Ballers in the win column with victory over Guelph

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

After falling to the McMaster Marauders 78-54 in its home opener, the women’s basketball team is now in the win column.

In its second game of the regular season, the young squad defeated the Guelph Gryphons 75-68 before a lively crowd at Alumni Hall on Saturday.

Veteran forward Bess Lennox stressed the importance of moving on after a tough loss against McMaster.

“Mac is always a tough opponent,” she conceded. “I think from that game we were able to take away a lot of positives from the first half. We did some really good things on the offensive and the defensive end, and also we were able to learn from a lot of our mistakes in the second half.

“[Western head coach Stephan Barrie] always tells us, win or lose, to put the game that just happened behind us, learn from it, and look to the future. I think we were able to do that.”

As Saturday’s match-up got underway, it was clear the Mustangs were not dwelling on previous disappointments. Western’s offence quickly took off, with Lennox scoring the first two points on what would become a 13-point scoring run.

After a Guelph timeout, the visitors hit the court with renewed energy. Soon after, standout Gryphons guard Heather Angus got her squad on the board with two points. Angus prevented the Mustangs from running away with the game, leading her team with 16 points and seven boards.

However, Angus’ offensive surge was not enough for the win, as the Gryphons struggled with their shooting and were only able to secure the lead for a brief moment in the second half.

Gryphons’ head coach Angela Orton said inexperience was a factor in her team’s loss.

“I thought we could have penetrated a little more against them, but overall I’m pretty happy with my team’s performance,” she said. “We have nine freshman and we’re a young team. We have one fourth-year player and one third-year player, so I’m pretty happy with what we did and I think we kept our composure.

“We were down 13-0 to start the game, so this could have been a blowout.”

Despite the Mustangs’ early run, the Gryphons whittled Western’s lead down to five points by halftime. In the second half, both squads racked up a number of infractions and free throws became an important factor in the match.

After halftime, the Gryphons missed eight of 15 attempts from the charity stripe, which only made their seven-point loss more devastating.

On the other hand, Western knocked down 10 of 14 attempts from the foul line.

“It really came down to free throws in the end,” third-year Western forward Megan Lapointe said. “We were hitting ours fairly well and Guelph wasn’t, so that helped us a bit.”

Barrie stressed the need to focus on every game individually.

“We have so many games left and it is such a long season that you can’t get too high when you win and you can’t get too low when you lose.”

Next up for the Mustangs is a home game against the York Lions on Nov. 9. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. at Alumni Hall.

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