Laurier's Tevaun Kokko scored a career-high 30 points as he came off the bench on Saturday night (Credit: Eva Ou)
Laurier: 98 WINDSOR: 91
WATERLOO, Ont. (January 7, 2018) – The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men's basketball team showed a lot of resolve Saturday night at the Athletic Complex in Waterloo as they posted a 98-91 victory over the Windsor Lancers to snap a five-game losing streak.
A high-octane offensive game throughout, the Hawks saw a lead they had held through most of the game evaporate late. Given the circumstances, it may have been easier to fold under the pressure, but the Hawks pushed back in the critical moments, ultimately reaping the rewards to pick up their fourth win of the season.
Coming off difficult loss on Friday at Western, the Hawks (4-8) fell into a quick 12-5 hole as the Lancers (4-8) were quick off the mark, making three triples in the first two minutes of action.
Undeterred, the purple and gold themselves started firing away and connecting from deep. Shooting 49 percent as a team from beyond the arc, the long ball played a major role in the Hawks’ success all night long and propelled them to a 28-23 lead after one.
Keeping the Lancers off-balance was another dominant night from Laurier on the glass. Led by Kemel Archer
’s (Brampton, Ont.) 11 boards, seven Hawks had four or more rebounds as the purple and gold put in work at both ends, out-rebounding Windsor by a comfortable 51-28 margin.
With eight points to go along with his 11 rebounds in 17 minutes of action, it was a second-straight efficient and effective night for Archer. While pleased with the way his athletic forward is playing to start 2018, Hawks Head Coach Justin Serresse
strongly believes that Archer can play even better given the tools he possesses, and will be urging him to not get complacent after a strong weekend.
Up eight at the half, the purple and gold continued to lead throughout the third and into the fourth. While thoroughly entertaining, the contest seemed to be stuck in a holding pattern in which the Hawks could not quite pull away to a double-digit lead, but Windsor could not cut the deficit to one possession.
That pattern held until about halfway through the fourth when OUA Second Team All-Star Mike Rocca (Sarnia, Ont.) and Marcus Jones (Brantford, Ont.) brought the Lancers all the way back, even taking a two-point lead with under three minutes to play.
A consistent force all game, Tevaun Kokko
(Markham, Ont.) shone through in the crunch, making clutch shot after clutch shot, firing up the crowd along the way.
Coming off the bench Saturday may have lit a spark under Kokko, as he dropped a career-high 30 points, including 6-10 shooting from three.
The clutch shot-making did not come from just Kokko either. Matt Minutillo
(Brantford, Ont.) and Chuder Teny
(Kitchener, Ont.) also connected from deep to shoot away Windsor’s hopes and propel Laurier to a very important victory.
Now sitting in a three-way tie for fourth in the OUA West, the Hawks have an important week ahead with a pair of road games at Guelph and McMaster next Wednesday and Saturday. Coach Serresse liked the way his team was able to stick to their game throughout against Windsor, but knows that playing on the road presents unique challenges, and he hopes his team will respond accordingly and continue to impose their pace and energy.
Wednesday's tipoff against Guelph is set for 8 p.m. at the Guelph Gryphons Athletic Centre. The game can be seen live on OUA.tv.