Inconsistency continues for Laurier as Hawks split weekend series

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Photo by Tanzeel Sayani

Following a win against Ottawa and a blowout loss to Carleton last week, next up for the Wilfrid Laurier University men’s basketball team would be the York Lions.

Utilizing good ball movement, efficient scoring and good defense, the Hawks jumped on the Lions quickly to start the game, coming out of the first quarter with a 24-16 lead.

Moving into the second quarter it would be much of the same, as Laurier would maintain a near — if not — double digit lead.

Near halftime though and up 12 Laurier would surrender a 3-pointer to York’s DeShawn Montaque giving the Lions a feeling of momentum and life going into halftime down 49-40.

“I thought we gave them life in the second quarter. We were unable to stretch our lead,” head coach Justin Serresse said.

“It goes from one point at 14 or something like that and then back to nine … we were at 12, we go back to nine. We kept playing that game.”

The third quarter began with a 9-2 run for Laurier, as they pushed their lead to 16 just over two minutes into the quarter.

From there, they would keep their foot on the gas, finishing the quarter up 70-59.

The game got interesting in the fourth as York would find life once again; they started on a 7-1 run to cut the lead down to five in the first couple of minutes.

After three free throws from Ntore Habimana of Laurier, the Lions would go on a short 6-0 run and keep the lead to at least four for a few minutes.

In the end, Laurier proved to be too much for the Lions, pulling away with stifling defense and key baskets late in the game when it mattered most. The final score was 87-75.

“I thought at the end of the game we were good. It was more the third quarter really, early in the fourth,” Serresse said.

“It goes back to the first half … it’s finishing the first half stronger. It’s just being able to extend and really it’s just mistakes. We have to give them credit, they’re a pretty good team.”

Next up was the Queen’s Gaels on Saturday night and the Gaels showed up motivated as ever, coming off an 87-75 loss to the Waterloo Warriors the night prior.

The first quarter was tight, as the Golden Hawks matched the Gaels pretty much bucket for bucket.

That would be the case until the Gaels pulled out of the first quarter with a 25-19 lead following a nice jumper to end the quarter by Jaz Bains.

The second quarter brought along a strong push by Queen’s to really create separation from the Hawks.

They quickly jumped out to a 10-point lead and lead by at least six for more than half of the quarter.

Laurier answered, cutting it down to one, but Queen’s would go into halftime up 44-41 with momentum following a layup at the buzzer from Quinton Gray.

The third quarter was a similar story as Queen’s would hit Laurier early, coming out to a 10-point lead at one point and going into the fourth up 60-55.

In the final quarter, Laurier came out swinging as they attempted to recover the lead, eventually tying at 74 points.

With the game tied at 74 though, Tanner Graham would nail a dagger three pointer with 1:04 left.

Ali Sow would answer with a layup to cut it to one but Laurier just wasn’t capable of closing it out this time.

The Hawks would fall 77-76 after a missed three-point attempt at the buzzer for the win.

“We had no urgency on the game plan,” Serresse said.

“At the beginning of the game we were supposed to do some stuff to take away their shooters. We didn’t.”

“We let them get going and then, against a team like that, they’re going to make up some shots; they’ve got confidence,” he added.

“We thought we were resilient, but once you give them life, it’s going to be really, really hard.”

The Hawks will take on the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and the Ryerson Rams in Toronto this weekend as they look to improve their 3-4 record.

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