THUNDER BAY – Sports – The Lakehead University Thunderwolves men’s basketball team came away with a 84-74 win over the Waterloo Warriors Friday evening. With the win they retain 1st place in the OUA West. The T-Wolves got out to a slow start, but picked up the pace as the first half unfolded. The change in pace was due in part to three-point specialist Nathan Wainwright (Kapuskasing, ON) coming off the bench to drain 3 of 4 attempts from long range in the first half. He would finish with 12 points and 3 assists. Another big spark off the bench came from Adam Johnson (Baltimore, MD) who set his Lakehead career-high with 26 points and 9 rebounds (6 offensive) to lead all scorers.
Halftime score was 40-27 for Lakehead. Waterloo would come out firing in the second half, beginning with a 10-0 run that had Thunderwolf fans uneasy, and coach Scott Morrison even more so with the quick turn of events. The Warriors’ run would be answered by a response from Lakehead, and largely their bench. Matt Schmidt (Thunder Bay, ON) went 4-for-5 for 9 points in 11 minutes of work.
The two teams would trade shots for the remainder of the game, with Waterloo outscoring Lakehead by 3 in the second half, and 29-28 in the 4th quarter.
Ben Johnson was the only Lakehead starter to reach double digits with 11 points (3-of-5 from three). Venzal Russell struggled to finish around the hoop, going 2-12 from the floor to finish with 6 points, 5 rebounds and 6 steals. Greg Carter had 7 points and 7 assists.
Apart from the Lakehead bench, the impressive scoring on display was that of the Waterloo starters, 4 of whom reached double digits. Mike Wright was the leading Warrior with 19 (3-of-7 from three, 4-4 FT). Troy Stevenson and Zach Angelini both went 5-of-8 from the field to finish with 12 and 13 points, respectively.
Coach Scott Morrison stated, “Our starting five did not come focused to practice Thursday night and that missed opportunity really hurt them tonight. We came out flat on O, settling for quick shots instead of pounding the ball inside where we held a distinct size advantage against this opponent. Thankfully our bench guys really stepped up including Johnson, Schmidt, Wainwright and Jones – whose focus in practice carried over to strong play tonight. Credit to Waterloo – they outworked us on the glass and hit some tough shots to keep the game tight. We are going to have to execute much better tomorrow night to pull-off a sweep.”
Rematch is Saturday evening at 8 pm. Game Coverage is available via webcast on SSN, and CILU radio, 102.7 FM www.luradio.ca