Thunder Bay – SPORTS – Lakehead’s men’s basketball team defeated the USPORTS nationally ranked #9 Western Mustangs by a score of 85-84 on Friday night. The thriller came down to a key offensive set that saw Lakehead take a one-point lead with less than 30 seconds left, and close out the game with a gritty defensive effort. Western was 12-4 coming into the weekend, riding a seven-game win streak.
“It was a good team win from our guys over a talented Western team,” Thunderwolves head coach Ryan Thomson said. “I’m proud of the way our guys competed and kept their composure, particularly down the stretch in the fourth.”
Lakehead jumped out to a big early lead in the game, finishing the first quarter up 27-8, and taking a 44-31 lead into the half. Western mounted a comeback, however, winning the fourth quarter 23-15, and taking control of the lead late in the game. With the Thunderwolves down two with 14 seconds left, the Thunderwolves had possession, and Nick Burke found Jared Kreiner in the corner for a big three-point shot that swished through the net. Lakehead then clamped down on the Mustangs defensively, forcing Western to throw up an off-balance shot that barely made it to the bucket before ricocheting off several would-be rebounders.
Lakehead was led by Isaiah Traylor, who scored 29 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, dished out 2 assists, and blocked 1 shot. Lock Lam added 13 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks, and Alston Harris added 14 points and 3 assists of his own. The Thunderwolves out-rebounded the Mustangs 36-22 as a team.
The two squads face each other again tomorrow night, with the rematch tipping off at 8 pm.
“Our focus and effort have to be more consistent tomorrow,” Thomson said, “to replicate the success we had tonight.”