Laurier: 67 OUA Quarter-Finals - Windsor: 78
WINDSOR – Wilfrid Laurier’s women’s basketball team concluded their season Saturday at the OUA West semi-finals as they fell to the number two ranked University of Windsor Lancers 78-67.
This game is the furthest the Hawks had advanced since 2005-06 when they lost in the OUA west semi-final. The team had advanced to the game after defeating Lakehead by four.
“Our goal was to get better and better month by month and our record and playoffs would take care of itself - and we met that goal,” commented head coach PAUL FALCO
on the year, including an 11-11 record and 1-1 post-season. “We were able to advance beyond our goal of playoffs to finish with a home playoff game and we were quite satisfied with our performance, including today.”Renata Adamczyk
(Dundas, Ont.) led the team with 14 points in the contest despite being sidelined late in the contest on account of an ankle injury. Christa Mancino
(Port Colborne, Ont.) and Amanda McDonald
(Sudbury, Ont.) were just behind her with 13 and 12 points respectively. McDonald also picked up five steals in a game filled with turnovers.
“We missed a bush of easy opportunities early on probably as a result of some nerve and tension for playing in this playoff game,” said Falco on the rocky start that saw multiple missed baskets for both teams and a low scoring first quarter.
The Lancers were able to capitalize within the paint with 16 points to the Hawks’ four, which was especially a result of Lancer Iva Pelova. Pelova at 6’4, was able to pick up rebounds and put up baskets - finishing with 14 points on the afternoon. Windsor was able to score consistently despite the team’s quarter-by-quarter improvements.
Point guard Amber Hillis
(Hamilton, Ont.) had a strong game playing 36 minutes netting seven points, six rebounds as well as five assists.
The third quarter was a see saw battle which saw the lead open up and then the Hawks close the gap several times until Windsor ended it with a seven point lead at 52-45.
The final quarter of play saw some of the most dedication that has been seen from the Golden Hawk squad. After the Lancers opened the lead once again, the Hawks battled back to the point of being within two points with less than two-minutes remaining and missing some key players but a couple Lancer baskets opened it up once again for the blue and gold. Fouls opened up the score at the end where the Lancers were able to take the contest.
“It was a good indication of heart and determination to get down and battle back despite losing some key players,” said Falco on the team’s performance despite the late loss of Adamczyk and Megan Grant
(Thunder Bay, Ont.) to on-court injuries. “That was a really big growing step for us as a team to show we can play with a top team and take them to the brink.”
The Hawks improved their shooting in the field from 20% in the first half to 43% in the second. Free throws were critical as the team netted 20 points off of 87% shooting. The purple and gold were also able to capitalize on turnovers as they outscored their opponents 25-15.
Alisa Wulff was the Lancers’ leader in points with 16 and she was the only person to pick up a double-double of both teams as she had 13 rebounds. Last season’s second team all-Canadian Dranadia Roc netted 15 points in the game.
“Laura is someone who battles through injury and plays for passion and hopefully that mentality has rubbed off on others in that they will give what they can to the program,” commented Falco on Laura Pacevicius
(Acton, Ont.) who netted eight points and picked up three boards. “She will be tough to replace in that aggressive game and we’ll look to new faces to assist us next year. “
The balance of the team returns to compete in the 2009/10 campaign.