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(Photo Credit: Kha Vo)
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Chesson powers MBASK over Warriors
Laurier: 82 Waterloo: 75

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WATERLOO, Ont. (Saturday, January 28, 2017) – For the second time in less than two weeks, the Waterloo Warriors gave the Golden Hawks’ men’s basketball team all they could handle. Following a shock upset at home, Matt Chesson was not about to let history repeat itself as he poured in a Hawks season-high 31 points to will the purple and gold to an 82-75 victory at the Waterloo Physical Activities Complex Saturday Afternoon.

Mirroring their school day game loss to Waterloo the previous Wednesday, the Hawks (8-8) came slow out of the gate, especially on the defensive end. The Hawks were giving the Warriors (3-11) open looks and they were making them count, racking up 28 first quarter points.

Down 12 through 10 minutes, the Hawks looked to their most experienced player in Chesson, a native of Whitby, Ont., for an answer. Seemingly saying “follow me boys”, he delivered in a big way for the Hawks when they needed him most. 

His teammates kept finding him around the top of the key and he kept burning Waterloo with his midrange game, leading a second quarter surge that saw the Hawks catch and pass the Warriors for a 44-41 halftime lead.

Both teams were finding alternative scoring sources in the first half, as leading scorers Tevaun Kokko (Markham, Ont.) for Laurier and Nedim Hodzic (Waterloo, Ont.) for Waterloo were held to a combined two points in the half.

The Hawks interior defence did a terrific job in containing Hodzic to just 11 points in this one as he torched Laurier for 28 in the previous go around. Chesson and Vlad Matovic of Kitchener, Ont., were swarming the painted area and combined for 14 rebounds and five blocks.

Kokko found his scoring touch coming out of the half to keep the Hawks ahead in the third quarter, dropping 10 of his 12 in the frame. Despite a low scoring day for his standards, he impressed with his playmaking at the point position, racking up a career-high eight helpers.

The purple and gold once again did a good job sharing the ball as they did in their previous win over Toronto with 18 assists.

A back and forth final quarter saw the game on a knife’s edge with just over a minute to go and Laurier clinging to a one-point lead, 75-74. There was no panic in this Hawks team as Chesson and Kokko made a couple key buckets in the final minute and the defence came up with the critical stops and a couple turnovers to seal the deal and get the Hawks back to a .500 record.

Chuder Teny (Kitchener, Ont.) added 17 for the purple and gold while Mike Pereira (Kitchener, Ont.) and Jon Ravenhorst (Sarnia, Ont.) led the Warriors with 21 and 16 points.

With the Hawks win and the Windsor Lancers (8-7) losing to Carleton on Friday night, Laurier moves within just a half-game of the OUA West Division lead with a big matchup in Windsor looming in February.

The Hawks’ next contest is next Saturday when they are in St. Catharines to take on the U SPORTS No. 6 ranked Brock Badgers at 3:00 p.m.

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