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Nicole Morrison will be one of the veteran leaders for the Golden Hawks in 2016-17 (Photo Credit: Kha Vo)
Nicole Morrison will be one of the veteran leaders for the Golden Hawks in 2016-17 (Photo Credit: Kha Vo)
PREVIEW: WBASK opens the season vs Ryerson
Game Date/Time: Saturday, November 5 - 6 p.m.
Game Location: Athletic Complex, Waterloo
Live Webcast: OUA.tv
Live Audiocast: RadioLaurier.com
Tickets: tickets.laurierathletics.com or available at the door

THE LOW DOWN
The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks kick off their 2016-17 regular season schedule on Saturday night with their home opener against the No. 7 Ryerson Rams.

PRE-SEASON WRAP
The Golden Hawks head into their regular season opener boasting a lineup that features a mix of veteran experience and youth. Head Coach Paul Falco was busy in the offseason, bringing in six new faces in one of his largest recruiting classes since joining the purple and gold in 2008. Falco brought in a good mix of size and speed with his recruits that will offset the skill set of the existing core.

Laurier played a rigorous preseason schedule that saw the Hawks play eight non-conference games over the course of a month. The Hawks posted a 3-5 record during the stretch, highlighted by a strong showing in Halifax at Dalhousie’s Lawtons Centennial Tournament where they finished in a tie for first place with a 2-1 mark. The Hawks defeated both the UQAM Citadins and the host Tigers at the tournament, led by fifth year guard Kaitlyn Schenck of Kitchener, Ont., who was named a tournament all-star.

However, the Hawks’ form hasn’t been as good as late as they lost their final three preseason games, including defeats on home court to the Memorial Sea-Hawks as well as games to the UBC Okanagan Heat and the Guelph Gryphons.

Facing a tough test in their season opener against the defending OUA Champions, Laurier will need to lean on their veteran players in order to come out with a victory and start the year on a positive note.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (0-0)

G Nicole Morrison (Hamilton)
- Laurier’s lone OUA All-Star a season ago, Morrison will be one of the Hawks’ leaders in 2016-17 after leading the team in scoring at 15.6 points per game a year ago
- battling an injury in the preseason, Morrison’s time on the court was limited but finished strong against Guelph, coming off the bench to score 16 points in 27 minutes

G Kaitlyn Schenck (Kitchener, Ont.)
- the Hawks only fifth year player this season, Schenck will be leaned on heavily by Coach Falco to be solid in all elements of her game this year.
- Schenck showed in the preseason that she is poised for a big year, scoring 20 or more points in three of Laurier’s eight games, including a career-high 28 against Dalhousie

G BRIANNA IANNAZZO (Thornhill, Ont.)
- the rookie guard was perhaps Laurier’s second best player in the preseason behind Schenck
- hitting double-digits in scoring regularly for the purple and gold, Iannazzo hit 25 points in an impressive showing against UQAM, connecting on 6-of-9 three-point attempts

No. 7 Ryerson Rams (0-0)

F Sofia Paska (Etobicoke, Ont.)
- the third year forward finished second on the team in scoring a year ago, averaging 15.2 points per game, and will also be a presence on the glass as she averaged 9.5 rebounds per game in 2015-16

G Kellie Ring (Ottawa)
- the fifth year guard joins Ryerson from the Ottawa Gee-Gees where she starred for four years. Last season, Ring as second on the Gee-Gees in scoring as she averaged 11.5 points per game while also dishing out 4.3 assists per game
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