Emily Goodwin | Editor-in-Chief
Featured Image: Megan Stewart takes a shot past the Marauders during the game on Saturday. | Courtesy of Jeremy Zheng/York Lions
The Lions basketball teams were back in home court action last week, taking on the Brock Badgers on Wednesday night and the McMaster Marauders Saturday night. The women’s team were victorious and defeated both their opponents. The men broke their nine game losing streak with a win over the Badgers, but later fell to the Marauders.
The Badgers sat higher in the divisional rankings than the Lions heading into Wednesday’s match and were going to be tough opponents. They proved this when the first quarter of Wednesday’s game ended tied at 16-all. The Badgers later edged out the Lions to lead at halftime by one point, and continued to outscore the Lions in the third quarter.
The Lions turned up the heat in the final quarter though, and thanks to three three-pointers from Lauren Golding and Taylor McAlpine as well as the Lions capitalizing on free throws, the Lions were able to come out ahead or a 66-63 win over the Badgers.
Their thrilling overtime win against the reigning U Sports champion McMaster Marauders three days later initially did not look good for the Lions. At halftime, they were down by 10 points at 32-22. The Lions bounced back after halftime, finishing the quarter down by just six.
The Lions continued to dominate home court throughout the fourth quarter, once again outscoring their opponents. Katrina Collins-Samuels forced overtime when she made a free throw with just four seconds remaining and tied the score at 76.
The Lions kept up their strength throughout the overtime period, only allowing the Marauders to score eight points compared to the Lions 15. This allowed the Lions to come out on top with a 91-84 win.
In addition to back-to-back wins, one of the Lions’ own received top honours for her performance. Third-year Lauren Golding was named female athlete of the week both at York and in the OUA after she netted 60 points and made 31 rebounds over the course of the last two games.
On the men’s side, the Lions got off to a strong start in Wednesday’s game, leading 22-14 after the first quarter. The Badgers flipped the script in the second though, and edged out the Lions to lead 35-33 at halftime.
With the pressure on, the Lions surpassed the Badgers early in the quarter thanks to three- pointers from Alex Theilen and Prince Kamunga. The Lions continued to grow their lead and at one point were up by 10.
In the final three minutes though, the Badgers made a come back and started to close in on the Lions, closing out the quarter on point behind the Lions at 54-53.
The fourth period saw the same scenario unfold: the Lions took the lead, but the Badgers soon caught up. With under a minute to go, the Badgers were hot on the heels of the Lions and only down by two points.
With two seconds left on the clock, Godsman Kwakwah of the Badgers made a three-point shot to put them within a point at 78-77. This was as close as the Badgers would get though. DeAndrae Pierre of the Lions was fouled at the same time, and when he made one of his two free throws, it finished off the game 79-77 in favour of the Lions, the first time the Lions had won since early November.
Unfortunately their luck ran out in their next game against the Marauders. After a rocky first half, the Lions did their best to catch up, and even took the lead in the third quarter, which finished 64-57 in favour of the Lions.
They were unable to hang on to this though, as the Marauders surpassed them in the final minutes of the game to end it 83-82.
Following this weekend’s results, the women’s team moved up to third place in the OUA Central Division with 16 points and 8-6 for the season. The men remain at the bottom of the same division, with four points and a season record of 2-12.
The Lions will be back in action tomorrow Friday, January 24 on home court when they take on the Nipissing Lakers. The women will play at 11 a.m. and the men will play at 1 p.m.