Volume 91, Issue 77
Tuesday, February 17, 1998
Western misfires against Lakehead
WHICH HAND DO I SHOOT THE BALL FROM AGAIN? Co-captains Jenn Haylor  and Angela Nobes struggled to the score on the weekend, allowing Lakehead to steal a victory and end Western's perfect season.
By Ian Ross
The Western women's basketball team is immortal no longer. After riding a two-year undefeated regular season streak through Friday night's 59-42 victory over the Lakehead Nor'Westers, the Mustangs were derailed in the second game of the Thunder Bay double-header in a 69-57 upset.
Ironically, the last time Western lost in the regular season was also in the second game of a weekend series in Thunder Bay against the Nor'Westers in January, 1996.
This time, however, the Mustangs were lucky enough to leave town with a split in the series as the double-barreled shotgun of co-captains Angela Nobes and Jenn Haylor misfired in both games leaving Western with limited offensive options.
Nobes, an experienced fifth-year veteran, could not seem to find her rhythm at any point over the course of the weekend shooting a weak 22 per cent (7 for 32) from the field.
'I wasn't happy with my shooting percentage. I just can't explain it," Nobes said. "On Saturday, desperate measures turned to desperate shots and that took away from my game even more."
With Nobes off the mark, Nor'Wester head coach Stu Julius turned much of his team's attention to Haylor, Western's other offensive spark plug.
"Our main focus was Jenn Haylor. If she gets on a roll, Western gets on a roll," Julius said. "[Amy] Pinnager did a good job in shutting her down."
Pinnager's tight defensive coverage limited Haylor's point production to a mere eight points in the Lakehead upset and 19 in total over the two games.
Haylor disagreed with Julius' theory that Lakehead found a way to shut her down, instead putting the blame of her poor performance on her own shoulders.
"I had a bad weekend. A lot of teams try to focus on me, but I simply didn't play hard enough this weekend," Haylor said, adding that the entire team was missing a level of intensity on Saturday that the squad has enjoyed all season.
With Western's offence in a state of confusion, the Nor'Westers were able to capitalize by stepping up their offensive attack on Saturday with a higher degree of confidence.
"We were more patient on offence on Saturday," Julius said. "We looked for our perimetre people to step up and they found a shot selection that was much better than on Friday."
Leading the charge was the Ontario West divisional scoring leader Alicia Gunn, who recorded 16 points and veteran Katya Mason, who had 15 both of whom were held to single digits in Friday's game.
"I think we shut down their key players on Friday which can be attributed to our defence, but we didn't have the same defence on Saturday and gave up a lot of easy baskets to their better players," Nobes said.
With the split, Western remains a game ahead of Lakehead in the division standings and will have a week off to regroup before hosting the McMaster Marauders on Saturday. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at Alumni Hall.
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Copyright © The Gazette 1998