WATERLOO, Ont. (February 21, 2015) - The No. 6 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s basketball team lost their regular season finale at home to the No. 1 Windsor Lancers by a score of 77-68 on Saturday afternoon at the Athletic Complex.
In a game that was a battle for first place overall in the league, Windsor (19-1) and Laurier (17-3) put on a show for the crowd in what was a very entertaining back-and-forth contest. The Lancers jumped out to a big lead early but Laurier rallied through the second and third quarters and trailed by just five points heading to the fourth.
The purple and gold would get as close as four points in the final frame before the Lancers pulled away to clinch first place overall in the conference.
“I like the way we battled back,” said head coach PAUL FALCO. “We didn’t have the greatest first quarter and a half but you have to give the girls credit for sticking with it, battling back and closing the gap. Then we were in a dog fight right until the end.”
“I think we started out a little flat and I think that it dictated the game and it kind of took us awhile to get going so I think maybe our preparation needs to be better,” added starting guard Lee Anna Osei of Toronto, who was one of three graduating seniors honoured on the afternoon. “But I think once we geared in and locked in, we had a really good team effort. Coach had us on all the plays we were trying to use. We just need to tie in a couple of good offensive possessions as well as defensive possessions and I think it’s something we can definitely do next time.”
Laurier was unable to slow down the Lancers dynamic duo of Korissa Williams of Windsor, Ont., and Cheyanne Roger of Etobicoke, Ont. The two players combined for 53 of Windsor’s 77 points as Williams, the second leading scorer in the league, had 28 points and 13 rebounds while Roger had 25 points and eight rebounds.
Four members of the purple and gold finished in double figures led by leading scorer Whitney Ellenor of Pickering, Ont. The fifth year senior finished the game with 18 points, seven rebounds and five blocks on the day she was honoured as a graduating player along with Osei and Sam Jacobs of Enniskillen, Ont.
For Ellenor, her numbers move her into illustrious territory among Laurier’s best single seasons ever. The 6-3 forward finishes the year with 318 points, the third most in school history, behind only former Hawk great Meaghan Mcgrath’s 425 points in 2005 and 365 in 2004. She also finishes her season with 177 rebounds and 43 blocks, the most ever by a Golden Hawk in a single season.
In their final regular season games, Osei and Jacobs also had solid games with Jacobs posting 10 points, nine rebounds and three steals while Osei had eight points, three rebounds and three assists.
Rebounding proved to be the difference in the game between the conference’s top two teams. The Lancers used their size at both ends of the floor to grab 16 offensive rebounds and 48 overall. Laurier was equally adept in the offensive end, also grabbing 16 offensive boards but only pulled down 18 at their own end of the floor.
“Definitely the rebounding hurt us,” commented Falco. “They had a lot of offensive rebounds and they controlled the glass a lot more than the last time they played us. I think we learned some things again from that and we hope to get another opportunity to play them.”
Despite the loss, the Hawks will finish second overall in the OUA’s RPI standings following their best regular season in team history and will have a bye through the opening round of the playoffs. Laurier will host an OUA Quarter-final game at the Athletic Complex next Saturday against the winner of the first round game between the seventh and tenth seeds.
Stay tuned to laurierathletics.com for complete playoff information.