Warriors shoot their way past MBASK
Fourth quarter comeback from the Hawks stalled by three pointers in Battle of Waterloo
Saturday, December 2, 2017 - Posted by Mac Turchan
WATERLOO, Ont. (December 2, 2017) – The first installment of the Battle of Waterloo this season on Friday night at the Athletic Complex proved unkind to the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men's basketball team, as they found themselves stuck in an early hole against rivals the Waterloo Warriors. A double-digit deficit proved too steep to overcome, as the Warriors rode some hot shooting from deep to steal away round one from the Hawks by a score of 85-74.
Billed as a clash between two up-and-coming young teams within the OUA, the matchup was highly anticipated by supporters from both sides. There was a definitive big-game energy within the Athletic Complex as both the Hawks (3-7) and the Warriors (3-7) competed in their final games before the winter break.
Hawks Head Coach Justin Serresse was not satisfied with the way his team responded mentally to the matchup against their in-town rivals from the University of Waterloo.
Serresse commented “We lacked confidence. We played scared, scared to lose. You play like that, you are going to lose.”
The Warriors came out of the gate with great energy, surging out to a 9-2 lead within the first three minutes.
A spirited 16-point, five rebound first-half effort from Ali Sow (Ottawa, Ont.) kept the purple and gold within reach for the majority of the opening 20 minutes, but he was fighting an uphill battle. Waterloo was able to exert their control on the interior, leading to numerous second-chance opportunities. Often the Warriors did not even need a second attempt, as they were making their shots from all over the floor, no matter if they were contested or uncontested.
Down 45-38 at halftime, the Hawks were unable to respond in the third as their rivals stretched the lead to 14 after three.
Serresse has seen a disturbing trend over the past few games from his players, noting that “When things don’t go well, we are falling apart instead of fighting back.”
While that fight back Serresse was looking for was perhaps more apparent in the fourth quarter, any sniff of a comeback from the Hawks was shut down by Waterloo. David Ramon Prados (Madrid, Spain) and Justin Malnerich (Cambridge, Ont.) drained some dagger threes down the stretch for the Warriors to put the game away.
Second-year guard Simon Petrov (Waterloo, Ont.) led the way for Waterloo with a game-high 30 points.
Sow only managed three more points in the second half but still paced the Hawks with 19 on the evening.
Following a turbulent first half of the season with many ups and downs, the purple and gold will look to get refreshed mentally and physically as they now have a month-long break during exams and holidays.
The Hawks return to action on January 5, 2018 in London, taking on the Western Mustangs.
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