Golden Hawks fall to Windsor after overcoming Brock
Coming off a run where they won three out of their last four games, the Wilfrid Laurier University women’s basketball team was looking to continue their strong play into Wednesday where they finally got their rematch with the visiting Brock Badgers.
Having lost the first matchup 65-60 in the season opener, both teams have led two different years with Brock four games out of the playoff race and Laurier in the fifth spot in the division.
In the first quarter, it was clear both teams were going to rely on their defenses to try to win them this game. The one aspect of Laurier’s game that Brock was not able to match was ball movement. Even when it seemed that Brock had them with good rotation on defense, Laurier stayed patient, managing to find the holes in the Badgers’ defense.
“I thought we did a good job on handling their ball screens defensively so we had a bunch of turnovers and some 24-second shot clock violations with some better ball screen defense,” coach Falco said.
In the second quarter, the story became whether Brock could take the lead or Laurier could distance themselves. With Brock relying on their inside game, they managed to keep cutting Laurier’s six-seven point leads down to two or one but then Laurier would create distance. Through the back and forth, Laurier went into halftime up 31-25.
Much of the third quarter resembled the back and forth of the first half, until the last couple of minutes, where the Hawks created distance and kept it. Pushing the lead from seven to 12 in the last bit of the quarter, they put the pressure on the Badgers to see if they could recover.
Unfortunately for the Badgers, that recovery never came as the Hawks pushed their lead to 18 at one point and went on to avenge their season-opening loss with a 73-58 win.
“Offensively, we moved the ball well, we had 20-some odd assists which usually means we’re moving the ball well and hitting the open person,” head coach, Paul Falco said of his team’s offensive performance.
“So, whenever you do that, you get a good chance to gap a team and that’s what we did in that second half.”
Next up was a tough rematch against the no. 9 ranked Windsor Lancers. The last matchup between the Lancers and the Golden Hawks saw Laurier lose 71-60 on the strength of Lancer Emily Prevost’s 30 points and 12 rebounds.
The game-plan for this one led to a different outcome, at least for Prevost.
“We had a couple things we set out to do against Windsor defensively and I thought we did a good job on Emily Prevost, their All-Star,” Falco said. “I think she had 30 in the first game and we held her to around six points in the second game. We set out to do some things against her that worked.”
Unfortunately for the Golden Hawks, they couldn’t muster up much. The first quarter started out well, as Laurier kept it close for the first few minutes. That changed quickly as the Lancers went on a 9-0 run and closed the quarter up 18-11.
In the second, Windsor turned it up as they had their way from the perimeter on offense, hitting six three-pointers in the quarter alone. Playing well on the defensive end to boot, Windsor closed the first half up 40-23.
“What we didn’t do is, we didn’t stop the three-point shot and that was one of our other keys, was to limit their 3-point opportunities, and they had a good day from the three-point line; that obviously hurt us,” Falco said.
Not too much changed in the second half as Laurier was given plenty of trouble on offense due to Windsor’s stingy defensive play in addition to holding their own, not allowing any sort of runs or comeback attempts like the previous matchup. With Nicole Morrison kept in check and also in foul trouble, the Lancers were able to take the win by a score of 67-50.
“The other thing that hurt us was our offense. We had trouble getting high-percentage shots and then when we did we weren’t finishing well. Also, they took Nicole out of the game a little bit. She got into early foul trouble and it was hard for her to get into a flow,” Falco mentioned.
Next up for the Golden Hawks is a rematch against the Western Mustangs on Feb. 7 at the University of Waterloo.