HALIFAX, NS – The Lakehead University Thunderwolves women’s basketball team were defeated 71-63 at the hands of the St Francis Xavier X-Women on Saturday afternoon. It was their second loss in as many days at the Thunder Selects CIS Holiday Classic. Thunderwolves Coach Jon Kreiner stated, “We played with a lot more energy today and competed at a much higher level. Ultimately we got better for league play. Winta Desta came off the bench and sparked the team with 8 points and 9 rebounds and 2 blocks while Ayse Kalkan was super tonight with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Our third quarter was our undoing (17-12) and our lack of rebounding and connecting from three cost us a game we could have won.”
The Thunderwolves got out to a good start, leading 15-13 after ten minutes. The two teams played fairly even for the remainder of the first half, with St FX leading 34-32 at the break.
In the third quarter St FX made a run to extend their lead to 10, 44-34 early in the Q. Lakehead would play tough down the stretch, coming within 47-44 and later 66-61, but never regaining the lead. Their comeback hopes were fuelled by the tough play of Ayse Kalkan, who made 2 assists to Winta Desta (Ottawa, ON) for lay ups which resulted in three-point play opportunities within a minute of one another. Desta would finish with 8 points and 9 rebounds with 2 blocked shots. Kelsey Bardsley found her shooting touch late in the game from long range, which helped Lakehead keep hope alive. Bardsley finished with 8 points.
Top scorer for Lakehead was Ayse Kalkan with 18 points to go with 12 rebounds and 2 steals. Carolyn Fragale and Ashley Randall had 9 points each.
Rebecca Sheehan led the X-Women with 18 points and 7 rebounds on 7-13 shooting. Kiley Delong had 9 points and 12 rebounds while Anne Kiberd netted 13 points with 4 assists.
Lakehead struggled from long range, going 4-32, compared to St FX’ 5-15 shooting from downtown. The X-Women also held a strong advantage on the glass, 71-50 in rebounding. Rebounding and interior defense led to the X-Women’s steep advantage in free throws (24-39) to Lakehead’s 13-24 performance from the stripe.
The women will finish the exhibition tournament tomorrow against Saint Mary’s at 1 pm ET.