Hawks magical season comes to an end
The Wilfrid Laurier University’s men’s basketball team’s historic season came to an end on Wednesday night against the Ryerson Rams in the 2019 OUA semi-finals.
Coming off an impressive win against McMaster in the quarter-finals, the Hawks went into this game against the #3 ranked team in Canada with a new level of confidence, but unfortunately it was not enough.
The Hawks hosted the game at the Athletic Complex in front of 966 fans, but they did not let the pressure get to them at the start of the game.
Laurier jumped out to an early lead, but the Rams eventually found their rhythm and led by four after the first quarter.
Things started to get ugly for the Hawks in the second quarter, as the Rams put up 33 points to take a 54-35 lead at halftime. Ryerson hit an astonishing nine three-pointers in the first half alone.
But the Hawks did not go down without a fight. The purple and gold came out as the more energetic team in the third quarter and they arguably had their best quarter of the entire season, outscoring Ryerson 35-22.
It was second-year forward Ben Stevens who spearheaded the comeback for the Hawks, as he brought the Golden Hawk fans to their feet with a massive dunk over Ryerson center Tanor Ngon, who stands at seven-foot-two inches tall.
Ali Sow was his usual spectacular self as he led the Hawks in points with 26, as the Hawks eventually cut the lead down to as low as five. In the end though, even the OUA’s leading scorer could not lead the Hawks to a victory. Ryerson pulled away and showed why they are the third-ranked U-Sport team, outscoring Laurier 23-14 in the fourth quarter, to win by a final score of 99-84.
Although the Hawks magical playoff run is now over, this was a season that everyone can be proud of. After climbing to the #8 ranked U-Sport team, the sky is the limit for this young roster under the guidance of head coach Justin Serresse and fans will be more excited than ever to see what this team can do next season.