Golden Hawks finish 2017 with a victorious ‘Battle of Waterloo’

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Photo by Tanzeel Sayani

For the final game of the first half of the season the Wilfrid Laurier Univeristy women’s basketball team faced up against the Waterloo Warriors in a contentious battle at home.

The Warriors were looking to break Laurier’s win streak against them with it being 16 straight going into the contest.

Starting out in the first quarter, both teams came out playing well on the offensive side of the ball. Waterloo got out to a short-lived lead that Laurier took back quickly. That lead would not go far though, as the Warriors showed they were able to push back every time Laurier would get a couple of baskets and stops in a row. The lead was only five for Laurier heading into the second.

“I thought we started out, defensively, not as strong as we were hoping. Took us a little bit of a while to get our defensive game going but our offense was pretty good in that first quarter,” head coach, Paul Falco said.

The second quarter was even closer as the Warriors closed Laurier’s gap to three or fewer points for much of the quarter. That changed with less than four minutes to go, as Nicole Morrison scored five in a row for Laurier to make it a six-point lead. After trading baskets once more, Laurier went into halftime up six.

The third quarter is where the game took a huge turn, as Laurier turned it up defensively  and big time.

After giving up a bucket to the Warriors at the 8:01 mark, the Hawks held them scoreless for the next 7:26 as they got out to a lead of 21 points at one point. The Hawks gave them everything as Waterloo seemed to be no match. Outscoring the Warriors 17-4 in the quarter, Laurier went into the fourth up 19.

In terms of what the main factors were behind the Hawks’ ability to come out so strong from halftime and turn it into a blowout, coach Falco said, “Coming out of that third quarter, we did a better job taking care of the ball and we did a way better job defensively, and that allowed us to gap them.”

“Well, I think defensively, individually, our girls were way more responsible defensively. They moved their feet better and they took away what Waterloo wanted to do, which in the first half, we didn’t do that as well,” Falco said.

We were able to get them shooting some low percentage shots and we finished the possessions with rebounds. So, the third quarter was a great defensive effort on our part.”

In the fourth, it seemed like Waterloo was no longer capable of pushing back, as the closest they got was within 14 points over the quarter. Laurier was capable of holding the fort and maintaining a comfortable lead throughout the final quarter. The final score of this one was 67-50, pushing Laurier’s win streak versus Waterloo to 17 straight.

In terms of what the main factors were behind the Hawks’ ability to come out so strong from halftime and turn it into a blowout, coach Falco said, “Coming out of that third quarter, we did a better job taking care of the ball and we did a way better job defensively, and that allowed us to gap them.”

Up next for Laurier, they will have a few games at the U of T Holiday Invitational tournament during the Christmas break.

“That tournament at U of T is really about getting the rust off,” Falco said. “The girls are going to be in exams for the next few weeks, so we can’t get as much basketball in as we’d like. So that’ll give them an opportunity to sort of get their legs back and get some of the rust off from Christmas break.”

“We’re going to need some people to get healthy, we’re a little bit injured right now and we’re going to need to keep our form so that we’re ready come January.”

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