Well, coming back from the Christmas break the first set of games in the OUA West were interesting. Heading into Christmas there had been a log jam of teams, with six of the eight teams having winning records. Something had to give and at some point one of those teams were going to begin to run away with it. I’ve believed all year that it’s Lakehead’s to lose, but not without a fight from Laurier.
Laurier started the year by utterly decimating Waterloo 110 - 60. They ended up with five players in double digits and continued their torrid offensive pace. When they went up against Brock on Saturday they decided to only score 93 points. Lakehead remained tied for first by sweeping the weekend series against Western. Although, much credit to Western. The Lakehead weekend is always tough and the fact Western has one of the youngest teams in the OUA doesn’t make things easier. They were able to keep pace with Lakehead for awhile in both games, but it’s hard to go basket for basket with the depth that Lakehead has.
McMaster started out with a surprising loss at Windsor, but came back with a win against Waterloo at home to remain third. McMaster had a tough night shooting in Windsor with a 33.8% effort from the field, a rarity for Mac, which stopped them from really challenging Windsor. Brock squeezed out a win against Guelph at home, but not without some struggles. Both teams are fairly equally matched and the 77-74 final shows close they are.
Of the middle ranked teams in the West, Windsor by far had the best weekend. They earned victories against McMaster and Guelph to move up slightly in the standings and have a 7-3 record. They took advantage of playing at home against two strong teams and began to distance themselves a bit from the pack. By far, Guelph had the toughest weekend in the West. With loses to Brock and Windsor they fell to sixth and make things harder for themselves with a rough start to the second half of the season.
Upcoming Games to watch
Lakehead at Laurier (Jan. 13 and Jan. 14)
I have absolutely no idea what to expect from these games. They could either be blowouts with both teams capable of putting up 100 points easily. Or, Lakehead’s defence could step-up and expose a weakness in Laurier’s overpowering offence. I don’t really know, but these will be games everyone in the OUA will be paying attention to. Everyone wants to know how to beat these teams and something has to give at the top of the West. Both teams know what the standings look like and have been waiting for a chance to pull ahead. I can’t wait until the dust settles on Saturday night in Waterloo.