Nation's capital denied
By Ian Denomme
WHY CAN'T THEY JUST LEAVE ME ALONE? Mustangs forward Rebecca McColl
attempts to escape the triple team of the Ottawa Gee Gee's on Saturday
As the 2003 portion
of the women's basketball schedule kicks into high gear, the Western Mustangs
appear to be heading in the right direction.
The Mustangs improved their record to 8-5 with a 72-41 trouncing of the
Ottawa Gee Gee's Saturday night at Alumni Hall. The victory came on the
heels of a 75-53 win over the Carleton Ravens on Friday night.
The wins propelled Western into sole possession of third place in the
Ontario University Athletics West division. In addition, they have now
won four of their last five games.
The Mustangs held a 40-22 lead at half-time, led by forward Cheryl Atkinson's
13 points and guard Sarah Lercara's 11. The onslaught continued in the
second half, as the Mustangs increased their lead and were able to utilize
their entire bench.
Forward Joanne Chehade, the OUA's fifth leading scorer, led the Mustangs
with 16 points. Atkinson and Lercara finished with 15 points and 14 points
The Western defense was exceptional, holding Ottawa to a 26 per cent shooting
percentage from the field. Jodi Whyte led all Ottawa scorers with eight
points, while Moriah Trowell added six. Kristen Moyle, the OUA's 11th
leading scorer, was held to just five points.
Western head coach Bob Delaney also attributed the win to his team's defense.
"We had excellent team defense tonight. [Guard Julie Lamparski] had
a specific assignment to play against Moriah and she was excellent. We
also made good decisions offensively, which add up to a victory,"
Atkinson said that, as the season wears on, it's important to get production
"We pulled together tonight," she said. "We try to focus
on getting everyone in the game and getting everyone involved. We stuck
to our game plan and executed well."
Ottawa had won three straight games and were in second place in the OUA
East division, which makes the win even more impressive and encouraging.
With just over a month left in the regular season, the team is looking
ahead and preparing for the playoffs.
"We have high expectations," Atkinson said. "We're looking
ahead and becoming a strong team. Hopefully we can get home-court advantage
for the playoffs and go far."
Delaney said there is still room for his team to improve.
"We need to become more consistent. We need to get better at both
ends of the floor and work hard in practice and get in good condition,"
The team heads to Kingston this weekend for what should be a tough game
at Queen's University before returning home for a game with the Waterloo
Warriors the following week.