November 18, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 44  

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SPORTS

Stangs show Davenport

By Ian Van Den Hurk
Gazette Staff

Matt Prince/Gazette
LOCK DOWN. Mustangs’ rookie guard Tenley Walker guards Queen’s star and London Oakridge grad Casey Pratt during the Mustangs’ victory on Friday night. Pratt scored three points in the game — rock on Tenley!

Luckily for the women's basketball team, they shoot free throws better than Western President Paul Davenport.

In the midst of celebrations for the 75th anniversary of women's athletics at Western, the Mustangs (2-2) earned a victory in their home opener by defeating the Queen's Golden Gaels 67-53 at Alumni Hall on Friday night.

During half-time festivities, Davenport tried his hand from the foul line but failed to make a shot. The women, on the other hand, were much better, sinking 18 of 19 shots from the line. Forward Rebecca McColl got the Mustangs fired up by dropping two shots from the field early in the first half on her way to a 10 point evening.

Both teams played at a high tempo all night, pushing the ball up court and pressuring each other. Queen's gained an early lead and appeared as if they might pull away with eight minutes left in the half until forward Rebecca Heaney stopped the threat by sinking a jumper. Queen's had no answer for Heaney, who shot a perfect five for five from the field, finishing the game with 12 points.

Western head coach Mike Milne called time-out two minutes later. His pep talk seemed to energize the squad. Guard Charlene Tortosa immediately nailed a three pointer and the Mustangs got help inside from forward Cheryl Atkinson -she quickly added two baskets, including a spinning baby hook in the post, finishing the evening with a team high 14 points.

The Mustangs took a 35-31 lead into the half -that would be as close as Queen's would get.

In the second half, Western came out of the locker room with far more intensity than the Gaels and blew the game wide open. The women got hot from the field and managed to build their lead by as much as 23 points.

"They came back with some good defense in the second half and some spring in their steps. They made some shots," said Queen's coach Dave Wilson. "Obviously, we were the opposite. We didn't play great defense and we didn't shoot very well." With nine minutes remaining in the half, guard Julie Lamparski buried the Gaels with a wide open three pointer, erasing any hopes Queen's had of coming back. "I think we just outworked them," Lamparski said. "I think they were tired -they looked tired coming off the bench." The win was a big step for the Mustangs. Milne believes the key to success this season will depend on the team's ability to improve throughout the year. "We try and improve every week. There's so much parity in the league. I think the team that improves the most is going to have the best shot [of winning the league]." He was pleased with the improvement he saw over the two halves of the game. "Defensively we did a better team job [in the second half]. We had a lot of good shots; they started dropping in the second half." Lamparski, who chipped in with 11 points, also likes her team? chances for improvement: "We're a young team; we have a new coach and a new system," she explained. "We're going to have a tough team. I don't think people are expecting much of us, but I think we're going to surprise a lot of people."

 

 

 

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