Men’s basketball ends losing streak


(Photo by Cristina Rucchetta)
(Photo by Cristina Rucchetta)

The Laurier men’s basketball team helped their playoff chase on Saturday, defeating the Waterloo Warriors 84-75.

The win gave them a four-point lead over Waterloo for the final playoff spot in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West division.

“We came out with a lot of energy,” said second-year point guard Will Coulthard following the game.

“We knew we were better than these guys, we just had to show it from the start, push the tempo and get easy baskets and that’s how we like to play.”

Like it has been all season, Laurier’s offence was led by Coulthard and Max Allin.

Coulthard tied a school record for three-pointers in a game, with eight, and finished the game with 34 points.

“I felt good, I hit a few and then they kept coming from there,” said Coulthard.

“Once they start falling its easy after that.”

Allin added 23 points, going five-for-six from beyond the arc. He also led the team with eight rebounds and nine assists.

Allin’s afternoon was highlighted by a miraculous shot at the end of the first quarter. Allin heaved it up from over 60 feet away to beat the buzzer and banked it in to give Laurier a 23-11 lead.

“I saw there [were] two seconds left when I got the ball,” Allin said.

“I was practicing earlier on in the day and I finally hit one, and it gave us a nice boost.”

Despite Laurier’s strong start, Waterloo would battle back and keep the game interesting.

However, the Hawks put the game out of reach after starting the final quarter with an 18-2 run.

Garrison Thomas was the only other Laurier player to reach double digits, finishing with 11 points.

“We’ve been in a slump lately and we needed to get a win,” said Allin.

“They beat us last time and we came out today with a lot of energy and getting a lot of shots.”

The win ended the team’s three-game losing streak — dropping a pair of games last weekend to Lakehead and another to McMaster on Wednesday — and put them in a prime position for the final stretch.

With four games remaining, the Hawks can control their playoff fate.

Currently in sixth place, with games against Brock, Guelph and two against the bottom dwellers, the Western Mustangs, winning out could launch the team all the way to fourth in the OUA West.

“We know we can beat the teams we’re playing against,” Coulthard said.

“We’ve already beat a couple so if we play hard and play with energy we’ll be okay.”

The Hawks look like they will be without third-year and former OUA West rookie of the year Patrick Donnelly for the remainder of the season, as Donnelly reportedly quit the team earlier in the week.

Laurier will be back in action Wednesday night when they host the Brock Badgers. The game tips off at 8 p.m.

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