Women’s basketball drops thriller to Windsor Lancers

Photo by Jessica Dik/Lead Photographer

Photo by Jessica Dik/Lead Photographer

Despite a strong start and the right mindset in preparation for Wednesday night’s game, the Wilfrid Laurier University women’s basketball team fell short to Windsor Lancers by three points, 72-69.

With Laurier’s first-ever win against the Lancers dating back to almost a year ago, winning this game would’ve been crucial for the Hawks from a standing perspective. Currently, the Hawks sit third behind the Lancers in the Ontario University Athletics West division.

While the Hawks led in the first and second quarters shooting at a field goal of 38.9 per cent, they were not far behind the Lancers in the final half of the game. The Lancers continued chipping away at the Hawks’ lead until eventually they overtook them.

Regardless of fifth-year guard Courtney Bruce’s effort, who put up 13 points of her own, and Nicole Morrison scoring 22 points in total, it wasn’t enough to overpower Lancer forward Emily Prevost. Prevost was unstoppable for the Lancers with a total of 31 points and was the game’s top scorer.

Head coach Paul Falco credited his team for putting up a tough battle despite an incomplete bench and fourth-year guard Kaitlyn Schenck sitting out halfway through the game. However according to Falco, the game took a turn due to weak interior defence.

“We gave up too many easy layups, inside put backs. Footers that can kill you at such a high percentage shot … and Windsor did a good job at finding those people,” Falco said.

Defensively, the Lancers had more rebounds, steals and fewer turnovers. Falco said since the Lancers tend to play a faster and more aggressive game, it’s important to catch them in transition.

“You want to take advantage of the other end by making their bigs come out and I think reducing the touches of two of their key post players,” he explained. “We didn’t do that consistently enough.”

Bruce echoed similar statements.

“The little mistakes caught up with us at the end,” she said.

In keeping up with Windsor, who is currently second in the OUA West, a strategy that plays on their weaknesses is crucial. Falco said the Hawks need to capitalize on their mistakes just like the Lancers capitalize on the Hawks’ mistakes if they are going to find success on the court.

Halfway through the game, the Lancers were clear on the weaknesses of a tired Hawk team and took advantage of their unstable defence system. Bruce said the Hawks had a focused mindset, which translated into the game as they tried to close the gap between the Lancers with Laurier guard Sarah Dillon’s attempt at a three-point shot that put the Hawks at one possession away from a tie with half a second left in the game.

But as it came to a close, the outcome became inevitable.

“We’ve started to play better basketball so that was number one and I think for the most part we did that today,” he said. “Obviously, the result was not what we wanted.”

The Hawks are back in action on the road when they play the No. 5 nationally-ranked Ryerson Rams Friday at Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto. Tip off is at 6 p.m.

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