Laurier men’s basketball team ranked sixth in the nation

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After the opening weekend of the OUA basketball season, Laurier’s men’s basketball team has achieved their highest U SPORTS top 10 rankings in over six years.

Two decisive wins for Laurier coming against Toronto and Windsor this past week have the Golden Hawks ranked as the sixth-best team in the country, which is their highest ranking since being ranked fifth back in 2012. 

Laurier’s basketball team is coming off one of their best seasons in team history, as Coach Serresse led the Golden Hawks to first place in the OUA West, with a franchise-record of 18 wins last year. 

In addition, the Golden Hawks were third in the league in terms of total points and three-pointers per game. The offence, in large part, led the Golden Hawks to the semi-finals last year, where their record-setting season was put to an end in a loss to Ryerson. 

Many of the players from that team last year have returned this year, including third-year guard from Ottawa, Ali Sow. Sow was the driving force of the Golden Hawks success last year, as he set a new OUA single-season scoring record, was named to the OUA first team, was a second-team All-Canadian and was also awarded as the team MVP amongst many weekly accolades. 

Sow was on fire last year, averaging over 26.0 points per game and added to his experience this past summer as he competed for the Canadian national team at the 2019 Universiade in Italy. 

Sow was joined by his coach Justin Serresse at the Universiade over the summer, as both Golden Hawks got experience playing for the national team.

Last Wednesday, Sow picked up right where he left off last year, as he scored 34 points while shooting 13 of 20 from the field against Toronto. 

The first half was all his, as Sow gave the Golden Hawks a sizeable enough lead, hitting a number of critical shots. 

The defence also held tough for the Hawks, grabbing 38 defensive rebounds and holding the Toronto Varsity Blue’s to 25 per cent shooting in the fourth quarter. 

“I thought we executed our game defensively and that was our goal today,” Serresse said after the game. 

The weekend game on the road against Windsor was similar as the Golden Hawks defensively made it tough for the Lancers and offensively took over late in the third quarter on the production of fifth-year forward Kemel Archer. 

Archer had a double-double scoring 21 points, 11 of which were in the third quarter and grabbing a near career-high, 14 rebounds. 

Ali Sow also had 20 points and four assists, helping Laurier win decisively. 

The Golden Hawks have started their season off dominantly on both sides of the ball and were rewarded as being ranked 6th in the country- their highest ranking since 2012.

 Laurier has a tough challenge ahead of them as they head to the Nation’s capital this upcoming weekend to face the third-ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees on Friday and the defending national champions, the top-ranked Carleton Ravens on Saturday night. 

Laurier played both the Gee-Gees and Ravens last year, losing a close game against the Ravens, and narrowly defeating the Gee-Gees. 

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