Lakehead got an early lead on the back of 8-17 3pt shooting in the first half to lead by 13 at the half 42-29. Ben Johnson subbed in for Jamie Searle who had two quick fouls in the first half and promptly knocked down 3 straight 3's and finished 4-8 from 3pt land for 12 points.
In the second half, Ottawa battled back on the strength of their own hot shooting from Nem Baletic and Louis Gauthier (14 and 18 pts respectively) and took a brief lead 69-67 when Jamie Searle hit 2 clutch free throws with 12 second remaining. Searle, who was held to only two points, then proceded to steal the Ottawa inbounds which led to a Venzal Russell baseline jumper to win the game with .9 seconds remaining sending the Lakehead bench and faithful fans into a frenzy. Russell led Lakehead with 17 while Yoosrie Salhia was the third 'Wolf in double figures with 13 and ten rebounds.
"It was a great win for a lot of reasons tonight. Obviously to get to 'the dance' for a second consecutive year is huge for our program and the fact we battled some cold shooting in the second half to come out with a win should give us confidence for the next time we miss a couple of shots. Very proud of a team effort on the glass as we out-rebounded Ottawa 14-2 in terms of O boards and that was a major difference."
Lakehead meets #1 Carleton for the Wilson Cup OUA CHampionship tomorrow night at 8pm - also like on The Score television network.