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Men's Basketball
(Photo Credit: Kha Vo)
(Photo Credit: Kha Vo)
PREVIEW: Playoff berth on the line for MBASK
Game Date and Time: Saturday, February 18 – 8:00 p.m. (at Lakehead)
Game Location: C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse, Thunder Bay
Live Webcast/Radio Coverage: OUA.tv

WIN AND YOU’RE IN
The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s basketball team travel to Thunder Bay this weekend with nothing guaranteed except one thing. Win and they are in the OUA Playoffs. 

If that was not incentive enough, Head Coach Justin Serresse is adamant that his team is “looking forward to prove that we are better than how we played the last couple of games.” It has been a rather tough stretch of basketball lately for the Hawks (8-11), losers of three straight late in the season. A great come-from-behind effort in Windsor last Wednesday was spoiled by a buzzer-beating game winner for the Lancers. That was followed by a tough outing in their home finale, falling to Western.

The purple and gold will need to shake off the recent losses as none of that matters if they can win Saturday.

Standing in their way will be the Lakehead Thunderwolves. Sitting at the No. 12 spot in the RPI rankings and in the final playoff spot, the Thunderwolves (5-12) face an identical scenario to the Hawks. With everything riding on the final weekend for both teams, the pressure will be amped up to the max. The key for the Hawks will be to deal with that pressure and adversity better than the team on the other end of the floor.

Serresse can guarantee one thing that has been a constant with this Hawks team all season; “either way we will go down fighting.”

TIP-IN’S
-    With a win (or loss depending on events around the OUA), the Hawks will face a first round playoff matchup on the road on Feb. 22. Potential opponents include Nipissing, Laurentian, and Toronto
-    The Thunderwolves are coming off a weekend split in Guelph against the Gryphons
-    Tevaun Kokko (Markham, Ont.) sits at No. 5 in the OUA scoring list going into the final weekend of the regular season. He would be the first Golden Hawk to finish in the top 5 since both Max Allin and Will Coulthard did so in the 2012-2013 season
-    Kokko also enters the game just 17 points behind Kale Harrison's rookie scoring record at Laurier

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (8-11)

F Matt Chesson (Whitby, Ont.)
-    The veteran will look to propel his team into the playoffs in what is his final regular season game in the purple and gold
-    Had a strong outing on what was tough Seniors Day for the Hawks, finishing with 14 points and nine rebounds on 50 percent shooting

Lakehead Thunderwolves (5-12)

F Bacarius Dinkins (Jonesville, FL)
-    Leads the Thunderwolves in both points and rebounds per game with averages of 16 and nine respectively
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