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Volume 90, Issue 73

Tuesday, February 4, 1997



Plucking a crusty feather

©Sean Burges/Gazette
ONE SWIFT ELBOW TO THE SOLAR PLEXUS AND YOU'RE DONE. Western post Tanneke Blaauboer muscles her way into the paint as Western beat Laurier 80-44.

By Mike Sikorski
Gazette Staff

Still sitting atop its perch as the No.1-ranked team in the country, the Western women's basketball team hosted and had its way with Laurier Saturday.

Coming off a 90-68 win over Brock on Thursday, the lady 'Stangs put on a basketball clinic, thrashing the Golden Hawks by an impressive 80-44 score.

The Mustangs demonstrated their superiority in every department, with almost every team member adding to the Western tally.

"It was an all-round effort, the girls were unhappy with the way they had been playing lately and really came out for this one," head coach Bob Delaney said.

Rookie guard Cindy Scott, who had a big game with 12 points, felt the team's defensive play was also crucial to the team's success.

"It was very important. It gave us focus and intensity," she said. "It started with our defence then carried through to our offence."

Succumbing to the pressure of Western's defence, the Golden Hawks fell victim to a number of Mustang steals which added insult to injury to an obviously overmatched Laurier team.

"It's always tough coming and playing here," Laurier coach Sue Lindley said. "What can I say, we just didn't play well."

In reality, it was less a case of Laurier playing badly than Western running on all cylinders, sinking almost half of its field goal attempts.

The Mustangs dominated the paint, almost doubling the Golden Hawks' rebounding total with some excellent defensive rebounding by forward Nadia Pezzolo.

"We had to run against them so in order to get the outlet pass for our fast break our defensive rebounding was important," Pezzolo said.

As usual the Mustang bench was helpful, chipping in 25 points.

During the game there were several instances when the entire starting lineup was on the bench. The Mustangs still looked like the top team in the country.

"Everyone contributed," forward Jennifer Haylor explained.

Although it has been stressed many times before, the depth chart of talented players on this Western team is unrivaled. It is rare to see a team such as this put any five players on the court and dominate its competition.

"The difference with our program opposed to others is that I see the value of having 12 kids that can play and it's sometimes a problem dividing 200 minutes among all of them," Delaney said.

Despite some slow starts in some recent games, the effort and pure skill demonstrated during the Laurier game proves without a doubt Western is deservedly the top-ranked women's basketball team in Canada.

The team travels to Guelph tomorrow to face a Gryphon team which fell to the Mustangs the last time the two rivals tipped off. Guelph will have homecourt on its side this time but if Western plays like it did against Laurier, Guelph will be nothing more than another tick in the win column for the Mustangs.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1997