THUNDER BAY – Sport – The Lakehead University women’s basketball team fought valiantly to a 82-68 win over the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday evening. Despite the 14-point win, the spread was not enough to earn the split versus Guelph, who won Friday’s match-up by 20 and thus seal their 6th place finish in the OUA West and advance to the playoffs.
For the Thunderwolves, it was not only the end of the season, but the end of a career for 5th year Lindsay Druery (Smithville, ON). She was honored during the half time of the men’s game with her parents, Bill and Julie, along with 4th year Lacey McNulty (Belleville, ON), who will also graduate from Lakehead this year. McNulty had gone down with what was originally thought to have been a season ending injury last week, but in a valiant effort came off the bench to play 6 minutes, and hit a big baseline three-pointer in the first half.
With the Thunderwolves knowing that they must win by 21 to extend their season, they pushed with all their might from the opening tip; they played with more urgency than ever before this season. They would outscore the Gryphons by 3 in the first quarter, tie them (17-17) in the second, win the 3rd (20-19) and the 4th quarter 27-17. The last 2 minutes of play were as frantic as any this season, with ‘Wolves diving, flying and fighting tooth and nail at both ends of the court. It no doubt made the ending a lot more sweet than bitter for the Thunderwolf faithful in attendance who cheered with delight until the final buzzer.
Druery scored 24 points (11-17 shooting) and collected 12 rebounds (5 offensive), fitting for a player who was no stranger to the ‘double-double’ stat line throughout her career. Carolyn Fragale (Thunder Bay,ON) had 16 points and 5 assists while Ayse Kalkan (Winnipeg, MB) scored 15.
Guelph’s top scorer was Jasmine Douglas with 22 poitns and 9 rebounds. Alyssa Shortt and Ali Dzikowski had 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Coach Jon Kreiner had praise for his team and graduating players, Druery and Lacey McNulty, “Not many teams in the CIS get to win their last game. The way we played the 4th quarter was a great final chapter to a great season for our Team. We have a very tough division & we competed hard all season. Lindsay’s final game as a Thunderwolf was one of her best. Just the fact that Lacey got into the game and provided a spark was a real proud moment & her teammates rallied around her. It’s tough to be out when you still think you have more to give but we gave our best and ended on a great positive for our program.”