by Alex Cyr
A classic showdown against a perennial rival did little to help the Lancer Men’s basketball team rebound from a slow start to their 2018-19 campaign.
The Western Mustangs bettered the blue and gold by nearly 20 points, posting 76 to Windsor’s 57, at the Windsor Family Credit Union Arena on Saturday, November 17. The result lowered the Lancers’ record to 2-5 on the young season
Tesloth Simon was the Lancers’ brightest spot in the matinee, putting up 18 points and eight rebounds. The 6’3 guard knows recognizes areas where the team needs to improve and sees the loss as an opportunity.
“We need to work on our rebounds and defence,” says Simon. “But although we lost the game, the mistakes we made are fixable and all within our control. We can only learn from those mistakes and move on.”
Simon, who is enjoying his debut season with the Lancers after succumbing to injury last year, recognizes that some of those mistakes can be corrected with experience.
“From today’s game, we can learn that we just need to be more confident and be basketball players. In other words, that means being confident and producing to the best of our ability.”
The varsity tilt led off a full day of basketball at the Windsor-based multi-purpose community centre as it preceded a National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC) matchup between the Windsor Express and the Sudbury Five.
Head coach Chris Oliver recognized the prestige of playing in a large venue but kept a business-like approach in preparing his team for the game.
“It is awesome for our program to be partnered with the Windsor Express and we are grateful for the opportunity, (but) basketball doesn’t change wherever we play. We had to be very good in every aspect of the game, not because of the venue, but because of the quality of our opponent in Western.”
The young Lancers were not up for the occasion, faltering in the second quarter and getting outscored 24-14 – a margin too substantial for a team lacking offense to overcome. Coach Oliver noted the Lancer firepower will need to improve.
“Our offensive efficiency in every category is way down,” says Oliver. “We are struggling to make shots and we need to improve that area if we hope to improve on our record.”
Echoing Simon, Coach Oliver attributes his team’s early-season struggles to a lack of experience.
“We are young in too many positions of importance, and our struggles are a reflection of that. We will continue to focus on the process but no team in the country graduated such significant pieces (as did we) and replaced them with as much youth,” says Oliver.
Damian Pursaud, one of only three seniors on the 16-man roster, sees the potential for quick and prolific growth despite his team’s early struggles.
“Like any other year, our goal as a team is to win our conference, win OUA’s (Ontario University Association), move onto Nationals and win that too,” says Pursaud. “Windsor is a top program and we look to continue that tradition just like any other year for the 2018-2019 season.”
The Lancers will be in tough to chase such goals when they travel to Toronto next weekend to face the undefeated Ryerson Rams on Friday, November 23, and the Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday November 24. Tune in at 8:00 pm ET on OUA.TV
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