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Mustang defence holds strong
By Dave Martin
Saturday night the Western women's basketball team won their fourth straight game, this time over the Waterloo Warriors by a 64-52 margin.
The Mustang victory improves their record to an impressive 14-4, but it was not one of the team's best performances. A solid effort helped keep Western ahead throughout the entire game. But offensively, things weren't clicking with their usual smoothness.
Western head coach, Bob Delaney, said he had some concern about his team's performance.
"I was disappointed by our play, especially in the first half. The offence was rushing things, and though we did give up just 20 points, we only scored 30," he said. "Our timing's off, our decision making is off, and although I've been very pleased with the defence over the last stretch, the offence just doesn't seem to be there."
Team co-captain, Holli Clarkson, said she felt that though there were some bright spots, the team didn't play a complete game from start to finish.
"Overall the game went pretty well, but we let down at points and our offence went a little stagnant. We're really good at running and looking to push the ball but sometimes when we stop to set up, we lose the motion and everyone just stands and watches. There were some lulls in the game and we've got to work at getting rid of those," she said.
Waterloo head coach, Tom O'Brien, said he agreed it was not the prettiest game. "I don't think either team played well tonight. I was happy with the effort of the girls considering we are hurt so much, but we've certainly got to turn things up heading into the playoffs. Shooting 25 per cent from the floor and one of six from the line in the first half isn't going to cut it against a quality team like Western," O'Brien said.
O'Brien said he also felt that experience, or lack thereof, was a major factor in the game.
"When you look on the court and see the likes of Verbeeten, [Cindy] Scott, and Clarkson, all fifth-year players, and then compare it to our team who only has one fourth-year player, the experience factor becomes a huge issue," he said.
The Mustangs did not shoot the lights out either, sinking only 35 per cent of their attempted field goals, though they had a more balanced scoring attack with three players. Laura Verbeeten pitched in with 22 points, and Anne Van Leeuwen and Jen Grebeldinger each chalked up 11 points.
Western will not have much time to re-tool things as they host the first-place Guelph Gryphons tomorrow night.
Although it is not critical to the standings, Delaney said he feels this game will show whether or not Western can compete with the elite. "If we're going to go anywhere, deep into the playoffs and make it to nationals, we've got to show something [tomorrow]," Delaney said.