THUNDER BAY – It was not the prettiest or most well played win of the season, but it still counts the same for the Lakehead Thunderwolves. Lakehead took advantage of some cold Brock shooting to sneak out a 69-57 win after stumbling through a 15-8 3rd quarter that saw the Badgers get back in the game for the stretch run.
Brock out-rebounded Lakehead all night including doubling up the Thunderwolves on the offensive glass by a 16-8 total. Nine Badgers earned 2nd chances on the offensive glass. Brock also did a great job of ball-pressuring the L.U. guards forcing 17 turnovers to Brock’s 9.The advantage Lakehead was able to use for the win was a better shooting night. LU shot 23-61 overall to Brock’s 21-77 and from 3pt land Lakehead was 7-21 to Brock’s 7-36.
Lakehead was led in scoring by Ryan Thomson who had 14 and 4 rebounds, and got double-digit performances from Yoosrie Salhia (11 pts and 8 rebs) and Venzal Russell (10 pts and 8 rebs). Jamie Searle sat most of the 1st half with 2 quick fouls. Ben Johnson had a great game defensively off the bench but shot a rough 1-12 from the field. That being said, his one 3-point bucket was a big one with just over 2 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter to put Lakehead up 5.
Mark Gibson had a strong first game back from injury for Brock with 13 points and 6 rebounds while Andrew Kraus and Mike Cruikshank had 11 a piece.
Brock guard Joel Whitty suffered a likely concussion after taking an inadvertent elbow on a loose ball scrum. The 3rd year Badger was taken to hospital on stretcher with just under 8 minutes remaining. Lakehead was without juniors Brendan King and Joe Jones, who are both still working their way back from injuries.
Scott Morrison was intent on shoring up his team’s shortcomings this evening so as to not allow these trends to persist as they prepare for playoffs.
“To win like that where we get outplayed in many facets of the game is a good thing – but not something we can get accustomed to doing if we hope to contend for the conference championship. Tomorrow we need to handle Brock’s pressure and rebound much better to stay in the game. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joel Whitty for a speedy recovery from his injury tonight,” shared Coach Morrison.
Saturday night’s game will be ‘Seniors Night’, as Jamie Searle, Andrew Quirion and Andrew Hackner will be honored in a pre-game ceremony to recognize their contribution to Lakehead Basketball during their distinguished careers as Thunderwolves.