Morrison shines as Hawks upset Gaels

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Photo by Qiao Liu

Following a 1-1 weekend last week, the Wilfrid Laurier University women’s basketball team was looking to go 2-0 this time around.

First up in their two game weekend was the York Lions, who would present quite the challenge.

The first quarter was evenly matched as both teams had an answer for the other consistently throughout.

Going into the second quarter up 21-17, both teams knew they could have done more in the first, but York would come out trying to prove a point.

Laurier had managed to stick around for most of the quarter until the Lions started to find themselves.

Led by star Lindsay Shotbolt, who had a double-double by halftime, York played good defense and found efficient looks with good ball movement.

They went into halftime up 39-25.

As per usual, Laurier would not go down easily.

Laurier opened the third quarter on an 11-2 run less than three minutes into the third quarter to bring the score to 41-36.

The issue? York would answer with a 13-0 run of their own over the next four minutes, pushing the lead to 18.

An answer would materialize though, courtesy of Nicole Morrison of Laurier. Morrison went on a 10-0 run of her own for the Hawks, finishing out the last three minutes of the quarter with a score of 54-44.

“I think what you saw today was a team that battled for 40 minutes and that was our number one goal, win or lose. We didn’t get a lot of offense in that fourth quarter, so our defense had to be good, it was just good enough,” Falco said.

Come the fourth quarter, York proved too much as they would stifle the Golden Hawks.

The Lions would come out on top with a final score of 69-58, led by Lindsay Shotbolt who had 17 points and 19 rebounds.

“Overall [it’s a] disappointing effort,” head coach Paul Falco said. “I think we got out-competed for stretches of that game.”

“We made really difficult decisions with the basketball which either led to a turnover or a low percentage shot and it’s tough to play defense if they’re running the other way, running 2-on-1 layups.”

Next up would be the Queen’s Gaels, ranked tenth in the league.

Laurier, looking to bounce back, came out as motivated as ever. The Hawks played well on defense, which gave them a 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was similar, with both teams playing aggressively on defense and Queen’s keeping themselves in the game throughout.

The score going into halftime would 30-29. The third quarter is where things got interesting.

Nicole Morrison came out firing, scoring 11 of Laurier’s first 13 points and assisting on the other two points.

She would go on to score 19 in the quarter as both teams enjoyed offensive bursts but the Hawks would be up 61-53 going into the fourth.

Fast forward to the 3:37 mark of the fourth quarter: Emma Ritcey of Queen’s brought the score to 69-67, Laurier up.

After a three-pointer from Morrison, giving her 37 for the game to make it 72-67, Veronika Lavergne of Queen’s would get a layup and one to make it 72-70.

Unfortunately for the Gaels, they would not be able to capitalize and Laurier would come out on top with the statement win.

“I think what you saw today was a team that battled for 40 minutes and that was our number one goal, win or lose,” Falco said.

With her 37 points, Nicole Morrison would break the OUA all-time single game scoring record of 32 points.

“I think you remember more about a team effort than you do individual statistics, but that’s just my opinion,” she concluded.

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