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(Photo Credit: Kha Vo)
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Half court buzzer-beater burns MBASK
Laurier: 86 Windsor: 89

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WINDSOR, Ont. (February 9, 2017) – The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s basketball team stood on the wrong end of a miraculous game winning shot at the buzzer, taking a tough luck loss 89-86 to the Windsor Lancers on Wednesday.

The Hawks were able to overcome a first half deficit to lead late at the Caesar’s Windsor Colosseum but could not hold it due to some big shots from Windsor late, including the dagger from Mike Rocca at the horn.

Dealing with some injuries and the flu, the Hawks (8-10) started the game a bit loose on defence, allowing the Lancers (9-8) offence to impose their will in the first half, putting up 53 points. 

Windsor was getting contributions from many sources and were able to space the floor effectively. Six Lancers has nine or more points and as a team they had 18 assists in the game to go along with 15 made three-pointers.

Tevaun Kokko (Markham, Ont.) had a strong game for the Hawks with a game-high 26 points, and his scoring in the first half was able to keep Laurier within striking distance down 11 at half.

In the second half the purple and gold were able to tighten the screws on defence. This allowed the Hawks to slowly climb their way back into the game. After chipping away, a late fourth quarter run suddenly saw the Hawks with a lead as large as eight.

The Lancers were not about to lie down though in a game as big as this with the OUA West Division lead on the line. 

Triples from Luke Allin (Chatham, Ont.) and Micqueel Martin (North York, Ont.) in the final 90 seconds tied the game for the Lancers, setting the stage for Rocca (Sarnia, Ont.) to provide the heroics. 

When the Hawks were unable to convert an opportunity to put themselves back ahead in the dying seconds, it seemed as though the game was about to go to overtime tied 86-86. Following a rebound with less than five seconds remaining, Rocca took a few strides down to half court and let it fly as the buzzer sounded. The shot banked in off the backboard for the win, sending the Windsor crowd into a frenzy.

The loss is the second this season that Laurier has suffered due to a buzzer beating shot, as they lost a game in similar fashion back in December against Nipissing.

With only two games remaining, the Hawks now sit one and a half games back of the Lancers in the OUA West.

The Hawks wrap up their home schedule Saturday afternoon against their rivals the Western Mustangs (5-12) on what will be Senior’s Day for graduating players Matt Chesson of Whitby, Ont., and Owen Coulthard of Oakville, Ont. 

Tip is set for 3:00 p.m. and tickets are just one dollar for all Laurier students
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