Kurt leads Hawks past Gryphons in overtime victory

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Coming back from a 12-point deficit in the second half, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s basketball team survived a scare from the Guelph Gryphons to hang onto a 75-73 overtime victory at the Athletic Complex Wednesday night.

With the win, the Hawks move on to the Ontario University Athletics’ (OUA) quarterfinals against the Brock Badgers on Saturday.

Down 35-23 at the half, the Hawks roared back to score 21 and 18 points in the third and fourth quarters respectively.

First year and OUA rookie of the year consideration Shelby Kurt led the way with 20 points including 14 in the last two quarters to help the squad claw back into contention.

“We got away with what we had set out to do right out of the gate,” said Hawks’ head coach Paul Falco. “Our execution was really poor but the girls stuck with it.”

Missing fifth-year guard Amber Hillis and second-year guard Doreen Bonsu, the Hawks needed contributions from unlikely sources and Kimberley Yeldon and Alena Luciani provided just that with 14 and 12 points respectively. Yeldon had a double-double with 13 rebounds as well – the only Hawk with more than six.

Felicia Mazerolle also got off to a slow start but finished strong with five points alone in the extra frame, capping a 15 point game for the second-year.

“She was similar to our team (Mazerolle) in that we were out of synch in the first half, but they played simpler later on… It’s also her second game back [from a concussion] so it could have been a bit of rust there, being off for four games.”

Defensively, Laurier did a much better job shutting down Guelph’s star centre, Jasmine Douglas in the latter stages of the game. Douglas finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds.

Guelph’s Kitchener-Waterloo natives also had strong showings as Waterloo’s Alyssa Shortt had 14 points and Kate MacTavish had 10.

And up next is Brock; a team the Hawks swept twice this year by 77-69 and 69-68 scores.

“We know them pretty well,” said Falco. “They’re a balanced team. They have some tough inside scorers and some really good guards.”

Game time on Saturday is 2 p.m. in St. Catharines.

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