THUNDER BAY, ON – The Golden Hawks are set to enter the Thunderdome. Both of the Lakehead Thunderwolves basketball teams will host the Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks this weekend for double-header match-ups, Friday and Saturday, at 6 pm (women) and 8 pm (men).
Getting set for the games at this weekend, fans can look forward to exciting action.
Thunderwolves Women (6-7, 4th place OUA West)
The women’s team returns home after an inspiring overtime victory against Western last Saturday night to earn a weekend split against the team just ahead of them in the standings.
Laurier too are 6-7 on the season, making this weekend an opportunity for the ‘Wolves to create some separation in the standings and solidify their playoff position. Ranking 9th in the nation in 3pt % (32%), Laurier will force Lakehead to guard the perimeter. That being said, Lakehead is currently the making the most 3′s per game in the CIS (8.0 per game). The Golden Hawks are led in scoring by Whitney Ellenor (11.5 PPG), but have several players averaging just under 10 PPG.
Coach Jon Kreiner shares, “We have been working hard as a team and the success we’ve seen so far have come through team play vs the play of one or two superstars. We currently have four players averaging 10PPG or more and the play of Jess de Haan and Winta Desta has improved greatly since Christmas. We have a group that is tough to guard when we move the ball and trust in the system. It’s hard for our opponents to decide who to focus in on when a different player steps up every game and when we bring our energy and work ethic. Laurier is very similar; they are a tough nosed team that works as hard as any team in the CIS. They rebound the ball exceptionally well and play tough, physical defense. They have different players stepping up every game and their post players have been their best players since Christmas. Laurier also gets to the free throw line quite a bit and takes care of the basketball. I anticipate a great battle of wills for 80 minutes this weekend. We will need to be disciplined and patient and use our experience to play through lulls in our offense and runs by Laurier.”
Men (8-5, 2nd place OUA West)
The men’s team needs to keep on winning in order to keep pace in the OUA West, as they remain a couple games behind 1st place Windsor and narrowly ahead of McMaster.
The Laurier Golden Hawks present one of the more entertaining styles of play in the CIS, with a high-paced offense and on defense lead the CIS in blocked shots per game (4.6). They take a CIS #3 72 shots per game, making for lots of rebounding and break-out opportunities if Lakehead’s defense is up to the task.
Led by perennial All-Star Max Allin (23.3 PPG), the Hawks have also gotten support from Will Coulthard (18.1 PPG). Both players have had performances this year that have earned them OUA and CIS Athlete of the Week honors.
Coach Scott Morrison stated, “In recent times, Laurier has been one of the most explosive teams in the conference thanks in part to a free-wheeling style by talented players.This year is no different as WLU boasts both Allin and Coulthard who have been over 30+ points multiple times this season. In addition their young players led by Jamar Forde continue to improve and play well together. Like most opponents we will be working to try and keep Laurier in a half-court game while taking care of the ball ourselves on the offensive end to limit their run-out opportunities.”
Games will be Webcast via SSN Canada