Lakehead University Thunderwolves Implode in Waterloo


NNL Thunderwolves SportsbeatTHUNDER BAY – Sports – Just as the Thunderwolves were cast as giant killers in the 2011 Final Four, so thus did they find themselves playing the role of giant killed in 2012. The Ryerson Rams completed the upset in alarming fashion, 86-70.

The game could not have started out worse for the Thunderwolves, who were without Ryan Thomson due to a foot injury. The Ryerson Rams exploded on a 13-0 run to begin the game, and did not slow down. It took 5 1/2 minutes for Lakehead to register their first bucket, a lay-up by Greg Carter. The first quarter belonged to the Rams, with the score 27-11 after one quarter.

The second quarter marked somewhat of a turnaround for the T-Wolves, who continued to pound the ball inside, and also got the ball to Venzal Russell in transition who converted on three straight baskets. On the end on the floor, Yoosrie Salhia and Adam Johnson combined to block three shots in three straight possessions, making a 14-2 run to end the second quarter, bringing the score to 45-34.

The second half saw the Thunderwolves continue to stall on offence, while playing porous defence, starting with a 17-5 Ryerson run in first 4 1/2 minutes of third quarter. After re-establishing a healthy 20-point lead, Ryerson went to a 1-3-1 zone to slow down the Lakehead offence, which did get some jump starts, but could never really stay effective over the long term.

The fourth quarter had some glimmers of hope, provided by some three pointers and strong takes by Joseph Jones. Ryerson would not be denied, as they had their bench stepped up consistently, compared to Lakehead’s which was inconsistent and the team as a whole never got into a consistent flow.

Lakehead was led by Venzal Russell with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Joseph Jones finished with 14 points.

Ryerson had four players in double digit scoring, with Aaron Best scoring 26, Jahmal jones 18, Bjorn Michaelsen 17 and Jordan Gauthier 15. Ryerson out-rebounded Lakehead 40-36, outshot them 54% to 35% from the field, and connected on 17 assists to LU’s 10.

Coach Scott Morrison said, postgame, “Before this weekend we said the successful team would be the one who executed and played the most as a team over 40 minutes. Ryerson did just that as they beat us down the floor and moved the ball much better than we did. Credit to Ryerson players for knocking down big shots and to their coaches for preparing well this week. They deserved the win and we have to take our beating like men. We picked a bad time to play poorly and now we have to live with it and find ways to learn from this experience.”

The team’s only chance to go to the Final 8 in Halifax would be by receiving the ‘At-Large Berth’, better known as the Wild Card selection. This decision by the CIS will be released late on Sunday, March 4.

Previous articleIn a democracy free and fair elections are absolutely essential – John Rafferty MP
Next articleKWG to Reconvene AGM – Company Announces Completed Acquisition of 49 Claims
Hugh Mullally is the Sports Information Director at Lakehead University. Hugh shares, "In the field of athletics, I aspire to continue developing my public profile as a source for sports information with my current employer, with a little bit of entertainment mixed in with my live game commentary and my weekly radio show that features athletes and coaches from Lakehead University".