Strong defensive play leads to victory over Golden Gaels

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Western women's basketball

Jon Purdy

PLAYING IN THE PAINT LIKE TOM SAWYER. The Mustangs' women's hoops squad used sharp defensive play to shut down Queen's over the weekend. For all those out there who don't read Mark Twain: shame on you.

After winning the tip-off at Friday night’s basketball game, Western’s women quickly took control of the game with a 10-0 lead against the Queen’s Golden Gaels.

Western pulled off a 60-49 win, with star guard Amanda Anderson scoring 20 points.

Although he was pleased with the team’s play, head coach Stephan Barrie was not satisfied with its offensive production.

“Sixty points for us is not enough,” he said. “We need to be scoring more than that. We need to be tougher with the ball.”

However, the offence proved to be a minor flaw in Western’s performance against Queen’s. The Purple and Silver held its lead throughout the entire first half, bringing the halftime score to 27-22.

“We played well in the first quarter offensively, but we need to be able to do that throughout the game and be more consistent,” Barrie said.

The girls made some sloppy passes in the second half, resulting in turnovers and allowing Queen’s to sneak closer.

The Mustangs momentarily lost the lead toward the end of the third quarter. Western’s Megan Lapointe retaliated immediately, putting Western back in the lead with 36 points.

The women stayed ahead for the rest of the third quarter, leading 43-38 going into the fourth stanza. Forward Bess Lennox and guard/forward Nadine Paron’s flawless free-throw abilities gained Western an additional nine points.

What it lacked in offence, the team made up for on the defensive end of the floor.

“We were very pleased with our team’s efforts and results. Holding them to 49 points was certainly an accomplishment,” Barrie said.

Despite the Gaels’ persistent efforts to get to the hoop, Western’s strong defence prevented Queen’s from making successful shots.

“You have to decide what you’re going to take away and what you’re going to give them,” Barrie said. “So when they’re getting certain shots in, we [might have] chose[n] that person to get the shot, but we took away their primary options and we’re pleased with that.”

Western was consistent in executing its strategy against the whole Gaels team, letting only 10 of 34 shots escape its radar during the first half and nine of 32 attempts on the basket during the second half.

“I thought it was probably as well as we’ve played defensively ... we were very pleased and we want to keep that sort of momentum and performance going,” Barrie said. “[But] I think we’re capable of playing much better.”

It’s still early in the season, and Barrie stressed continuous improvement from his team, which currently sits at 3-2 for the regular season.

“The thing I am most concerned with is that we get better, and we are improving without question. We are better than we were a week ago and we’re better than we were three weeks ago,” he said.

“If we stumble then I might get worried ... [but] we just have to make sure we continue to improve each player and then as a team. If it takes a long time, at least it is steady [improvement]. And if we continue to do it, we’re going to be good.”

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette