THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – Lakehead’s men’s basketball team beat Western by a score of 79-73, completing the season sweep against the Mustangs. Lakehead now sits at 6-12, riding a three-game win streak. Western is now 7-3 in their last ten games, and 12-6 overall. All of Western’s other losses have come against nationally-ranked opponents, with Laurier likely to move into the top ten this coming week.
“It was a good weekend for our group of guys,” Thunderwolves head coach Ryan Thomson said. “I thought that down the stretch we did a good job of keeping our composure and keeping with what we had been preaching all week: execute defensively, take good shots, and put pressure on the rim.”
In the rematch of Friday’s nail-biter game, the two teams battled for 40 minutes, with neither team creating much separation in scoring. Western finished the first quarter with a 23-22 lead and took a 37-34 lead into the half. Lakehead took over in the second half, however. The Thunderwolves controlled most of the third quarter and entered the final frame up 53-51. The fourth quarter saw each team grasp at leads, with the two squads exchanging buckets until a pair of timely three-point makes from Jared Kreiner put the Mustangs off-balance.
Isaiah Traylor then completed a sequence in which he hit a deep three from the top that saw Western call timeout. When play resumed, he hit a second three from the same spot. On the Mustangs following possession, he stole the ball and raced down court for a tomahawk slam that forced another Western timeout, the second in less than 30 seconds.
Lakehead was led by a coalition of contributors, with Traylor putting up 17 points and 4 rebounds, Lock Lam scoring 9, grabbing 8 rebounds, and getting 3 big blocks, and Nick Burke dropping 16 points to go with 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block. Davarius Wright chipped in 11 points, picked up 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and 3 steals off the bench.
The two squads finished with similar shooting percentages and rebounding numbers, but Lakehead forced Western into 4 additional turnovers, blocked 5 more shots (6 total), and had 7 more steals (11 total).
“Our focus is now on Waterloo,” Thomson said. “They play hard and have a talented group of guys who can attack the rim, particularly Petrov and Hodzic.”
Lakehead travels to Waterloo to face the Warriors on February 1st and 2nd,