Hawks split weekend
A dramatic overtime win on Friday and a hard-fought loss on Saturday left the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s basketball team with a split weekend.
Despite a nail-biting 85-78 overtime win against the University of Toronto on Friday, the Hawks just couldn’t handle the Ryerson Rams on Saturday, losing 81-66.
Saturday’s game got off to a low-scoring first half ending 29-28 for Ryerson with neither team letting the other get ahead by more than four points.
Things heated up after halftime, however, as both teams would net over 20 points each in the third to keep things tight, but it was all Ryerson in the fourth as they out-scored the Hawks 29-18 in the quarter, cruising away to an 81-66 win.
“We played really well against a good team until about half, then a little less in the third and not so much in the fourth,” said head coach Peter Campbell on Saturday. “We knew it would be tougher than [Friday] and that one went to overtime, which was tough in its own right. We knew their athleticism would cause us problems.”
Those games were also an opportunity for some new faces to make a splash at home.
“I thought we got a really good shift out of two of our freshman, Garrison Thomas and Amen Obano. I thought they both did a good job and they’ll get a bigger run next weekend,” said Campbell. “Matt Chesson was also steady, and Jemar Smith played well. That’s four new guys who came up and helped us as a team, which is important.”
In their home opener on Friday, a missed free throw by Toronto in the dying seconds of the fourth took the game into overtime.
William Coulthard led the team to victory with a career-high 29 points and five three-pointers, while Max Allin and Patrick Donnelly had 23 and nine points respectively.
Veteran leadership became prominent to the team’s success and the Golden Hawks looked to Allin for that.
“[Allin] struggled a bit with his shooting and they did a good job defending him, but he’s tough,” said Campbell.
“He played hurt, but he still played big minutes for us which was great. He’s the best rebounder we have defensively and offensively, he makes big shots, he’s a great player and great leader.
“If we get more guys following him and playing like him we’ll be a much better team before the season’s over.”
Allin led the team with 18 points and 15 rebounds for his third straight double-double on Saturday, coming just short of a triple-double on Friday.
Although the Hawks didn’t shoot the ball as well as they needed to to secure a win over Ryerson, it isn’t the only thing they’ll look to improve on for next weekend.
“We’ve got nine new players on our team, so our goal has been that each time we play to be a little bit better,” stated Campbell. “We’re growing, our number of players that we play is growing and our confidence is growing. There were a lot of positives to take out of it.”
According to Campbell, it’s still early in the season and he knows that they can only go up from here.
“The kids play hard and they’re going to get better as the year goes on,” Campbell said.
Laurier will look to even out their record on Nov. 23 at 8 p.m. as they face the York Lions in Toronto.