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Women's Basketball
Laurier's Nicole Morrison is on the verge of setting new school records this week (Credit: Eva Ou)
Laurier's Nicole Morrison is on the verge of setting new school records this week (Credit: Eva Ou)
PREVIEW: Morrison eyes record as WBASK nears season's end
Game Dates & Times: Wednesday, February 6th – 6:00 p.m. (vs. Western); Sunday, February 11th - 12:00 p.m. (vs. Guelph)
Game Locations: University of Waterloo, Physical Activities Complex (vs. Western); RIM Park (vs. Guelph)
Live Webcast: OUA.TV (Western game only)
Tickets: vs. Western, vs. Guelph

With four games left in the regular season, it is now or never for the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s basketball team in their efforts to get the fourth seed in the OUA West and secure a first round home playoff game. 

While currently right behind the Western Mustangs and the Guelph Gryphons in the standings, the Hawks will battle both teams this week and aim to head into next week’s showdown against Lakehead as the owners of the fourth spot in the conference. As it stands, with a record of 11-9, Western holds the crucial fourth position, possessing a one-game lead over both the Hawks and the Gryphons, who are each 10-10. 

The Nicole Morrison (Hamilton, Ont.) record-watch will continue this week. The fifth-year guard has scored 399 points this season and 1331 for her career. She is 26 points behind the single-season record of 425 scored by Meaghan Mcgrath in 2005, and 40 points behind Mcgrath's all-time Laurier scoring record of 1371.

Laurier’s first challenge this week is against Western, scheduled for a 6:00 pm tip-off on Wednesday night. The Hawks will be looking to avenge their 69-49 defeat against the Mustangs suffered back on Jan 28th. As a result of such a lopsided score margin, the Hawks must defeat the Mustangs by more than 20 points in order to hold the season-series tiebreaker over their rivals from London.

On Sunday, it does not get any easier for Laurier against the Guelph Gryphons. The Gryphons are riding a two-game win streak, having beaten Algoma by double-digit points in the two games they played against them over the previous weekend. As it stands, the Gryphons hold the tiebreaker over the Hawks via a thrilling 64-63 win in Guelph on January 10th. 

Sunday’s game, to be played at RIM Park, will feature the honouring of several veteran Golden Hawks for Seniors Day at halftime. Fifth-year players, including Morrison, Sarah Dillon (Welland, Ont.) and Alex Spadaro (Grimbsy, Ont.) will be recognized, in addition to fourth-year teammates Lauren Jamieson (Oakville, Ont.), Melissa Pare (LaSalle, Ont.) and Irena Ryenkiewicz (Mississauga, Ont.).

A note for fans: Sunday's games against Guelph will not be webcast on OUA.tv due to facility restrictions at RIM Park.

Players to Watch
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (10-10)

#7 G Maya Day (Kitchener, Ont.)
- The first-year guard is second on the team in assists, collecting 41 so far on the season.
- With Morrison graudating at the end of the year, Day is a potential option to start at point guard for the Hawks in the 2018-19 season

#2 G Jill Condron (Oakville, Ont.)
- The second-year guard leads the team in rebounding, bringing down 103 rebounds on the year
- In the Hawks most recent game, Condron led the team in scoring as she shot 5-8 from the field and collected 10 points

Western Mustangs (11-9)

#11 G Mackenzie Puklicz (London, Ont.)
- The fifth-year guard is a former OUA West All-Rookie Team member and a two-time OUA all-star
- Puklicz is fourth in the league in scoring, averaging 17.6 points per game

Guelph Gryphons (10-10)

#23 G Burke Bechard (Dover Centre, Ont.)
- The first-year guard has amassed 52 steals, the fourth-most steals in the OUA
- The Dover Centre native is a versatile player, as proven by her averages of 11.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game
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