Women’s basketball endure a first round exit

Photo by Kevin Jarrold/The Lance

Photo by Kevin Jarrold/The Lance

To end their season, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks lost to the No. 10 Windsor Lancers in single digits. With a 82-76 loss to their conference rivals, the Hawks were eliminated from the Ontario University Athletics playoffs.

The Hawks were in it all throughout the game — they held a narrow two-point lead after third-year Sarah Dillon nailed a three-pointer in the dying seconds of the first half to take a 42-40 lead.

But they couldn’t upset the five-time defending Canadian Interuniversity Sport champions, and Windsor eventually caught up in the end due to poor execution on Laurier’s part.

“We had a little bit of trouble stopping them and keeping them off our boards, and then in the fourth quarter we struggled defensively and it ended up being the difference,” head coach Paul Falco said.

“We did a lot of things well. It’s just too bad we didn’t execute in the fourth quarter.”

Laurier finished the season with a 9-11 record.

In some ways, Falco said he wasn’t surprised the Hawks were close to .500 this season because they lost some big pieces in Samantha Jacobs, Lee Anna Osei and Whitney Ellenor, who all graduated last year, and then losing their two tallest pieces in Melissa Pare and Alex Spadaro due to injury.

This left the Hawks undersized and forced them to play some small ball and adjust their playing style to accommodate.

Falco said he liked how the Hawks became a tough team to guard in that they were able to stretch out their opponents with strong outside shooting.

He also liked their transition game — it was something they set out to do at the start of the season.

But as for improving, they knew that rebounding would need some work.

Falco said one of the ways to address it is to get a little more size on the team and make sure it’s a priority every possession.

As the offseason approaches, Falco hopes the Hawks focus on their strength and conditioning, as it’s such a big factor in basketball today.

“Athletes are stronger and faster than they’ve ever been. If our girls can come back 10 to 15 per cent stronger and ready to endure the long season then that’s really going to set us up for the next year,” he said.

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