THUNDER BAY – Sports – The Thunderwolves men’s basketball team protected home turf on Friday evening, handing the Windsor Lancers a 70-64 loss in front of a capacity crowd in the Thunderdome, and 260+ more watching online. In a battle of the top two teams in the OUA West, Lakehead got the job done with hustle and a desire to re-assert themselves as a contender in the CIS, having the #4 ranked team in the nation on their court.
Thunderwolves battle to win
The Lancers would not go down easily, however, battling from the tip to lead 17-15 after the first quarter. The T-Wolves closed out the first half strong to lead 36-30 at the break.
Lakehead would open up a ten-point lead in the third quarter. However, Windsor refused to go away, battling back to come within two points of the Thunderwolves in the final minutes of the 4th quarter.
In a game that saw great dunks, impressive shots and sweat poured out by the gallon, the show was stolen by the rebounding of Yoosrie Salhia, who pulled down a total of 15 boards to go with 13 points. With Lakehead clutching to a lead with under 2 minutes to go, Salhia fought off three Windsor Lancers to secure an offensive rebound, reset the shot clock, and provide a steadying force for Lakehead to close out the game.
Top scorer for Lakehead was Ryan Thomson with 17 points and 5 rebounds. Ben Johnson added 11, including a clutch floater in the lane in crunch time.
For Windsor, Lien Philip had 13 points to go with 7 rebounds. Ismar Seferagic had 9 points.
Lakehead out-rebounded Windsor 43-35.
Coach Scott Morrison stated, “It was an exciting ball game tonight from a fan’s perspective and from a coach’s perspective I am pleased with the effort and toughness our guys showed tonight”.
“We knew rebounding would be a key factor and I was pleased with our second chance efforts on the glass and the collective team effort as 11 different guys picked up a board tonight. Windsor hurt us with their full court pressure and that will be one of the first things we can look to for improvement tomorrow. Should be another dogfight tomorrow night.”
The two teams will rematch tomorrow at 8PM in a game that will determine who will take top spot in the OUA West.
It will also be Seniors Night, as the Thunderwolves will see six players in their final regular season home game – Yoosrie Salhia, Greg Carter, Matt Schmidt, Brendan King, Joseph Jones and Ben Johnson.
Webcast will be available via SSN Canada. Audio broadcast available via CILU Radio, 102.7 FM, www.luradio.ca