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(Photo Credit: Trevor Mahoney)
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PREVIEW: WBASK meets Western in West Semi
WATERLOO, Ont. (February 21, 2014) - For the second time in two years, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women's basketball team will square off against the Western Mustangs in the OUA playoffs as they meet in the West Semifinals on Saturday.

Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. at Alumni Hall on the campus of Western University. Tickets for the game can be purchased on the Western Mustangs website and the game can be seen live on Mustangs TV.

Laurier and Western met up in the OUA West Quarter-finals a year ago when the Mustangs were the fourth seed and hosted the fifth seeded Hawks. In what was a very competitive game throughout, the Mustangs edged out the purple and gold by a score of 58-54. Kimberley Yeldon of Ottawa, led Laurier in that game as she finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Western's Jenny Vaughn of Dundas, Ont., had a team-high 12 points.

This season, the Hawks and Mustangs have renewed their rivalry on two occasions and once again, the two games were closely contested. Laurier won their first meeting in a nail-biter, 74-73 on home court back in January before the Mustangs picked up a 65-57 win on home court to close out the year. That win by Western earned them home court advantage in today's meeting as it knocked Laurier down to third in the OUA West standings and moved the Mustangs into second.

With that loss fresh in their minds, as well as last year's defeat in the playoffs, the Hawks will have extra motivation to return the favour on Saturday afternoon.

Laurier advanced to this game after posting a come-from-behind 62-57 win over the Brock Badgers on Wednesday night in the OUA West Quarter-finals. After trailing by as many as nine points in the second quarter, the purple and gold rallied on the strength of guard Lee Anna Osei of Toronto, and Yeldon to come away with the win. Osei, whose half-court buzzer beater to end the third quarter gave Laurier all the momentum against the Badgers, finished the game with 12 points and 11 rebounds while Yeldon also had 12 points in just 17 minutes.

Critical to any success the Hawks have on Saturday will be their ability to contain Vaughn. The fifth year guard set a new OUA single-season scoring record this year as she averaged 23.0 points per game. In Laurier's lone win against Western this year, Osei and fellow point guard NICOLE MORRISON of Hamilton, did an excellent job of covering Vaughn, holding her to just five made field goals. The Hawks will need a similar effort on the road to limit her production.

As for the Hawks, look for Laura Doyle of Guelph, Ont., to have a bounce back effort against Western. The Hawks leading scorer this year was limited to just three points against Brock and she will need a big game if Laurier hopes to advance to the OUA West Final.
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