The Western Mustangs women’s basketball team’s three-game winning streak came to an end on Friday with an 89–62 loss to the Windsor Lancers at Alumni Hall.
Despite coming into the game on a hot streak, the team was not complacent, according to forward Julia Curran, a native of Waterloo, Ontario.
“I don’t think we came in like that," said Curran. "We knew that they’re a good team and that it would be a battle."
Western University was unable to win this clash though.
They were dominated on the boards all night by the Lancers, who grabbed 47 rebounds. Western, on the other hand, only managed 20.
“They just outrebounded us,” said Curran, who had a team-leading 19 points. “All the extra possessions won them the game.”
The rebound disparity came from the fact that the Mustangs could not keep the Lancers off of the offensive boards. Windsor managed a total of 18 offensive rebounds, which led to 18 second-chance points for them.
“There was a glaring offensive presence on the boards for Windsor,” said Western coach Brian Cheng. “I don’t think we prepared our girls very well for boxing those guys out. The responsibility sits with me.”
Another problem for Western was turnovers. The Mustangs committed 17 and were slow in getting back to defend. Windsor capitalized with 18 points off of these mistakes. In contrast, the Lancers also gave up 17 turnovers, but only lost four points due to these errors.
It was this type of determination that the Mustangs were simply unable to match during the course of the game.
“They had more hunger than we did in our own gym,” said Cheng.
The relentless desire from the Lancers was on display with the way they controlled the game. Windsor won every single quarter and never looked to be in any serious danger of losing the game.
“I think Windsor is at another level,” said Cheng. “We haven’t seen a team like that where they brought both effort and skills.”
Part of the reason why the Mustangs were unable to make the game competitive was their poor three-point shooting, as they finished the game 1-for-13 in that area. This continues a worrying trend so far this season for the Mustangs; they're second from the bottom in the Ontario University Athletics standings in three point percentage.
Despite the resounding defeat, the team is determined to take positives from it, according to Curran. This mentality is also shared by her coach.
“It’s always nicer to win and learn, but sometimes we can get the biggest improvements from losing," said Cheng. "We learn from it and we can only grow from it.”
With the loss, the Mustangs fall to 3–2 on the season, and conclude their three-game home stand with a 2–1 record.
Next up for Western is a four-game road trip, the first game being against the Ottawa Gee-Gees. The game tips off on Friday, Nov. 17 at 10 a.m.