January 14, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 57  

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SPORTS

Mixed results for Western women
Basketballers win one, lose one last weekend

By Marshall Bellamy

Gazette Staff

Matt Prince/Gazette
NO, DON’T FEED ME TO THE LIONS! Western women’s basketball player Rebecca McColl is surrounded by players from the visiting York Lions last Friday night. Western came out on top in the contest by a 71-60 mark.

Refreshed from holidays filled with egg nog, Christmas cheer, turkey and what most basketballers would consider lousy weather for streetball, Western’s women’s basketball team routed the York Lions 71-60 last Friday night at Alumni Hall, only to be stopped short by Laurentian 72-69 the next evening.

On Friday, Western took to the court for the first time in 2004 against a determined York squad led by forward Nastassia Subban, who came into the game with 131 points in her last eight games.

Not to be deterred, Western dominated the first half against a largely inexperienced York team despite playing inconsistently throughout the half; The Mustangs regained few offensive rebounds and moved around the court as if wearing jerseys made of lead. Western also out-fouled York, giving the Lions a cornucopia of free throws and allowing them to take the lead several times throughout the half.

As it appeared to many in the stands, the second half saw two completely different teams step on the court. A recharged Western rallied against an even weaker York, keeping the slower Lions back at arm’s reach with a lead that went as high as 14 points.

“The energy definitely changed,” said Western head coach Mike Milne, noting the team’s energy level seemed to be lacking throughout the rocky first half. “We had to play the game a position at a time.”

The second half not only saw an energy level increase, but the court turned into a basketball battlefield as both teams fouled each other again and again. York racked up a whopping eight fouls within the first 10 minutes of the second half. Not to be outdone, however, Western also played a consistently aggressive game throughout the half, collecting a fair bit of fouls themselves.

“We like to be known as a defensive team,” noted Mustang forward Rebecca McColl, who netted 20 points in the game. “There were a lot of fouls towards the end of the game, but the refs don’t let us play the way we want to.”

York regained some of their momentum following a time-out with less than seven minutes left in the game and managed to close Western’s commanding lead to nine points. In the end, though, the added pressure was ineffectual against the energized Western offensive onslaught.

“We were psyched, but couldn’t get the job done,” explained an exasperated York player, Chantal Gray, adding the Lions’ defense simply collapsed under the pressure of the game.

Following Friday’s victory, Western’s basketball team was looking forward to the next evening’s game with Laurentian.

“They’re more athletic and they play the perimeter,” Milne said, noting the Mustangs would need to stick to their game plan.

However, Western left the weekend with an even mark of 1-1 in 2004.

OUA Women’s
Basketball Standings

1. Brock 8-3   16 points
2. Western 7-3   14 points
3. Guelph 7-4   14 points
3. Laurier 7-4   14 points
5. McMaster 5-5   10 points
6. Waterloo 4-7   8 points
7. Windsor 2-8   4 points
8. Lakehead 1-9   2 points

 

 

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