Saskatchewan, the defending CIS champs, gave a patented 40 minute effort of slashing guards and strong rebounding bigs while Lakehead answered with excellent 3pt shooting and extra efforts on the glass to stay in the game until the final seconds.
Lakehead recovered from a late 3rd quarter Sask run that saw the lead stretched to 12 points to bring the game down to its final possession with an 80-79 score and Lakehead ball with just over 24 seconds to go. Lakehead had possibly its two best looks of the game from outside as both Joe Jones and Jamie Searle rimmed out on potential game-winning shots with 15 and 9 seconds remaining in the game. Sask added two free throws to ice things at 82-79.
Rejan Chabot was the toughest check on the floor going for 33 points on 10-20 shooting and 12-12 from the free throw line. Jamelle Barrett added 20 on 6-15 shooting. Lakehead shot a combined 14-37 from 3pt range led by Ven Russell with 17, Jamie Searle with 19 (5-8 3pt range), Ryan Thomson with 15 in only 19 minutes (fouled out) and Joseph Jones with 14. Lakehead out rebounded a bigger and stronger Saskatchewan team 39-36 (16-10 offensive) but it was not enough as Sask slashed its way to 30 FT attempts to Lakehead's 16. (13-16 FT).
Lakehead finishes the Wesmen Classic vs University of Manitoba which lost to host Winnipeg in the other semi-final tonight.
"Overall we had plenty of positives to draw from tonight. However the biggest learning experience to take from this game is that we can play with anyone in the country when we set our minds to sticking to our defensive gameplane and putting forth a team effort on the glass. This is a tough game that we hope will come back to help us come OUA West play starting next week."
-Coach Scott Morrison
Shout out to former Nor'Westor Dr. Grant Pierce who took in the last two games in his hometown, supporting the Lakehead squad.