Kemel Archer had his best game in a Laurier uniform on Friday night (Credit: Eva Ou)
Laurier: 76 WESTERN: 78
LONDON, Ont. (January 6, 2018) – The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men's basketball team began the 2018 portion of their schedule Friday evening at Alumni Hall in London, crafting another classic showdown with their rivals, the Western Mustangs. With both teams re-energized following the holiday break, they brought their best, making for a see-saw battle all night long but one that unfortunately ended in heartbreak at the horn for the Hawks, losing 78-76.
With Head Coach JUSTIN SERRESSE
emphasizing the need for his team to get back to their style of play, the Hawks (3-8) responded with energy and pace. While the shots were not necessarily falling as they would have liked, the purple and gold were able to get off 74 attempts which Serresse believes is right in the range of where they need to be in terms of pacing the game.
On top of playing with speed, the Hawks were able to dominate the rebounding battle, particularly on the offensive glass. This was fueled by Kemel Archer
’s (Brampton, Ont.) best game at Laurier, collecting a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds on Friday.
Harnessing this increased energy, the Hawks were able to take a slim halftime lead. Assisting in the cause was a returning Chuder Teny
(Kitchener, Ont.) making his season debut. In limited minutes off the bench, Teny knocked down a couple of three-pointers to finish with six points.
The second half was a story of two dueling guards, as Tevaun Kokko
(Markham, Ont.) and Nikola Farkic (Kitchener, Ont.) scored all their 22 and 15 points respectively in the final 20 minutes.
The Mustangs (6-6) used a huge 28-point third quarter to grab the lead, setting up a tense fourth quarter where the game was within two possessions the whole way. Archer made a layup and a free throw in the final minute to tie the game at 76, leaving Western with one final possession in regulation time.
Running down the clock, Eriq Jenkins (Windsor, Ont.) missed from close range in the final seconds, but there for the put back at the buzzer was Jedson Tavernier (Midland, Ont.) to send the Mustangs to a last-second victory.
Despite the heartbreak, the Hawks will have to be generally pleased with the energy they showed on Friday, and will have positives to take into Saturday night’s home contest against the Windsor Lancers (4-7).
Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. at the Athletic Complex in Waterloo.