Laurier: 65 Western: 88
WATERLOO, Ont (February 12, 2017) – Things did not go to plan on an emotional Saturday afternoon for the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s basketball team, as the rival Western Mustangs escaped with an 88-65 victory.
The Mustangs were able to control the play for most of the afternoon at the Athletic Complex in Waterloo in front of a large crowd on hand for the Hawks’ Senior’s Day, which was also the home regular season finale.
Graduating seniors Matt Chesson
(Whitby, Ont.) and Owen Coulthard
(Oakville, Ont.) got the start for the Hawks (8-11) as Laurier made a positive start. The Hawks defence was locking down on the Mustangs (6-12) in the first quarter, holding them to just 10 points.
Unfortunately following the first quarter the wheels started to fall off for the purple and gold. First year guard Omar Shiddo (Brampton, Ont.) was playing like a man on a mission for Western, hardly missing on his way to a career-high 36-point outing.
The Mustang defence was also placing a lot of pressure on the Hawks, forcing them to commit 24 turnovers. The Hawks seemed to be making a lot of risky passes in traffic and for the majority of the game they did not pay off.
A 34-point second quarter put the Mustangs ahead 12 at half and they really did not look back from there, not letting the Hawks get any closer than nine in the second half.
With the game firmly out of hand late, Coulthard and Chesson checked out for what will be likely the last time on home court with just over a minute left to a raucous applause. It was an emotional scene as they took time to share the moment with teammates, coaches, and fans cheering them on. Chesson had what appeared to be an entire section of loyal supporters Saturday afternoon.
The veteran from Whitby had a strong final home game, finishing with 14 points and nine rebounds on 50 percent shooting. Coulthard added five points for the Hawks.
The two will have one final regular season game, but it will be a long way from home as the Hawks travel to Thunder Bay next Saturday to take on the Lakehead Thunderwolves (5-12).
The tip is set for 8 p.m. from Thunder Bay and can be seen on OUA.tv