Nicole Morrison is on the path to make Laurier history

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Photo by Sharan Rana

Following a 65-48 loss to Western on Wednesday, Feb. 7, the Hawks were looking to rebound against the Guelph Gryphons with a chance to improve their ranking.

If there was any additional motivation this team needed, it also happened to be Senior’s Day, a day where Laurier honoured seniors Nicole Morrison, Lauren Jamieson, Melissa Pare, Sarah Dillon, Irena Rynkiewicz and Alex Spadaro.

“Obviously it’s great to be able to do that with their families coming down and recogniz[ing] their careers,” head coach, Paul Falco said.

“I mean, there’s six players and our athletic student trainer who put a lot into this program right? They spent a lot of time on and off the court … and to be able to recognize them in that fashion is always nice.”

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much else they could smile about as this game got out of hand quickly with Guelph winning 74-56.

Using a combination of great ball, and off-ball movement as well, Guelph blew the doors open within the first five minutes coming out to a 12-point lead and never looking back.

Laurier had their moments in this game, managing to cut the lead down to under double digits in the second half a couple of times, but to no avail.

The road to glory doesn’t get any easier for the Golden Hawks as they will have less than a week to prepare to play Lakehead on the road in a span of six days, with the first two games being played on the 16 and 17.

“It was a game where our finishing wasn’t very good and then when we finally started to make layups and make jump shots and also our defense got better, that’s where we were able to close the gap,” coach Falco said about his team’s performance.

“But there were too many stretches where we weren’t executing or weren’t finishing offensively and then it seemed to affect our defense. We lost our man a few times and our defense in transition wasn’t good. That was a bad combination and allowed them to really gap us again,” he added.

Even having had an off game, Nicole Morrison managed to break Meaghan McGrath’s single-season scoring record of 425, now having 426 points with two games remaining. She will also have a chance to break McGrath’s career scoring record of 1371, as she now stands with 1358 points.

With a solidified position in the playoffs — now sixth seed — and Lakehead also having the #3 spot locked up, Laurier’s opponent has been secured for not only the final two games of season, but also the first round of the playoffs.

“We’re going to take a day off [and] regroup, but you know, I told the girls ‘we’re not done and I think we have more in us, we’ve got to find a way to go up to Thunder Bay and play three good basketball games so that we could get the result we want,’” Falco said.

“So we’re going to have to work hard starting Tuesday to do that.”

Led by forward Leashja Grant, the leading scorer and rebounder in the OUA, Lakehead proves to be a tough matchup, regardless of how well these teams may get to know each other by way of playing each other twice right before the playoffs.

“We know they’ve got the top scorer and rebounder I think in the province if not the country in Grant, so we’ve got to do some work to prepare,” Falco said.

“We’re probably going to have to try multiple things against her to slow her down and I know that they have other pieces too that could hurt you.”

The road to glory doesn’t get any easier for the Golden Hawks as they will have less than a week to prepare to play Lakehead on the road in a span of six days, with the first two games being played on the 16 and 17.

The playoffs will begin Feb. 21.

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