WINDSOR, Ont. - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks came close to the no. one nationally ranked Saskatchewan Huskies in a 58-51 loss at the CIS women's basketball championship. Laurier will now take on the Carleton Ravens in the consolation side of the tournament.
"We came back and stuck with it," said Laurier's player of the game Felicia Mazerolle (Elliot Lake, Ont.). "We came in thinking we could compete with them. They are the number one team in the country and we gave it our all tonight."
In the early going the Golden Hawks had trouble locating each other on the court. This allowed the Huskies to get out to an early 11-0 lead. By the end of the first quarter Saskatchewan held a 23-12 advantage.
"I think they were anxious at the beginning, but they believe in themselves. They came in thinking we are going to battle as hard as we can," said head coach PAUL FALCO on the slow start. "You do everything right, but if you don't finish, it's hard to catch up."
Laurier went on an 11-0 run to start the second, led by Felicia Mazerolle who had six points during the stretch. Laurier continued to battle back in the game closing it to within two points, before foul trouble dropped them back to nine points behind. Laura Doyle (Guelph, Ont.) hit a last second three pointer to cut the lead to 36-30 before the break.
"This team is truly a dream team. We are teammates, but we are also friends," said Mazerolle.
The Hawks closed the lead to four late in the third, but a steal by Saskatchewan's Jill Humbert for an easy two, plus some late free throw shooting ended the frame 47-40 for the Huskies.
Laurier brought it to within two with 2:42 left to play in the match on a Felicia Mazerolle layup. The Huskies then put it away with their free throw shooting and a couple of late turnovers.
Mazerolle led the purple and gold with 18 points and three steals. Fifth year veteran Mallory Kohlmeier (Sarnia, Ont.) scored 12 while Renata Adamczyk (Greensville, Ont.) pulled down 12 rebounds. Kimberley Yeldon (Ottawa, Ont.) and Megan Grant (Thunder Bay, Ont.) both had 10 boards.
Saskatchewan had four players in double digits including Marci Kiselyk who led the team with 15 points. She was also the Huskies top rebounder with 10.
Laurier out rebounded the Huskies 44-36 and came within two points of their opponents twice in the game, but never held a lead.
"It's big for our program," continued Falco. "We're not done yet. There is a game tomorrow that we are going to go after."
The Golden Hawks will take on the Carleton Ravens at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 19th at the St. Denis Centre in Windsor.