Allin shines in first win of the year

With his family in attendance, Luke Allin led the Golden Hawks over U of T on Saturday evening

Men's basketball vs. Ryerson 2 (Zoe Nguyen)
Photos by Zoe Nguyen

Fresh off Friday’s blowout loss to Ryerson, the Wilfrid Laurier University men’s basketball team was in need of an offensive leader. In their second game of the weekend, they found one.

Freshman Luke Allin’s integration into coach Peter Campbell’s offence had been rough in the early going. Inserted into the starting lineup, he had frequently looked unsure with the ball and struggled to put forth consistent production.

He had also been dealing with lofty expectations. His brother Max who graduated last year, was a Laurier basketball star who has moved on to play professionally in Australia for the Southern Peninsula Sharks.

On Saturday night, Max and the Allin family were in attendance watching Luke provide some insight as to why hopes are so high for the 6’7 forward.

The Hawks saw an electrifying 89-86 victory against the University of Toronto on Saturday night. After a sparse first quarter usage, Allin reentered the game with 5:30 left in the second and proceeded to ignite, scoring Laurier’s next 11 points on four-of-four shooting, leading the team to the halfway mark up eight points, 43-35.

The intermission did nothing to break the spell, as he only missed three shots the rest of the way, finishing with 23 points on seven for seven three-point shooting.

Those around him felt it was a huge step in his development as a complete player.

“He’s had games where he’s done good things, but he’s never had a game where he’s done a bunch of good things,” Campbell said of his freshman.

“He’s got to come out of this one thinking, ‘Okay, I can play at this level.’”“It was pretty awesome,” Max Allin said. “He shot the ball really well. It’s just a confidence thing with him, obviously he’s a younger player and he just needed to see one of two go in, and it just took off from there.”

Luke Allin also felt it was a performance to build on.

“It definitely helps. I won’t be timid with the ball [in the future]. I’ll definitely look to get my own [shots], but also involve my teammates as much as I can and do whatever I can to get the win,” he said.

Allin was not the only Hawk to put forth a productive outing. Aiddian Walters was crucial off the bench, generating 17 points, six rebounds and a needed energy boost midway through the first quarter.

Garrison Thomas had a strong impact on both the offensive and defensive end and Kyrie Coleman put up 16 points and was a presence in the paint. However, while Allin was shooting the lights out, University of Toronto guard Julian Clarke was putting up his own huge numbers for the Varsity Blues.

His 23 points in the second half helped his team gain the momentum necessary to dissolve a once-secure Golden Hawk lead in the fourth, bringing the score to 88-86. The 13-2 U of T run caused some nail biting on the Laurier bench.

“Well, it’s stressful because [Clarke] was playing really well and making some big shots, and we’d lost our confidence offensively, we got a little carried away, a little helter—skelter, and that’s not our strength,” Campbell said.

“There were a couple of little breakdowns where we didn’t need them, and then the spiral. They start getting confident, we start getting nervous, and bad things happen.”

Luckily, Clarke missed two consecutive three-point attempts and Laurier freshman Chuder Teny hit a free throw late to ice the 89-86 win.

Largely absent from statistical impact over the weekend was fourth-year guard Will Coulthard. In Friday’s ugly loss to Ryerson in which Laurier never lead and looked disorganized throughout, Coulthard produced only nine points on 4-15 shooting and in Sunday’s win managed only two.

Although hampered by an ankle injury, he was unwilling to make excuses.

“I’m trying not to think about that too much,” Coulthard said. “I just have to get in the gym a little more and find my shot.”

Campbell was also made clear he expects more out of his senior guard.

“If we’re going to be successful, we’ve got to get him out of that funk and get him playing.”

Next weekend, Coulthard, Allin and the Golden Hawks hit the road for games versus York and Queen’s, who both sit at 0-1.

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