Hawks’ playoff hopes diminish in the first round

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File Photo / Photo by Tanzeel Sayani

It was a different story for the women’s basketball team on the other hand. One and done season has dawned upon us in the world of OUA women’s basketball and the Laurier Golden Hawks ran into a familiar foe once again: The Brock Badgers. Splitting the regular season series seemed to mean nothing this time around though as Brock took care of home court winning by a score of 54-35.

While the score says one thing, the game itself went a lot different than most would assume. This matchup looked pretty similar to the previous two matchups these two teams have had: tight, close defensive games. This was the case of the first half at least. 

Despite Brock dominating the glass, Laurier used their defensive prowess to keep them in the game and go into halftime being up 25-23 after holding the Badgers to nine second quarter points.

 “I thought we played a really good road first half—in terms of keeping it tight, defensively, not giving them a lot of opportunities and we came out with a two-point lead. There was a couple of things we wanted to clean up. One was the defensive boards, they had a bunch of offensive rebounds, and another was to be a little bit more efficient on offence but generally, we were pleased with the first half,” coach Falco said.

The third quarter saw Brock make an attempt to pull away a bit as they managed to get a little more out of their offence than they were able to in the second quarter. Laurier on the other hand was not able to do much offensively at all as they were held to seven points. Despite this, they went into the fourth quarter only being down seven. 

This was definitely a transition year for us. I think we lost six veterans from last year, so we were asking our third years and second years to step into the leadership role and take on a bigger role in terms of on-court play.

“At the end of the third quarter, as poor as we had played offensively, we were still only down 7 points because our defence was pretty good. So I told the girls, ‘we had a poor third quarter, we have lots of time to bounce back, let’s get back on track,’” coach Falco stated.

The fourth quarter saw the Golden Hawks do the opposite of what they had hoped. After only scoring three points but managing to keep themselves in it only being down 41-35 with five minutes left in the game, the Badgers smelled blood and finished the game on a 13-0 run to win by 19. The Hawks biggest downfall was the huge offensive drop off they suffered, going 2-26 from the field in the second half to the tune of 10 points and only three in the fourth quarter.

“We came into that second half and it’s funny because Brock didn’t actually do much different. You look at our output offensively, it really dropped. Defensively, we were similar, I thought, until later in the game. It was just our ability to finish, inside, outside, everywhere.” 

“It was just not there. I’ve never seen anything like it in terms of just missing shot after shot. That was the big difference and I think by the last four minutes of the fourth quarter, the girls were pretty deflated and then you saw their defence start to drop and then Brock sort of gapped us.”

Following another solid year under coach Falco, it will be interesting to see how this roster changes for next season. 

“This was definitely a transition year for us. I think we lost six veterans from last year, so we were asking our third years and second years to step into the leadership role and take on a bigger role in terms of on-court play. I was pleased with the girls’ effort all year and I think we played a good brand of team basketball.”

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