The Western women's basketball team fell to 5–5 after dropping both contests of a home back-to-back against Queen's and York over the weekend.
The Mustangs lost to a strong, 7–0 Queen's team by a score of 69–49 on Friday night and a weak York team 48–41 on Saturday.
The Mustangs have shown flashes of the talent and cohesiveness that allowed them to start the season 4–0 during their recent skid but have not been able to piece together the same 40-minute efforts that they were putting up regularly to start the season.
Western really struggled to control the boards on Friday night against Queen's, getting out-rebounded 49–25 and grabbing just three on the offensive end. Another big issue for the Mustangs was their three-point shooting, where they shot a lacklustre 7.7 per cent, hitting just one of 13 attempts from beyond the arc. After starting the season 4–0, the Mustangs have dropped five of their last six games and currently sit in third place in the OUA West.
Although they struggled in some areas, there were times where the Mustangs looked like the better team against the undefeated Gaels, including an impressive 9–0 run to begin the second quarter. But the team’s inconsistency ultimately kept them from keeping the game close, leading to the eventual 20-point loss.
“We play inconsistently because right now we have been inconsistent in how we are preparing for games," said head coach Brian Cheng. "We are banged up and injured, players like Victoria [Heine] were not available this weekend, it has just been that kind of a year for us and that is where things are at. So now what we have to do as a team is accept that and work that much harder to overcome it.”
The more concerning loss of the weekend came Saturday against a York team that had only won one game and sat in last place in the OUA East entering the contest. Western’s only lead of the game came 27 seconds into the contest when they were up 2–0. The Mustangs thin, injury depleted roster was exploited again as the Mustangs could only muster two points off the bench. The Mustangs were out-rebounded and made just 26.6 per cent of their shots from the field, both key contributors to the loss.
After an up and down first half, the Mustangs begin the second half of their season this Wednesday on the road against an impressive Windsor team that currently sits in first in the OUA West. As the banged up Mustangs enter the last 10 games of the regular season, the team knows that they must work towards playing a more consistent, complete game if they want to contend in March.
“We need to go out and be more positive with each other and in the long run just get back to having fun and playing our game,” said Mustangs fourth-year guard Mackenzie Puklicz.
Whether or not the team can right the ship for the second half of the U Sports campaign will determine if this group ever reaches the potential they showed they have earlier in the season. If they do, this Mustangs squad could be a force to be reckoned with come March.