Last chance for Hawks basketball

(Photo by Heather Davidson)
(Photo by Heather Davidson)

WINDSOR, Ont. — After a triumphant win against the Western Mustangs a week earlier, the Wilfrid Laurier women’s basketball team headed to Windsor Saturday for the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West final just wanting to play spoiler.

They were going against the No. 1 nationally ranked Windsor Lancers, who were also the defending national champions the past three years, for a chance to play in the OUA final.

And the Lancers had everything to lose.

But a too big, too athletic Lancer team shut the door on any upset, sending the Hawks home with a tough 86-58 loss to swallow.

“They’re a great team, they’re ranked number one in the country for a reason,” fourth-year Whitney Ellenor said.

“They come out and compete hard every single game and we needed to come out and compete hard as well. I think we did a good job, but I think we turned the ball over too much and that’s what killed us.”

From tipoff to the final buzzer, the Lancers dominated the Hawks.

Three players finished the game with over 20 points, and that didn’t include star fifth-year player Jessica Clemencon, who finished with 14 points.

Miah-Maris Langlois, Korissa Williams and Cheyanne Roger finished with 24, 22 and 20 points, respectively, for the Lancers.

“I think we saw what they do best and that really hurt us,” head coach Paul Falco said after Saturday’s game.

“Their pressure hurt us in terms of turnovers and it created a lot of transition and easy hoops for them.”

“I think our girls battled extremely hard. It probably didn’t reflect in the scoreboard, but I was pleased with the effort,” he continued.

With little height to the Hawks’ roster, and their only player matching up being the 6’3” Ellenor, Laurier struggled with the inside game.

However, Ellenor had her best game statistically of the 2013-14 year, as she put up 18 points and two rebounds in the losing effort.

Throughout the season, Ellenor averaged 7.3 points per game, dropping from 11.1 per game in the 2012-13 season.

After suffering a foot injury that kept her off the court for the majority of the season, Ellenor’s offensive game came at a key time for the Hawks.

“Whitney had an extremely good game,” said Falco.

“She played hard from start to finish. Not only did she score a bit for us, which was nice, … but she played Clemencon extremely hard.”

Despite the loss, the Hawks’ season isn’t done.

With their win against the Mustangs last week, Laurier has a second chance at a spot in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championships in Windsor next weekend.

But to get that berth, they have to go through the Carleton Ravens.

Laurier defeated the Ravens 58-49 in their only meeting throughout the season back on Nov. 22.

With a team that plays very similarly to the Hawks, Laurier will look to go inside with their post players. However, Ellenor mentioned that when they collapse, Laurier’s sharp shooters will come in handy.

“We’ve worked so hard all season in the gym every day watching our progress, it’s amazing to see where we’ve come from,” Ellenor said.

“And there are a lot of people doubting us so we’ve worked our butts off to get here and we’ve earned our spot to play in Ottawa this weekend.”

“I think what we did last week earned us a second chance and we’re trying to take advantage of that,” Falco echoed.

“Carleton’s a tough team and we have to go into their gym … They’re a tough defensive team, but we’re looking forward to heading to Carleton and taking them down.”

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