After being ranked 6th nationally Laurier men’s basketball team drops 6 of their last 8 games

Image by Darrien Funk

Coming off of a franchise-best season last year, head coach Justin Serresse and his basketball team had high expectations for this season. 

The Golden Hawks entered this year as the sixth ranked team nationally, which was their highest ranking in nearly a decade and came out of the gates as expected with two impressive wins over Toronto and Windsor. 

However, those two wins during the first week serve as the high-point of the season so far, as that is the only winning streak the Golden Hawks have had this year. 

Since the start of November, coach Serresse’s team has lost six of their last eight, which includes three consecutive losses at home. 

The past several games have been a challenge for the team as they have been playing with an extremely shorthanded team. Laurier ruled out both Matt Minutillo and Ntobe Habimana before the two games last week, and matters got a lot worse, when leading scorer and MVP Ali Sow rolled his ankle in the second quarter of action last Wednesday against Guelph. 

The score between Guelph and Laurier went back and forth all night last Wednesday as Kemel Archer had a career night, scoring 24 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. However, without the OUA’s leading scorer in Ali Sow, the Golden Hawks were unable to keep up with the Gryphons attack and lost 82-68. 

“It was an ankle injury and I am unsure of the extent,” a frustrated coach Serresse said after the game. 

After suffering another loss, the Golden Hawks turned their focus to this past Saturday’s game against the first place Western Mustangs. 

Rookie Vladimir Lukomski from Waterloo had a much more prominent role due to the injuries and dropped in a career high 13 points including a clutch three point shot with four seconds left to bring the game within two points. 

Laurier had an opportunity to bring the game into overtime, but Lukomski missed one of his two free throws with under a second left, giving Western a 74-73 victory. 

“It’s nearly impossible to go out there and compete when you have your best player hurting his knee, one guy gets a concussion, one rolls its ankle, it does matter… definitely makes things harder,” Coach Serresse stated after the weekend game. 

Coach Serresse was noticeably frustrated over the two home games last week as his team has dropped to 4-6 and is third place in their division. “I thought we missed a lot of easy stuff again,” Coach Serresse stated. 

Laurier will be posed to rebound as they end the calendar year with two games this week, a matchup on the road against Western, before ending the first half of their season, with a matchup against Ryerson. The first meeting between these two teams since Ryerson ended the Golden Hawks season last year in the OUA semi-final. 

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