Thunder Bay, ON – SPORTS – The Lakehead University Thunderwolves and the Guelph Gryphons fought tooth and nail for 40 minutes, and it was a miracle they didn’t need overtime, as the Thunderwolves escaped with a 65-64 victory to open the OUA basketball regular season.
With 0.4 seconds on the clock, Lakehead up by 1, and Guelph’s 5th year Jack Beatty with two free throws to seal the game for the Gryphons, the unthinkable happened. Twice. After the first of Beatty’s free throws clanged off the rim, the Thunderdome erupted into a frenzy. The second missed, and the victory went to the home side.
But all could have been easily lost for a young Thunderwolves team that had their chances to put the game away in the fourth quarter, only to have elementary breakdowns cripple them as the final buzzer neared.
Coach Manny Furtado was first to take the blame for the near-loss.
“I didn’t put our guys in a situation to be successful with 12 seconds down the stretch and am very thankful for the outcome,” said Furtado, who faulted himself for not using a time-out after the Gryphons scored to make it 65-64 with 12 seconds to play.
“Nonetheless, we competed really hard and played for 40 minutes tonight. Guelph is a very physical team and they showed it tonight. We need to be ready for another tough one tomorrow.”
Lakehead’s scoring leader was Henry Tan with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Nick Burke scored 13, including the final two Lakehead buckets of the game.
Alex Robichaud scored 12 points with 9 rebounds (5 offensive), and it was a shockingly off game for Bacarius Dinkins, who went 3-for-12 from the field with just 3 rebounds and 2 trips to the free throw line.
For Guelph, Daniel Dooley scored 12 points with 4 rebounds. Jack Beatty scored 11 points, going 4-for-9 from the field. His two missed free throws were his only attempts from the line.