Volume 93, Issue 61
Wednesday, January 19, 2000
Gryphons' offence fails to take flight
HEY, ZEBRA, QUIT FOLLOWING ME. The refs weren't the only ones trailing in Tuesday's game, as Guelph lost by a 30 point margin to the Western women, 66-36.
By Mike Murphy
The Guelph Gryphons might have expected a ringing bell and not a buzzer at game's end Monday night, as Western's women's basketball team gave them a thorough schooling.
When school let out, the final scoreboard read like a stupid kid's report card for the Gryphons. Except, instead of a series of "F"s, it expressed their failure numerically: 66-36.
The game started slowly for the Mustangs and they trailed by as many as 10 points early in the first half. However, the team righted their ship midway through the first, using a smothering zone defence and a full court press to ignite a 10-1 scoring run. By halftime, Western led 30-27 and they positively sailed through the game's final 20 minutes, outscoring the Gryphons 36-9.
Western head coach Bob Delaney said his team's sluggish start could largely be attributed to being caught off guard by Guelph's defensive strategy. "They surprised us by starting in zone defence and so we didn't have the best lineup on the floor to attack that," he explained. "Speeding up the zone and putting the press on really helped us turn things around."
Mustang forward Holli Clarkson, who finished the game with 11 points, said she and her teammates have consistently played torpidly off the tip-off. "The last few games we've been coming out slow offensively. We just have to be more patient on offence, pass the ball more and find the good shots. We have to play more as a team," she said.
Angela Orton, head coach of the Gryphons, seemed frustrated and disappointed in the wake of the blow-out and said her team squandered a golden opportunity early in the game.
"I wasn't thrilled with our first half. We were shooting the ball well and we should have turned the screws on them at that point and extended our lead," she said. "We could have broken their back early in the game, but we broke our own. We were the masters of our own destiny."
Orton added her team played timidly in the offensive end and should have taken a greater initiative against Western's zone defence. "We let them sit back and play big in their zone. We didn't challenge it enough. Had we penetrated and challenged, we would have gotten fouled and gone to the line."
Western's high scorers included rookie forward Lindsay Kennedy, who scored 15 points and guard Laura Verbeeten, who found her long range shooting touch in the second half and finished with 14 points. Guard Vanessa Maxwell led the Gryphons with eight.
After an 83-68 weekend loss to McMaster University and Monday night's victory over the University of Guelph, the women's conference record stands at 9-2. They'll try for their 10th win of the season this weekend, when they travel to Lakehead University.
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