- A tip of the cap is due to Manotick's Scott Mitchell. The left tackle helped clear the way for the Rice Owls to pile up the points (38) and the yards (455) in their school-history-making win over Western Michigan last night.
Rice more or less is a NCAA equivalent to Mount Allison in Canada. You could also draw parallels with Toronto, since it's a big engineering and sciences school, albeit one with less than 3,000 undergraduates. Last night gave the Owls' their first 10-win season in six decades and first bowl win since 1954. It is a big deal. The game's first touchdown came on an running play to Mitchell's side, by the way.
- The Score will air the GMAC Bowl on Tuesday, Jan. 6, where Ottawa native Tyler Holmes will start at left tackle for the Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Ball State. Those teams might outscore a few college basketball teams that night.
Holmes' coach, Todd Graham, by the way, is the one who helped start the turnaround at Rice. The crazy connections never stop.
- In other Ottawa-area offensive tackle news (how hyper-local!) that can ripped off Rivals.com without actually paying for it, it's down to four teams for Barrhaven native Brander Craighead. Three are in the ACC and one's in the Big East. Kingston native Hunter Steward, all 6-foot-7, 300 lbs., of him, has had two formal offers.
- Gee-Gees: Ottawa ended up with the bronze medal at the Wesmen Classic, beating Alberta 78-75 in overtime yesterday afternoon in Winnipeg. Warren Ward, who is on anyone's list of the country's best freshmen, put up 18 points and nine rebounds.
The Gee-Gees had two nip-tuck games, the other being the last-second 74-73 loss to Calgary on Tuesday, where they held the No. 4 team in Canada to 27 points in the first half.
Robbie Sihota, who's as reliable a senior forward as there is in Canada West, hit the game-winning shot with 2.5 seconds left.
JGB had a typical all-around night (17 points, nine rebounds, six rebounds) and played 39 of 40 minutes. Josh Wright had 16 points and three dimes in 23 minutes.
(Apologies for not calling the University of Winnipeg to request boxscores from the tournament, especially when one of our writers is an alumnus!)
- Ravens: The No. 1 team in the country, as noted, plays Acadia Friday in its first game at the Rod Shoveller tourney in Halifax. The schedule is set up for Carleton to meet No. 3 St. Francis Xavier -- a Dave Smart-Steve Konchalski coaching matchup! -- in the final on Sunday.
How about about Ashleigh Cleary on the Carleton women's team shooting 10-of-11, including a buzzer-beater to win the game, on Monday vs. New Brunswick?
- In NCAA women's hoops, Ottawa native Courtnay Pilypaitis helped her Vermont Catamounts play nationally ranked Florida tough on its home court Monday night. Pilypaitis had 20 points, six rebounds, five steals and five assists for Vermont, which lost just 85-76. Vermont is on a five-game skid, but that's still no mean feat for an America East team playing a SEC school on the road.