PREVIEW: MBASK set for Battle of Waterloo
Matchup against rival Warriors arrives at pivotal moment for Hawks as the winter break looms
Friday, December 1, 2017 - Posted by Mac Turchan
Game Date and Time: Friday, December 1 – 8:00 p.m. (vs. Waterloo *Shoot for the Cure Night, Autograph Night)
Game Location: Laurier Athletic Complex, Waterloo
Live Webcast/Radio Coverage: Radio Laurier and OUA.tv
Tickets: vs. Waterloo
RIVALRY MOVES INTO NEW ERA
The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s basketball team is ready to lay it all on the line Friday night at the Athletic Complex in the season’s first installment of the ‘Battle of Waterloo’ against their rivals from down University Avenue, the Waterloo Warriors. With a month-long reprieve awaiting the Hawks (3-6) after this tilt, there is no reason not to go all-in.
There is considerable excitement surrounding the clash between the Hawks and Warriors (2-7) as the rivalry reaches a new age. Hawks Head Coach Justin Serresse believes the two teams have a lot in common, mainly a young core of talented players trying to find their way as each team shows flashes of potential towards being a contender in the OUA in the near future. The Laurier-Waterloo rivalry is likely to become one of the better rivalries in Ontario basketball for the foreseeable future.
With the Hawks’ schedule against the dominant OUA East Division wrapping up last Saturday against Ryerson, Friday night’s matchup marks the start of a stretch of in-conference games that will go a long way to determining playoff positioning for the purple and gold. With the West relatively wide-open behind U SPORTS No. 2 ranked Brock, there is a lot to play for in terms of seeding. Laurier currently sits fifth in the West but trail second place Western by just two wins.
While the purple of gold have performed well in stretches as of late, Serresse is waiting on his team to replicate the complete 40-minute performance shown in their massive win over Ottawa a few weeks ago. Cutting down on the mental mistakes such as poor turnovers and fouls will go a long way. The coach continues to preach establishing an interior presence on both ends, as rebounding is critical to allowing the Hawks' offence to play with the type of pace that makes it a handful for opponents to defend.
- Provided the women's basketball team takes care of business against the Warriors on Friday, the men'sl game could potentially become a clinching game for Laurier in the season-long race for the Battle of Waterloo trophy
- Friday night is the annual ‘Shoot for The Cure’ night, we encourage anyone coming out in attendance to wear pink to support breast cancer awareness
- Friday will also be Autograph Day, be sure to stick around post game as players will be signing autographs in the Hawk Lounge
- A number of fundraising opportunities will be ongoing throughout the game to support the team's Shoot for the Cure initiative including a raffle, a bake sale as well as all proceeds from the bean bag toss going towards the team's fundraising efforts
- At halftime of the men's game, two student-athletes will have their heads shaved in support of cancer awareness while two will be donating their hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (3-6)
F Vlad Matovic (Kitchener, Ont.)
- With Coach Serresse looking to diversify his offence, the veteran had a season-high in field goal (14) and free throw (10) attempts last Saturday at Ryerson, scoring 16 points
- Will play a large role in the coalition to shut down the Warriors' Nedim Hodzic on the inside
Waterloo Warriors (2-7)
F Nedim Hodzic (Waterloo, Ont.)
- The local product has proven himself to be a burgeoning young star in the OUA in his year-plus with the Warriors, leading the league in rebounds (11.4 RPG) and sitting fifth in points (20.8 PPG)
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