HAMILTON – In basketball action Friday, the Lakehead University Thunderwolves were winners over the McMaster Marauders. Both the mens and women’s basketball teams triumphed over their opponents.
In men’s action, Jamie Searle did what it took down the stretch to ensure that Lakehead would get the win over McMaster, 78-76, and continue to challenge Windsor for top spot in the OUA West, as Lakehead now sits at 10-3, 2 points behind the #7 nationally ranked Lancers.
Searle (Belleville, ON) shot efficiently and hit when Lakehead needed him to late in the game as he scored 29 points on 64% shooting (6-7 FT). He also collected 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. He got help down low from Yoosrie Salhia (Toronto, ON), who went 5 0f 6 for 11 points and 8 rebounds. As a team Lakehead shot 48% from 3 point land (12-25), but struggled from the free throw line (36%, 8-22), and was out-rebounded 43-34 by the Marauders.
McMaster got scoring from Scott Laws and Cam Michaud, who had 19 and 17, respectively. They also got some clutch 2nd half three point shooting from Kyle Geidraitis, who hit 3 of his 4 attempts in the 2nd half. Kenan Etale led in rebounding with 11, while the 6’9″ transfer from Boston U, Scott Brittain, was limited to 9 points and 7 rebounds, and was involved in a game changing play with only a few minutes remaining in the game.
With Lakehead holding onto a slim lead, LU’s Greg Carter hoisted a shot that went long and came down into the hands of Scott Brittain and Yoosrie Salhia, with both players trying to rip the ball free. In the mix-up, Brittain went down and struck his head on the floor, causing much concern for everyone there, as Brittain had sat out a lot of time pre-Christmas due to a concussion. As the play concluded, Marauder Scott Laws accosted Salhia on the court, resulting in a technical foul against Laws. Jamie Searle coolly sunk 2 free throws to make the LU lead 4.
In the final minute of play with the score tied, Salhia scored while being fouled with 10 seconds remaining. He missed the ensuing free throw, and despite getting the rebound, Lakehead did not elect to run out the clock, but shot again. This time, McMaster got the rebound, and got it to Scott Laws going up the sideline, who was fouled with 1.2 seconds left. Laws, however, was unable to redeem himself at the line as he missed the first free throw, and after intentionally missing the second throw, the ball was secured by LU.
Lakehead Coach Scott Morrison points to his team’s short-comings in the face of a re-match tomorrow,”Anytime you get a road win in this conference you have to be pleased, however our time for reflection is short and we have to refocus on tomorrow’s game which will again be a battle. We have to improve our free throw shooting and transition defense as well as get a team effort on the glass tomorrow night.”
In women’s action, Tasia McKenna (Timberlea, NS) scored a season-high 35 points to help the Thunderwolves win 71-66 against the McMaster Marauders in Hamilton on Friday evening. The ‘Wolves now move to 9-4 and 4th place in the OUA West.
Lakehead trailed 53-49 at the end of the third quarter before Tasia McKenna took over, as she scored 20 of Lakehead’s 22 4th quarter points, while as a team they limited McMaster to 13 in the 4th. Lakehead was dominant on the glass, out-rebounding their opponents 47-30, as Lindsay Druery grabbed 11, Corina Bruni 9, and Sarah Gordon had 8 boards.
For McMaster, Jaklyn Nimec had 17 points and Taylor Chiarot 14, followed by Vanessa Bonomo with 11; Alyska Lukan had 11 rebounds.
LU coach Kreiner was glad for his veteran guard’s play, but expects better play tomorrow night, “We did not play well tonight but got the win. Tasia was awesome in the 4th and we rebounded the ball well tonight but we cannot give up 47% shooting and expect to win tomorrow.”
Lakehead will play a re-match against McMaster tomorrow night at the Burridge gym.