Women’s basketball in for tight finish

With just two games left in the regular season the future of Laurier’s women’s basketball team is very much up in the air. Caught in a tight race for the third-place spot in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West, the Golden Hawks know they’ll be in the playoffs — the question is where they will be playing.

Depending on how things go in their final two games of the season, the Hawks could find themselves hosting a quarterfinal or travelling to St. Catherines or Thunder Bay.

“We really have to get after it this week,” said Laurier head coach Paul Falco. “We pretty much control our own destiny but every game’s big. If we win the rest of the way we’ve got a good chance of finishing third and hosting a playoff game.”

The Hawks’ chances of hosting a quarterfinal seemed to take a blow on Saturday after a 66-60 loss at the hands of the nation’s second-ranked team the Windsor Lancers.

However, the purple and gold received a stroke of luck as Lakehead and Brock —the two teams Laurier is tied with for third in the division— played each other with Brock winning 71-55, which meant that the Hawks didn’t lose any ground.

Despite the six-point loss to the powerful Lancers, Falco was proud of what his team showed.

“I think Windsor is the favourite to win the national championship and rightly so,” he said. “But I loved the way our girls played against them. You have to play a team like that physically and you have to avoid making mistakes and for the most part we did that.”

Hawks veteran Megan Grant echoed her coach’s sentiments.

“We just wanted to play them better than we did last time [a 72-39 loss in Windsor],” she said. “We came out with intensity and we really matched them well for most of the game.”

On Monday night, the Hawks pulled themselves even with Lakehead and Brock, improving to 13-7 on the season after downing the McMaster Marauders 64-58 in Hamilton. Monday’s game was originally scheduled for Feb. 2; however, the match-up had to be postponed due to the school closure.
Still caught in a log-jam in the standings, the Hawks head into their final two games of the season with a lot on the line.

Tonight the purple and gold will visit the University of Waterloo, a team they beat 70-19 in their last meeting, and then on Saturday they will travel to St. Catherines to play Brock in a game that could end up deciding the final standings.

While hosting a playoff game would be nice, according to Grant all the team needs is to be in the post-season.

“I think we’ll definitely make some noise,” she said of her team’s chances in the playoffs. “I don’t want to jinx anything but we’ve set ourselves up well and we’re just coming together and peaking at the right time.”