HAWKS DEFENSE SHINES IN BATTLE OF TOP TWO SCORING TEAMS

ETOBICOKE, ON: The Humber Hawks women's basketball team (12-0, 1st West) stayed perfect by way of a solid 74-44 home win over Welland's Niagara Knights (7-5, 4th West).

The game started out slow, and by the end of the first quarter both the scoreboard and the stat sheet indicated that very fact. The Hawks did hold a lead at 10-5, but that was way off their normal pace, as they are averaging over 78 points in games this year. Humber was a mere 5 for 22 in shooting, while the Knights checked in at 2 for 16.

After the quick break, the Hawks flew out of the gate quickly, and scored almost at will through the opening minutes of the second quarter. Before the dust settled, the Knights were able to answer on a few occasions, but it was Humber taking a 34-17 lead into the dressing room at the half.

Aleena Domingo, coming off a season high 28 points in a game at Fanshawe in London this past weekend, was the player who stepped up offensively. She had a game high nine points, based on 4 for 6 shooting. As expected Courtney McPherson led the Knights, with six.

Both teams had strong third quarters, with Niagara having their biggest offensive outburst on the night, with 15 points. The Hawks hit for 20, and at games end, had scored 20 or more in three consecutive quarters of play. At the end of three, the score was 54-32 in favour of the host Hawks.

With the game virtually out of hand, the spotlight turned to Hawk star Ceejay Nofuente. After a first half where she struggled, she hit for 10 points in the second half. Her last basket, a three pointer of course, put her in the Hawks record book. With that shot her career total rose to a Hawk all-time career high 785 points, eclipsing the mark set by Humber hall of Famer Beth Latendresse.

Nofuente led a trio of Hawks that scored in double digits, with 14. Aleena Domingo and Jill Semple supported the cause with 13 and 12 points, respectfully. Veteran Chioma Oriuwa ruled the boards, leading both teams and tying her season high with 11 rebounds.

Courtney Mcpherson led both teams on the night, with 16 points. She added a team high 8 rebounds.

"Early in the game scoring was at a premium for both teams, but I was confident in our defense and they came through," said Hawks head coach Ajay Sharma. "Keeping a team who averages almost 80 points a game to 44 is a very good sign moving forward."

Humber will now look to continue their winning streak, which currently sits at 49 games, on Saturday afternoon in Hamilton against the Mohawk Mountaineers. The two teams have met in the OCAA final over the past two years. Tip is set for 2:00 pm, from the Mohawk Athletic Centre. 

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