Sudbury Wolves
Cambrian College - Varsity Athletics
Imperial Collision Centre
Mathematical playoff hopes remain for Laurentian basketball
2023-01-18
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The Laurentian Voyageurs have the odds stacked against them.

Following a weekend in which the men's and women's basketball teams posted a combined record of 0-4, the L.U. crew, though not mathematically eliminated from post-season contention, clearly have their backs to the wall.

While the men clearly looked much better than they did during an 89-65 throttling they received at the hands of the Algoma Thunderbirds back on January 8th, the back to back setbacks by a grand total of less than ten points ultimately still leaves rookie coach Georges Serresse staring at a record of 2-11 and a whole lot of teams between Laurentian and a top twelve placement in the league.

Facing the McMaster Marauders (8-5) on Friday in Hamilton, the Voyageurs were tied at the half (35-35) and trailed by only a basket heading to the fourth quarter - but simply could not pull this one out.

With only six players in total contributing to the scoring for Laurentian, the trio of Caillou Lacroix (24), Gaetan Chamand (19) and Cedric Mbiaba (18) were clearly front and centre for the top-heavy squad.

Back in Toronto 24 hours later, the Voyageurs had to overcome a slow start (they were down 27-17 after ten minutes of play), dropping a 78-75 decision to the York Lions as both teams battled in search of their third victory of the season.

A more diversified attack was led by Abdulmajid Hassan (23) and Caillou Lacroix (21), with both Kamil Dian Hantchi (11) and Gaetan Chamand (10) a little further off the pace.

The Voyageurs will welcome the 9-3 Lakehead Thunderwolves to the Ben Avery Gym on Friday, heading south for a rare Wednesday night tipoff with the 3-9 Guelph Gryphons in what now amounts to a must-win game.

Though the 4-9 Laurentian women would seem to be in better shape, that isn't necessarily the case - not with only three teams behind them in the standings: Ontario Tech (2-11); Lakehead (1-11); Algoma (0-14).

Those numbers are what makes a 70-47 defeat at the hands of the 5-7 York Lions so crushing, especially on the heels of a decent enough performance the night before, losing to McMaster 72-59 in a game in which the L.U. ladies trailed only 55-52 heading to quarter four.

With former OUA Rookie of the Year Hélena Lamoureux still sidelined, coach Jason Hurley relied heavily on his western connection as Saskatoon-siblings Bailey and Sydney Tabin showed the way with 19 and 12 points respectively versus Mac.

With some injuries come opportunities as coach Hurley inserted all 12 players on to the court as some point or another in the contest. Unfortunately, based on the numbers alone, it looked like a completely different team against York on Saturday.

Laurentian was up 19-15 after the first quarter but ten minute segments that saw the visitors outscored 19-9 and 19-7 pretty much spelled the end of any hopes of taming the Lions.

Sophomore and Hamilton native Megan Axiak was the only member of the blue and gold to reach double digits, her 11-point performance putting her a basket up on both Bailey Tabin and Princess Bernardino, with Sydney Tabin and Rileigh Smith adding six points each.

Like the men, the Laurentian ladies have very little wiggle room moving forward, with a tough matchup with West Division leading Guelph (9-3) set to follow a very winnable home game against Lakehead.

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