Hawks score historic blow-out
Holding an opponent to 19 points is a pretty good defensive effort for most football teams. But holding an opponent to 19 points in a basketball game? Ridiculous.
However, that’s exactly what the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s basketball team did on Saturday afternoon as they dominated the Waterloo Warriors 70-19.
“I think our team defence was really dominant,” said Laurier head coach Paul Falco. “We’ve been working on a lot of things defensively…. We were able to control their penetration and really take over the boards and I think it paid off.”
The 19 points marks the lowest recorded total given up by the Hawks in team history and continues the team’s best start since 2007, improving them to 8-2.
“We identified a couple things that we knew we had to do better this year, one certainly was playing better defence,” said Falco. “We had to bring our points against per game down and we’ve done that by altering a few things on defence, changing the philosophy.”
That change in defensive philosophy was never more evident than on Saturday when the Hawks forced 40 turnovers and held the Warriors to a paltry 19.15 field goal percentage on the way to the lop-sided victory.
The Hawks’ 8-2 record marks a dramatic improvement upon where the team was at this point last year (4-6) and even the year before (4-7). For Falco, who’s in his third year as the team’s coach, the strong start is an indication that the players are starting to thrive in his system.
“It always takes a couple of years to get things really implemented but I think by this point it is really our team,” said Falco. “We’ve got a couple years of recruiting in and that certainly helps, but the people who were here before me are players that I would’ve recruited anyway…. Also I think having some girls who are now in their third year in the system, they’ve really gotten more comfortable playing our brand of basketball.”
That brand of basketball has translated into the second-lowest points against total in the division and a record that’s good enough for second in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West.
Despite the team’s current spot in the standings, Falco maintains that now is not the time to worry about the team’s record.
“It’s way too early to get caught up in that sort of thing,” he said. “The biggest thing for us is to keep getting better because if we do that our record will take care of itself.”
This weekend the Hawks travel to Thunder Bay to take on the Lakehead Thunderwolves who sit just two points behind the purple and gold in the OUA West.