March 3, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 79  

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Mustangs eliminated in hoops

Matt Prince/Gazette
“GAME OVER MAN, GAME OVER!” Though Bill Paxton was absent from last weekend’s women’s basketball game, Western’s Rebecca Heeney took his Aliens quote to heart after the Mustangs’ 70-62 loss to Laurier.

A very promising season came to an abrupt end last Saturday for the Western Mustangs’ women’s basketball team. The Mustangs fell 70-62 to the offensively-charged Laurier Golden Hawks in the Ontario University Athletics semi-finals.

Though the women’s team as a whole shot a disappointing 38 per cent from the field in the contest, the Mustangs’ top players made strong contributions; leading regular season scorers Rebecca McColl and Cheryl Atkinson each reached double figures in points, as did recently crowned OUA defensive player of the year Julie Lamparski.

“Going nine for 20 from the free throw line and Laurier hitting a 50-foot buzzer beater in the first half contributed to the loss,” said Mustangs’ head coach Mike Milne. “We had an excellent opportunity to win the game but did not finish around the basket when needed.”

The Mustangs finished the regular season with a 16-6 record and the West Division title. While these accomplishments may suggest the semi-final elimination amounted to a disheartening season, Milne was optimistic about his team’s year.

“Our team had three more wins in the regular season (than last year) and we improved our league standing from third to first,” he explained. “This exceeded all expectations from a team with seven walk-ons and only two returning starters. We competed well in a tough semi-final loss — which dampens, but does not diminish the accomplishment of this year’s team.”

Despite a strong showing in 2003/04, the women’s basketball team will look to make some improvements next season. “I will be recruiting two or three front court players as well as a versatile defensive guard,” Milne said. “Our lack of depth in the front court was an issue all year.”

—Matt Larkin



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