THUNDER BAY – Lakehead’s men’s basketball team began the game with poise, but it was a poison 2nd half turnaround that saw the demise of the Thunderwolves on Friday evening, as Laurier scored 52 second half points, shut down the LU offense and won 91-82. Laurier now moves into a tie with Lakehead for second place in the OUA West, both teams with 8-3 records.
With Lakehead up by 5 at halftime, 45-40, all seemed well for LU, but a hot-shooting Laurier team, combined with a stifling 3-2 zone defense got LU out of sync. The Golden Hawks won the third quarter 27-14, and despite cracking the zone in the 4th frame, LU could not handle the offensive punch that Laurier exhibited all night, as they shot 49% from the field.
Laurier’s Kale Harrison had a game-high 25 points (7-22 FG, 8-11 FT) with 6 rebounds and 5 assists.Laurier also got great production form Max Allin with 21 points, and Jamar Forde, with 16 points on 7-8 shooting. Mathew Buckley was also a work horse down low, grabbing 8 rebounds scoring 15 points, and keeping LU posts off their game. Venzal Russell led LU with 24 points (11-19 FG), while forward Yoosrie Salhia’s streak of 5 ‘double doubles’ was broken, as he scored 12 points to go with 8 rebounds. Jamie Searle had 10 points and 5 assists.
LU Coach Scott Morrison was less than impressed, “I was really upset with our defensive effort to start the 2nd half. Unlike the first quarter we allowed them to move the ball with ease and gave up too much penetration to the middle. We can’t give a scorer like Harrison any easy catches in the half-court and we can’t allow an athlete like Forde to get 7 right-hand lay-ups in one game. I thought Carter did a decent job on Allin, but that Allin just had a great game, one of the best I have seen against Greg.”
Morrison added, “Any team can be good for short periods of time, but only the great teams play consistently well all the time. We want to be great, but we have to start stacking together more consistent performances to take strides in that direction.”
Action versus the Golden Hawks continues tomorrow @ the Thunderdome, Women at 6pm, Men at 8pm.