhlman and Lyndsey Carlyle added eight points each.

Katie Havekes paced the Falcons with 21 points while Sarah Sanderson added 14. Sault native Kristen Conway, in her second year at Fanshawe, scored six points.

"I expect to make the playoffs if we play the rest of the year with the same intensity we played with tonight. We are playing the top two rated teams in our conference early and this will prepare us for a run through the rest of schedule," said Russon.

Both Cougar teams will join both squads from Algoma University College for a mini-tournament in Alpena, Michigan next weekend.

AUC, meanwhile, will host both Fanshawe teams on Saturday at George Leach Centre. The women tip-off at noon followed by the men at 2 p.m.