WINNIPEG, MB – Sports – The Lakehead University Thunderwolves men’s basketball team began their campaign at the 46th annual Wesmen Classic with a win over the U of Northern BC Timberwolves, 90-50 on Friday afternoon. From the tip Lakehead showed defensive and rebounding intensity, limiting the Timberwolves’ looks in the first quarter, leading 27-12 after 10. At the other end, Yoosrie Salhia and Ryan Thomson ran their hi-lo game to pick apart the UNBC defense, combining for 33 of Lakehead’s 46 first-half points and a comfortable 20 point lead.
The third quarter saw much of the same, with Lakehead keeping the foot on the pedal and never looking back. LU went on a 10-1 run to begin the second half and would cruise from there. [sws_blockquote align=”” alignment=”alignleft” cite=”Coach Morrison” quotestyles=”style02″] UNBC has an explosive team and our guys did a good job setting the defensive tone early [/sws_blockquote]
Yoosrie Salhia led the Pack with 22 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in 21 minutes of play and was named the Player of the Game. Ryan Thomson showed his scoring and his notably adept passing game with 11 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists with no turnovers in 20 minutes of court time. Sophomore Joey Nitychoruk (Winnipeg, MB) had a homecoming to be proud of with 10 rebounds, 8 points and 3 assists.
In terms of playing time management, it was an ideal way to begin a ‘3 games in 3 days’ tournament, as all 11 dressed players got a chance to get back in the groove following the winter break. Ben Johnson clocked 30 minutes (6 pts, 6 assts), while no other T-Wolves played more than 22 minutes. Currently there are 3 players on the injured list for Lakehead (Anthony McIntosh, Brendan King and Nathan Wainwright).
For UNBC, Joel Rybachuk scored 9 points with 5 rebounds and 2 steals.
As a team the Thunderwolves shot 50% (35-70) from the floor to UNBC’s 27% (16-60) and out-rebounded UNBC 47-36; they also held a 29-10 advantage in assists.
Coach Scott Morrison comments, “Considering it was the first game back after a long break I was fairly pleased with our defensive effort today. UNBC has an explosive team and our guys did a good job setting the defensive tone early. Our goal will be to improve our execution each day and look to maintain a high level of energy for the entire tournament.”
The men’s next game will be tomorrow at 9:30 pm ET vs. the winner of the Brandon vs. Dikinson St. game played later today (3:00pm ET start)
Live Stats Feed will be available regardless of opponents playing via Canadawest.tv