THUNDER BAY – Sports – The Lakehead University men’s basketball team finished the weekend off strong against a tenacious McMaster Marauders’ team on Saturday night, winning 91-71 with another capacity crowd in the Thunderdome. The game’s story line was not without its twists and turns, with McMaster jumping out to an early 20-13 lead after the first quarter, and extending it in the second frame to 30-16. Lakehead coach Scott Morrison was so displeased from the tip that he called a time-out 20 seconds into the game to see if he could try the ignition again on the Lakeahead basketball machine that is currently ranked #2 in the CIS coaches’ poll.
The Pack answered the call right on cue, out-scoring the Marauders 25-21 in the second quarter to trail 41-38 at halftime. Reserve forward Anthony McIntosh in particular stepped up large when given the opportunity for the Thunderwolves, playing tough D and being aggressive on O for a total of 7 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists in 14 minutes of play. Part of Anthony’s being called up was due to Yoosrie Salhia being in early foul trouble, as well as sustaining a cut on his chin in the second half which sidelined him for a stretch while he was bandaged up.
LU’s Motor City import Venzal Russell, meanwhile, took it to an all-star level, with a stat line of 28 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 steals (giving him 10 steals on the weekend), with 2 turnovers in 34 minutes. Ryan Thomson had his best home game of 2012 as well, scoring 18 points on 6 of 8 shooting (5-6 from three). Ben Johnson had 17 and 5, while starting PG Greg Carter dished out 9 assists.
As a team Lakehead went 10-of-20 from beyond the arc, compared to McMaster’s 7-of-19.
For McMaster, Cam Michaud had 15 points, 5 boards and 2 blocked shots. Victor Raso led McMaster with 17 points and 5 boards, while point guard Adam Presutti had 8 assists in the losing cause.
Coach Scott Morrison commenting on the win said, “I was pleased with our effort for 3 quarters tonight. We did a better job on the glass and moved the ball more effectively on offense. Our slow starts are a concern and I have challenged the team to get themselve more focused and ready to play for tip-off next week. Time to focus our efforts towards Windsor who is the hottest team in the OUA right now and will present many new challenges for us to prepare for.”
Lakehead will face the Windsor Lancers on the road next weekend.