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)
Webcast of tomorrow’s game will be carried if Brandon is the winner of today’s game, due to CanadaWest TV policies.
Live Stats Feed will be available regardless of opponents playing via Canadawest.tv