Stephanie Kleysen was one of the Wesmen’s top scorers last weekend in Thunder Bay. – Wesmen
The University of Winnipeg Wesmen women’s basketball team travelled to Thunder Bay, Ont. last weekend for their last tournament of the pre-season.
Head coach Tanya McKay noted that the weekend wasn’t an easy one but eventually the team found their groove.
“We had a tough start shooting 16 for 72 in game one versus Laurentian and 14 for 61 versus Bishops,” she said. “Sunday we finally found our range beating Lakehead 89 to 61.”
As McKay said, the Wesmen struggled in their first two games of the weekend, losing to both Laurentian and Bishops.
In Friday night’s game, despite the team’s low shooting percentage, the Wesmen were led by first-year guard Stephanie Kleysen who had 16 points and nine rebounds, and team co-captain, Caite Gooch, who had 13 points. It was a close game, but the Wesmen lost 53-50.
On Saturday night, the Wesmen were in another close game against Bishops.
Despite the team’s 60 points, they had only one player in double digits. Kleysen had 11 points, and Alyssa Grant added another nine points.
In their final game of the weekend, the Wesmen finally found their rhythm. The Wesmen took on the home team, the Lakehead Thunderwolves, in a re-match from the Wesmen’s BOB FM tournament the weekend before.
In their first meeting in Winnipeg, the game was close, and the Wesmen won by only five points. However, it was a different story in Thunder Bay.
Led by Gooch, who had 23 points, and Kleysen, who was also a high scorer with 21 points, the Wesmen trampled the Thunderwolves, 89-61.
In reflecting on the turnaround from the majority of the weekend to Sunday, Kleysen felt that the squad had finally started to gel.
“The major difference was that the shots we had been taking all weekend that weren’t going in before finally dropped for us,” she said. “We played as a team.”
The Wesmen were missing fourth-year starter and team co-captain, Amy Ogidan, who stayed home with an ankle injury.
Ogidan is expected to be back for the Wesmen’s season opener on Friday, Oct. 22 against the Manitoba Bisons at the U of M.