Algoma upsets the Hawks

The Thunderbirds picked up their second win on Saturday


Photo by Heather Davidson
Photo by Heather Davidson

The Wilfrid Laurier University men’s basketball team endured an up-and-down weekend by splitting two games versus the Algoma Thunderbirds.

Friday’s game saw the Hawks slice cleanly through the defence of the last-place Thunderbirds. Fourth-year Will Coulthard and first-year Chuder Teny chipped in 23 points apiece to secure an 82-62 victory.

Saturday, however, proved to be a different story. After a strong first quarter, Laurier fell victim to Algoma’s chippy, physical play and found themselves behind at the halfway mark.

“Their physicality got to us,” said Coulthard. “We couldn’t handle their pressure, they were chippy and we just didn’t deal with it well. We couldn’t play 40 minutes at that pace.”

Algoma’s Terrell Campbell put the Golden Hawk defence through fits all afternoon, adding 18 points in the second half for a game-high total of 28. Despite Laurier point guard James Agyeman providing 13 second half points on six of six shooting, the rest of the lineup put forth sparse production.

“I think we’ve got too many guys who disappeared for parts of the game. We didn’t get anything out of [Luke Allin] all weekend, we need that,” said head coach Peter Campbell.

“We’re a team that needs five or six guys contributing if we’re going to be successful.”

Midway through the fourth quarter and faced with a daunting 14-point deficit, the Golden Hawks mounted a rally behind Coulthard, who scored 23 points for the second consecutive game.

A 17-4 run, punctuated with an electrifying fadeway three-pointer by the Hawk captain, brought the game to within a single point with 30 seconds remaining.

“I made some shots down the stretch, but I didn’t think I played well through the middle part of the game,” said Coulthard.

“I guess it was good to hit some shots at the end of the game to keep us in it.”

Despite the captivating run, the Laurier push came up short, as Coulthard’s turnover and a missed three-pointer extinguished the comeback effort.

“I think we have to come back to practice on Tuesday with a purpose,” said Campbell.

“I feel like we’re continuously going to have to look for our identities,” added Garrison Thomas, whose 15-point contribution from the small forward spot helped spur the Golden Hawk comeback push.

“Our identity is a fast-paced, fast-motion offence. Sometimes we fall short of that, so I’m sure that we’ll have to continuously practice to get better at it.”

While a loss to a 2-15 Algoma team threw a shroud on the weekend, solace can be found in Teny’s breakout weekend. By putting up 37 points total over the weekend’s two games, the first-year earned the admiration of his coach.

“He’s earning minutes and he’s doing a good job of it. And good for him. He’s a young guy, he didn’t come in with any promises and he’s battled his way in,” said Campbell.

“I think a couple of games early he might not have dressed, or he was the twelfth guy, and he’s worked his way up.”

For his part, Teny was simply happy to contribute.

“I feel really great right now. I’ve been working on my game lately, trying to get a role on the team. Coach has been believing in me a lot, I’m kind of happy in my role right now. Just got to keep knocking down shots,” he said.

The Hawks still sit six points ahead of Waterloo, and eight above Algoma in the standings, good for third in their division. They trail Windsor and Western by ten points. The Golden Hawks next tip off when they host the Laurentian Voyagueurs and the Nipissing Lakers for home games next weekend.

 

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