On Saturday, February 6 the Varsity Blues men’s and women’s basketball teams took on the visiting Laurier Golden Hawks at the Goldring Centre. The games marked the conclusion of NBA All-Star Challenge festivities, which brought with them members of the all-star dunk squad, the Raptors Dance Pak, and 12-time NBA all-star Isaiah Thomas.
The women’s team started the festivities for the Blues. The team currently sit in third position in the OUA east division, four points behind Laurier who are in third place in the OUA west.
The Hawks dominated the court following the tip-off; taking a quick seven-point lead over the Blues. Struggling to sink a shot, the Blues let the deficit widen to 12 points before calling a time out. Despite multiple drives by point guard Diedre Edwards, the Blues couldn’t finish the job, and ended the first quarter down by 13.
The second saw the Blues regroup and find another gear. The eventual player of the game, Blues’ forward Charlotte Collyer contributed six points in quick succession, helping the team cut the deficit to eight with less than six minutes remaining. Despite a big three-pointer from point guard Maddy Baker with 39 seconds left, the Blues would end the first half trailing the Hawks 39-30.
The Hawks opened the scoring in the third with a field goal from point guard Nicole Morrison, bringing the score to 41-30. Following two failed free throws by Edwards, Morrison would continue to drive the ball through the Blues’ defense, enabling the Hawks to finish the period up 17 points.
The final quarter didn’t see the Blues improve, despite opening the score with a field goal from forward Alanna Garner. A foul by Laurier’s Kaitlyn Schenck gave Blues’ forward Sarah Bennett the opportunity to sink two free throws, which were quickly answered by a three pointer by the Hawks’ Sarah Dillon with less than two minutes remaining. In a game characterized by their inability to finish a play, the Blues ended the game 79-62 and drop their season record to 5-9.
Coming off a close loss the previous night to Brock, the Blues’ men’s basketball team kept the lead throughout their faceoff with the Golden Hawks — ending the weekend on a high with a 79-60 win.
Blues’ forward Devin Johnson set the team for the match by opening the score first quarter with a rebound from point guard Sage Usher, putting the squad up by two. A three pointer by Devon Williams half way through the quarter would put the Blues up by 14 points.
Heading into the second quarter with an 18 point advantage, the Blues opened the scoring more than three minutes in and kept the lead despite some big three pointers from the Hawks’ point guards Chuder Teny and Will Coulthard. The Blues took the second 46-27.
After the half, the Blues continued to dominate the court, despite a charge by Laurier late in the third to cut the Blues’ lead to 14 points. In the fourth quarter the Blues lost guard Christopher Barrett to a rolled ankle and called a time out after three consecutive field goals by the Hawks. Despite their late comeback, the Hawks could not make up the almost 20 point deficit. The Blues took the game 79-60.
The win signalled the first time head coach John Campbell has defeated his father and brother, the head coach and assistant coach respectively, of the Golden Hawks. The Blues improve their record to 5-8 and sit in the third spot on the OUA east leader board.
The Varsity Blues women’s and men’s basketball teams will return to Goldring on February 12 when they take on Algoma University at 6 PM and 8 PM, respectively