Laurier: 65 Windsor: 68
WINDSOR, Ont. (February 8, 2017) – Despite a career night from second year guard Irena Rynkiewicz
, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s basketball team was unable to hold off the No. 6 Windsor Lancers as they lost 68-65 in Game 1 of the Clash at the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Wednesday afternoon.
A strong first half from the purple and gold saw them holding a 32-28 lead at halftime but the Lancers’ experience shone through in the third quarter as they outscored the purple and gold 23-15 before hanging on late to come away with the win.
“We played them tough, especially compared to back in November,” said head coach Paul Falco
after the game. “We weren’t happy with how we played against them in our first meeting so our goal was to play a better game and match their physicality and intensity which I thought we did for most of the first three quarters.”
Laurier roared out of the gate against the Lancers as the home team struggled from the field, shooting just 27 percent from the floor in the opening half. Rynkiewicz, a native of Mississauga, Ont., went off for 12 points in the opening 20 minutes as she helped Laurier shoot close to 44 percent.
Windsor’s shooting struggles were accentuated by the loss of starting guard Kayah Clarke of Hamilton, who went down early in the opening quarter with an injury. Starting forward Cheyanne Roger of Etobicoke, Ont., also left the game in the first half but recovered to return for the second half.
Needing a spark, the nationally-ranked Lancers received it from their bench, courtesy of Carly Steer of Windsor, Ont. The third guard poured in 12 of Windsor’s 23 points in the quarter as they took a lead for the first time since early in the opening quarter.
The fourth quarter saw Windsor extend their lead to as many as 11 points until Laurier came storming back and made it a one-point game late thanks to a jumper from Kaitlyn Schenck
of Kitchener, Ont.
Laurier would get a turnover on the ensuing inbounds play but a three-point attempt from NICOLE MORRISON
of Hamilton, fell short and Windsor’s Caitlyn Longmuir of Kingsville, Ont., iced the game with a pair of free throws.
Rynkiewicz led the offensive effort for the purple and gold as she poured in a career-high 21 points on 70 percent (7-for-10) shooting to go along with eight rebounds.
Schenck, who came into the game 21 points shy of 1000 for her career, added 16 for Laurier as she now sits with 995 points. She also added four assists and three rebounds.
Rookie guard Rachel Woodburn
of Courtice, Ont., also shone for the Hawks as she had a breakout performance of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
For the Lancers, Emily Prevost of Montreal, had a team-high 18 points to go along with 12 rebounds while Steer finished with 17 points off the bench.
Roger added a double-double as well with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Although Laurier finished the game shooting 45 percent from the floor, turnovers hurt the purple and gold as they had 19 leading to 14 Windsor points.
With the win, Windsor improves to 14-3 on the season while the Hawks drop their second consecutive game to fall to 11-7.
When asked if this was a game that the Hawks could build off of, Falco stated “I think so, especially against big, physical teams. There’s a few of them in our league and we hadn’t shown that we could control the boards and our interior defence. Today was way better so that’s a good sign because we could see a team like that in the playoffs and we have to be ready to defend and rebound.”
Up next for Laurier, they return home for Seniors Day, their final regular season home game, as they host the Western Mustangs at the Athletic Complex on Saturday, February 11. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.