Badgers no match for No. 9 nationally ranked Hawks

(Photo by Cristina Rucchetta)
(Photo by Cristina Rucchetta)

After two straight decisions against the Guelph Gryphons and the No. 1 Windsor Lancers, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s basketball team had no trouble with the Brock Badgers, handily defeating them 68-48 Saturday afternoon.

The Hawks’ victory snapped a two-game slide — their first consecutive loses of the 2013-14 campaign — improving their record to 14-4. Laurier remains in second place in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West division behind the No. 1 nationally ranked Windsor Lancers, who sit at 17-1.

The Badgers drop to .500 with a record of 9-9 with four games remaining in the regular season.

Laurier head coach Paul Falco attributed the strong win to the tenacious defence and consistent offence in a strong performance against the fourth-place Badgers.

“I thought we played well against Windsor on Wednesday and we talked about carrying that momentum into today,” said Falco.

“I thought we did a great job right out of the gate against Brock.”

Falco noted the lack of intensity, particularly in the second quarter, and his team’s character to respond with a 20-point victory over the Badgers.

“In the second quarter we turned the ball over,” explained Falco.

“We managed to clean that up and push through for the fourth quarter.”

“Every team tries to have a hard 40 minutes of intensity,” he added.

Laurier contained Brock’s most potent offensive threats, forwards Nicole Rosenkranz, Kayla Santilli and Andrea Polischuk.

Rosenkranz was the only Badger to contribute more than two field goals, finishing with ten points and nine rebounds in the losing effort.

Fourth-year Laurier guard Laura Doyle had a game-high 11 points with three assists and two rebounds. She is currently ranked eighth in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) for three-point attempts per game and 14th in three-point percentage, and is an important part of Falco’s perimeter offence.

Laurier continued their balanced offence with eight Hawks scoring more than six points, including nine points from second-year guard Kaitlyn Schenck, and eight points each from guards Bree Chaput and Lee Anna Osei.

The Hawks out-rebounded Brock 46-34 including 13 offensive boards. Third-year guard Samantha Jacobs recorded six points and a team-high nine rebounds.

Fourth-year forward Kimberley Yeldon tallied nine points and six rebounds in a breakout performance on Saturday.

Yeldon has been battling various injuries throughout the course of the season and has averaged less than five points and three rebounds through seven regular season games in 2013-2014.

Yeldon’s performance against Brock on Saturday was a step in the right direction for the veteran power forward.

“Brock has some strong players on their team so we really had to study their type of play and shut them down early in the game,” said Yeldon. “We knew we were going to have to work hard primarily on defence, and then let our offence feed off of that.”

“It was a great team win with everyone contributing in their own ways and encouraging each other.”

The Hawks will host the Lakehead Thunderwolves in their final two home games of the season on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 at the Athletic Complex. Tip off for both is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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