THUNDER BAY, ON – The Lakehead Thunderwolves basketball teams will be in action this weekend at home, their final games before the winter break. On Friday the Laurentian Voyageurs will be in town, followed by the York Lions on Saturday eve. Both women’s and men’s Thunderwolf squads are in need of a win, with both of their records standing at 1-4. The men’s saving grace thus far has been that their record is in common company with the rest of OUA West opponents (5 teams with only 1 win), and needing only 2 wins to be tied for 2nd place. The women’s team has a tougher outlook amongst their divisional rivals, not to mention the CIS #1 Windsor Lancers.
The women’s team look to shutdown Laurentian’s top scorer, Sasha Polischuk, who is leading the OUA in scoring with 22.5 PPG, and also averaging 6.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. The Voyageurs are currently 3-3.
Lakehead will counter with their two top guns, Kelsey Bardsley (Manchester, UK) and Carolyn Fragale (Thunder Bay,ON) who are averaging 15.6 and 15.2 points per game. That being said Lakehead’s best games thus far have been when they have created offense from their defence, thanks in large part to the hustle of Ayse Kalkan (Winnipeg, MB) over the full 90 feet of the court. Lakehead may be able to get even more aggressive on defence, given that Laurentian is struggling from the free throw line, 50.5% in OUA play.
As for the Lions (1-5), they are led by Cyrielle Recoura with 15.8 PPG, and are currently ranked 4th in the CIS in defending 3-pointers, giving up a 23.6% average to their opponents from long range, but have only scored 51.5 points per contest.
Coach Jon Kreiner advises, “This is a big weekend for us as we look to rebound from a tough weekend in Ottawa. Laurentian is much improved this year and is lead by Sasha Polishuck, the leading scorer in the league. York is lead by a first year player from France (Cyrielle Recoura) who is averaging 15.8 PPG. Both teams will look to mix it up defensively (Zone, Combo, etc) and will look to slow us down. We will need to stick to playing our game for 80 minutes and use the home crowd energy to drive us to play up to our potential.”
The men take on a Voyageurs team (5-1) they narrowly defeated in overtime last year, 99-95 in Sudbury. This year’s game should be just as tough, given that Laurentian brings back the majority of their roster, including senior Manny Pasquale, who is averaging 16.2 points and over 10 three-point attempts per game.
For York (3-3), David Tyndale has scored 17.3 points per game thus far, and is complimented by Daniel Tulloch, Nick Tufegdzich and Raheem Isaac, who are all scoring around 10 points per game.
Coach Scott Morrison shares, “This weekend we tip-off against two very tough teams in Laurentian and York. Laurentian on Friday poses a challenge of guarding 5 quicker players all capable of scoring. We are going to have to move our feet defensively and close-out well to keep their numerous perimeter attackers from getting to the hoop or drawing help for open looks from 3pt range. York has a number of threats from the outside as well as an underrated front court that can step outside as well as play above the rim. We are working towards sticking to our game plan for each team for 40 minutes starting with Laurentian Friday night – our goal is to finish the semester on a positive note and hit the break with some solid building blocks for the OUA West schedule in 2013.”
Friday vs Laurentian 6pm (women) 8pm (men)
Saturday vs York 6pm (women) 8 pm(men)
Webcast Coverage will be provided via SSN Canada
Audio broadcast will be available via CILU Radio, 102.7 FM and www.luradio.ca