THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Lakehead University Thunderwolves women’s basketball team asserted themselves among the best in the country on Saturday evening, and defeated the CIS #5 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 73-59.
The guard combination of Corina Bruni and Jylisa Williams spearheaded the Lakehead defense, causing havoc in the backcourt for the Hawks. Bruni’s knack for the ball resulted in several steals early, which she readily turned into points (and assists). She would finish with 4 steals and 6 assists on the evening.
Williams was a woman on a mission, as she scored 22 of Lakehead’s 42 first half points.
Lakehead took a 42-34 lead into the locker room.
While the Hawks were hot from long range in the first half, their shooters cooled off in the second, as Lakehead defenders did a better job getting in passing lanes and contesting shots.
Lakehead opened the second half on a tear, with Katie Ulakovic connecting on back to back three’s as Lakehead put up 10 points in the first three minutes of the half to extend their lead.
Lakehead forwards had their hands full dealing with 6’3″ Laurier forward Whitney Ellenor, who scored 14 points with 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Her presence around the rim altered many more shots from all angles.
As the game wore on and slowed down, Lakehead protected their lead with solid rebounding, and took care of the ball down the stretch to earn what is thus far their biggest win of the season.
Jylisa Williams played the majority of the second half, running a smooth pick and roll with her posts, hitting jumpers and open cutters. Her one rare visit to the bench came after receiving an elbow in the face from a Golden Hawk that drew blood with three and a half minutes remaining. Williams would return to the game and knock down a few game-sealing free throws. She finished with 36 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
Coach Jon Kreiner stated, “I am so proud of our team tonight. We prepared hard and executed our game plan as well as we could. Corina’s on ball defence was superb, Katelyn Andrea had a terrific second half and Jylisa was lights out tonight. She was on her game with her defence, rebounding and scoring. We now must regroup for a very tough weekend at Toronto and Ryerson.”
The ‘Wolves are are the road next weekend to Toronto to play U of T and Ryerson.