WINDSOR, ON – The Lakehead University T-Wolves out-gunned the Lancers in in a high-octane thriller on Friday night. The men’s basketball team led from the beginning, and managed to fight fire with fire down the stretch to capture an 87-83 win on Friday evening against the Windsor Lancers.
The first quarter featured a case of nerves for both teams, as Lakehead committed 6 turnovers, Windsor 7, with LU making the most of its shots to lead 19-10 after ten minutes. The Lancers would regain their composure to cut the score to a 36-30 halftime lead for Lakehead.
Both teams drew their weapons in a shoot out of a third quarter that was punctuated by 2 huge three’s (each) from Lakehead’s Venzal Russell and Ryan Thomson, and a technical foul to Windsor coach Chris Oliver. This drama was added to further by a massive two hand flush by Windsor big man Evan Matthews, which electrified the St. Denis Center crowd which had been previously muted by the Lakehead’s outside gunners. Matt Schmidt and Ben Johnson joined in on the rain-making, hitting 7 of 11 threes on the game to add to the T-Wolves’ 13-of-27 total. The score sat at 64-57 at the end of three quarters.
The Lancers would nip at the T-Wolves heels for all of the 4th quarter, connecting shot for shot, and making up ground with aggressive rebounding at both ends, led by Lien Philip and Jamal McQueen, who grabbed 12 and 5 rebounds, respectively, and 7 offensive boards between them. McQueen would drop a three pointer with 1:58 remaining to give the Lancers their first lead, 81-80.
Lakehead would respond with another three, a defensive stop and solid free throw shooting to regain the lead for good.
LU was led by Venzal Russell with 22 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Ben Johnson poured in 19 of his own, going 5-of-10 and a would be critical 5-of-6 from the charity stripe. Greg Carter was also an impressive 7-of-8 from the foul line for 13 points and 6 assists.
Windsor’s Enrico DiLoreto had a game-high 22 points (3-of-8 from three), and Lien Phillip was a solid 12 and 12. Reserve forward Evan Matthews was an impressive spark off the bench, going for 11 points and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes.
Scott Morrison, who was no stranger to the ‘shootout’ style win in his own playing career, emphasized the rebounding and turnover breakdowns that must be corrected for tomorrow’s rematch:
“It was a great game that could have went either way. Windsor is the biggest team we have faced in some time and do a great job using their size on the defensive end as well as on the O glass. We were fortunate to hit some tough shots throughout the game to keep our heads above water. It’s hard to count on outside shooting to win games so tomorrow we are going to have to take better care of the ball on offense and increase our rebounding effort on the defensive end.”
The two teams rematch tomorrow at 8 pm.
Game coverage will be available via SSN Canada: www.ssncanada.ca/games