January 23, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 63  

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SPORTS

First place Mustangs win again

By Ian Denomme

Gazette Staff

Katie Millar/Gazette
DRIVING THE LANE. A Western Mustang women’s basketball player penetrates through the McMaster defense, aiding the Mustangs in their 61-51 victory Wednesday night.

On a night when their play in the paint wasn’t at its best, the Western women’s basketball team managed to step up in other areas.

That ability to improve in other areas and some undisciplined play from their opponents, the McMaster Marauders, led to the Mustangs 61-51 victory on Wednesday night at Alumni Hall.

Both teams had trouble putting the ball in from close range, as McMaster shot just 38 per cent from the field, while the Mustangs shot 36 per cent. The difference, however, was Western’s ability to score from outside. They hit over half of their three point shots.

“We’re totally an inside team,” said Mustang head coach Mike Milne. “Tonight we just didn’t finish. But good teams step up in other areas and we did that.”

The Mustangs managed to control the tempo of the game by coming down with most of the rebounds, especially on the defensive end.

“Our defense was the difference,” said forward Rebecca McColl, who had 13 points for the Mustangs. “Every game we rely on our defense and our offense usually follows. We had some mental lapses but we pulled through.”

Western came out of the gates quickly and built a 10 point lead by the midway point of the first half. From then on it was a seesaw battle between the two teams.
McMaster continued to play tough and refused to go away, continuously nipping at Western’s heels. They went into half-time with a 35-27 lead.

Coming out of the dressing room poised to make a comeback, McMaster slowly started to chip away at Western’s lead, and with three minutes to play, had the lead down to just five points. But that was as close as they would get.

The Marauders shooting went cold and they got into foul trouble down the stretch. The Mustangs were able to secure the win on foul shots.

Julie Lamparski led the Mustangs with 16 points, including some big three’s and clutch free throws. Cheryl Atkinson added 12.

McMaster had a balanced attack, getting 12 points from Chiara Rocca and Alicia Fidanza, 11 from Heather Gowan and 10 from Christin Dickenson.

“Our biggest problem was that we didn’t play with the same intensity for 40 minutes,” said Marauders head coach Theresa Burns about the loss. “We played sporadically and Western was able to capitalize on some bad passes and our foul trouble.”

In the second half, when the game got close, there seemed to be a sense of urgency on the Western’s team.

“We started playing not to lose,” Milne said. “That’s the wrong mentality to have. We got cold, but we have to stay aggressive and keep improving in those situations.”

The Mustangs improved to 10-3 on the season, while McMaster fell to 5-8.

“We haven’t played a full 40 minute game all season,” Burns said. “In our last few games, we’ve been getting into holes and having to dig our way out in the second half.”

 

 

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