The Mustangs kicked off their home opener on Friday against the Queen's Gaels in front of a packed crowd of elementary school children as part of their School Day programming.
The Mustangs came out on top in a tight defensive battle, with a 66–62 win over the nationally ranked Gaels.
Nik Farkic finished the game just shy of a triple-double with nine points, eight rebounds and 10 assists. Farkic again exhibited his ability to be a consistent offensive defensive leader for the Mustangs, spreading the floor offensively and boxing out his opposing guards on the boards.
On a telling play in the opening frame, Farkic led his defender into a strong screen which created space for Marko Kovac. Farkic drove to the rim and posted up before sending a dime to Kovac beyond the arc where he nailed the first bucket of the game.
On Saturday, the Mustangs took on the York Lions. They were without Kovac but still played impressively in a 78–61 rout. The Mustangs defence was strong on the afternoon as the Lions shot a dismal 5-of-23 from the field in the first half.
Fourth-year small forward Eriq Jenkins led the team defensively, with seven boards and five steals on the night. He was a spark plug at the beginning of the game, using his athleticism to take the ball to the rim with ballerina-like finesse on multiple occasions.
Without one of their most dominant players in the lineup, Jenkins and fourth-year guard Omar Shiddo carried the load, combing for 39 of the Mustangs 78 points. Shiddo led the team in scoring with 21 points, including 18 points on 11 attempts from the three-point line.
Shiddo hit back-to-back threes in the first quarter to give the Mustangs an 18–0 lead, digging the Lions into a hole that they would be unable to get out of.
The Lions showed some heart in the third quarter, scoring 30 points to cut the Mustangs lead to 13 points.
However, the Mustangs found their defensive footing in the fourth quarter and dominated the rest of the game en route to the comfortable win. Western now sits at 3–1 on the season, good for second place in the Ontario University Athletics West Division.
The greatest test of the Mustangs season will come on Friday, as the Carleton Ravens, the defending OUA champions, come to town.