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Women's Basketball
(Credit: Eva Ou)
(Credit: Eva Ou)
Crucial couple of games upcoming for WBASK
Game Dates and Times: Wednesday, January 10th – 6:00 p.m. (at Guelph); Saturday, January 13th – 12:00 p.m. (at McMaster)
Game Locations: Guelph Gryphons Athletic Centre (at Guelph); Burridge Gymnasium (at McMaster)
Live Webcast/Radio Coverage: 

The Low Down
As it stands entering play this week, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s basketball team’s record of 6-6 has them sitting fifth inthe OUA West standings. Following this week, there is a good chance that they either move up or down, depending on how they fare against two familiar rivals in the Guelph Gryphons and the McMaster Marauders. 

On Wednesday, the Hawks will travel to Guelph to challenge the seventh place Gryphons (5-7) at the Guelph Gryphons Athletic Centre. While Laurier has not been playing their best ball in recent games, as evidenced by their two-game losing streak, it is safe to assume that the Gryphons have not pleased with their recent play as well. Guelph will enter Wednesday’s tilt having lost their last three contests, including a 74-52 defeat to Queen’s in early December and back-to-back heartbreaking two-point losses against Lakehead last weekend. Post-game Wednesday evening, one of these two teams will be pleased with having flipped the switch.

Saturday will see the Hawks engage in a matinee affair against the McMaster Marauders in Hamilton. The Marauders are off to an impressive start since coming back from the holiday break, upsetting the first-place Windsor Lancers on Wednesday 64-52 and downing Brock on Saturday 75-44. With a record of 8-4, McMaster is tied for second-place in the OUA West, one game back of Windsor. 

Need to Know
- Both the Gryphons and the Marauders have fallen victim to the 11-1 Queen’s Gaels this season. Guelph lost 74-52 and McMaster suffered a 90-79 defeat.
- Laurier is the only team to beat Queen’s this year, downing the Gaels 72-70 on November 18th
- Laurier and Guelph have split the 58 regular season games they have played against each other since 1984 with 29 wins apiece
- McMaster made the final-four of the OUA playoffs last season but fell to Windsor in the semifinals. Guelph did not make the playoffs, while the Hawks were bounced out in the quarter-finals. 
- The Marauders beat the Gryphons in an early-season matchup this year, escaping with a 70-61 home victory on October 25th 

Players to Watch 
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (6-6)

#8 F TAYANIA SIWEK-SMITH (Oakville, Ont.)
- Out for the first-half of the season with an injury, the second-year forward has not shown any rust upon her return
- Against Windsor on Saturday, the Oakville native recorded nine points, a career-high and the day before that she collected six rebounds against Western

#5 G Nicole Morrison (Hamilton)
- The fifth-year guard ranks second in the league in scoring, averaging 20 points per game and third in assists, dishing out 4.3 per contest. 
- If recent trends are any indication, do not be surprised if the two-time OUA All-Star erupts for double-digit points in the latter-half. Over the last two games, Morrison has scored a total of 29 points in the second-half

Guelph Gryphons (5-7)

#20 G Skyla Minaker (Sarnia, Ont.)
- The first-year point guard has been quick to take the reigns of this offence, averaging 27.4 minutes per game
- The Sarnia native is first on the team in assists (36) and steals (33), numbers which respectively place her 9th and 12th in the league for those categories. 

McMaster Marauders (8-4)

#5 G Hilary Hanaka (Hamilton)
- The fourth-year guard leads the team by averaging 17.6 points per game 
- She shoots an impressive 46.3 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from three-point range
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