Stealing the show
By Ian Ross
The Windsor women's basketball team was left grasping for air Saturday as Western raced past the Lancers in an 81-45 Mustang victory in front of 600 people at Alumni Hall.
Mustang co-captain Angela Nobes blazed the trail for the 'Stangs with 16 points and five assists, as Western took advantage of a short Windsor bench by turning up an already fast paced tempo game to ware down their opponent.
Windsor, a team that did not boast much experience, was dealt a double knockout punch long before the game began, receiving word that two of the team's best players would be lost to injuries. The starting guard and sister combination of Ann-Mari and Julie Yakopich were nursing a sore knee and shoulder respectively.
"[The injuries] hurt them. Our press was more effective without them there to settle the team down," Mustang assistant coach Don Coleman said, adding that the inexperienced guards who filled in for the scratched starters had a lot of trouble breaking the full court, defensive press that Western used.
Left with only nine players on their roster, four of the five starting Lancers were forced to play at least 37 of the game's 40 minutes. Windsor forward Georgia Risnita was the only player able to catch up to Western, netting 19 points in a losing cause. The rest of the team worked hard to keep the game close early, but ran out of steam against the agility of the Mustangs, turning the ball over a total of 40 times an average of one every minute of the game.
"They created the tempo and we didn't respond too well to it," Windsor head coach Shawn O'Rourke said. "They came at us and we turned the ball over way too much."
Mustang co-captain and post player Nadia Pezzolo took full advantage of the Lancers' fatigue, grabbing 10 steals and pulling down seven rebounds.
With only Nobes spending more than 30 minutes on the floor, the Mustangs managed to spread out the workload, with everyone on the team getting at least 10 minutes of play, yet keeping the game at a high tempo.
"We managed to keep fresh legs on the floor all night," Coleman said, adding that he felt an aggressive style of play was a tradition at Western and has proven successful in the past.
Fourth-year forward Jenn Haylor agreed Western had overmatched Windsor on the floor and felt there was a simple reason why Western's aggressive style and its players work so well together. "Our team has a lot of athletic players who like to run, which works perfectly with our style," she said.
Western's next game is tomorrow night against Brock at 6 p.m. at Alumni Hall.