Tuesday, March 12, 2013

NPH Interview with Coach Morrison 'State of the Program'

NPH Interview with Coach Scott Morrison 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

CIS Semi-Final Media / Championship Previews

Carleton to Face Ottawa Born Star Greg Carter & His Lakehead Thunderwolves - Ottawa Sun

Joseph Jones Clutch: Lakehead Shocks the Country - North Pole Hoops

Carleton to Face "Toughest Team in the Country" - North Pole Hoops

Lakehead's Carter Finishes CIS Semi-Final with Shoulder Out of Joint - Yahoo Sports (Eh Game)

Lakehead-Carleton To Clash in CIS Final - CBC.CA

Lakehead & Carleton to Play for CIS Championship - Globe & Mail

Going For Gold - Tbnewswatch.com

Gee Gee's Fall to Thunderwolves - Ottawa Citizen

Thunderwolves Go the Limit  - Chronicle Journal 

'Wolves Win: National Championship Sunday 3:30PM Eastern vs #1 Carleton

Media Release
March 9, 2013
T-Wolves Win 66-62, Enter Gold Game 36 Years in the Making
The men's basketball team's ship has finally come in. And with any luck, they'll make it a Champion. Following a 66-62 win against Ottawa (and all odds), the Lakehead Thunderwolves find themselves in the Championship game for the W.P. McGee  Trophy, the crowning achievement of CIS Basketball. It will be their first trip to the CIS gold medal game since 1977.

In what was a historic battle for the 'Wolves, sweat poured by the gallon and wits stretched to their absolute limit in the Thunderwolf contingent.

Just as in Friday's game, Lakehead started the game hot, jumping out to an 11-4 lead 4:30 into the game. The Gee-Gees were well armed to answer, with All-Canadian Warren Ward and reserve Caleb Agada providing the drive to even the score at 16 after 10 minutes of play.

Ottawa's first lead of the game came late in the second quarter, 29-28, soon after which Warren Ward made an impressive three-point play to put the Gee-Gees up 32-30 at halftime. It should be noted that Lakehead played even with Ottawa without the services of Yoosrie Salhia, who was pinned with 2 fouls in his singular minute of first half court time. Credit to Brendan King (6 rebs, 2pts 1blk in 12 min) and Anthony McIntosh who stepped up in Salhia's absence to provide an inside presence and some scoring as well.

Lakehead's bench out-scored Ottawa's 37-18.

Although Salhia returned in the second half, it would be Lakehead's guards who stepped up to provide the scoring punch to knock the Gee-Gees out, most notably Joseph Jones, who nailed a (very deep) NBA-range three pointer, and was fouled on the play. It was part of an 11-0 run (and three consecutive 'And 1' plays) that gave Lakehead a 55-53 lead after trailing since late in the 2nd quarter, and erased a 9-point Ottawa lead.

Despite missing the ensuing free throw after the deep three pointer, Jones would make 4 clutch free throws in the final minute to seal the victory. Jones was also the Thunderwolf who dove out of bounds to keep an LU offensive possession alive, after the 'Wolves had already grabbed two offensive rebounds in the sequence. He rose gingerly to his feet and came off the floor, but would return shortly after to hit the game-sealing free throws. Jones would finish with 24 points (3-6 3FG, 9-11 FT) and 6 rebounds, and be named the Player of the Game.

Greg Carter finished with 9 points, 4 assists and 4 steals in 35 minutes of play. Dwayne Harvey scored 12 points with 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Lakehead got the dirty work done by committee, as the Box Score shows.

For the Gee-Gees, Ward scored 21 points (7-17 FG) with 10 rebounds and 4 assists in 38 minutes of play. Gabriel Gonthier Dubue was next with 11 points and 9 rebounds, while Caleb Agada had 10 points. Johnny Berhanemeskel, who averaged 16 PPG  and 48% from the field during the season, was held to 2 points on 1-13 shooting, but did grab 9 rebounds with 3 blocked shots. 

Coach Scott Morrison:

"What a big win for our program. It was a 4th quarter comeback that this group of players has essentially patented over the last four seasons. We've been working hard to extend our seasons 'one more' game now for three weeks...The guys have succeeded in extending it to the last possible game - nothing to do now but go for it tomorrow."

Lakehead will play Carleton tomorrow at 3:30 ET. (Reminder: Set your clocks ahead tonight!)

The Score Television Network will Broadcast Live

Webcast available via CIS TV

Hugh Mullally
Sports Information Director
Lakehead University Athletics
Office: 807 766 7157

Friday, March 8, 2013

Toronto Star Feature on Yoosrie Salhia

 / Basketball

Star player’s final tournament marks end of hoops era at Lakehead University

Former Toronto high school star Yoosrie Salhia helped transform Lakehead’s basketball team from perennial loser into CIS powerhouse. Salhia plays his final tournament this weekend at the CIS championships at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.
Star player’s final tournament marks end of hoops era at Lakehead University
Arab Spring came to Thunder Bay, Ont., about three years before it reached the shores of North Africa. It came in the form of a solemn-faced basketball player with roots in Cairo and the eyes and passion (not to mention the serenity and courage) of a Saladin warrior.
Five years have passed since 20-year-old Yoosrie Salhia, a six-foot-six post player, left the rough streets of Parkdale in west Toronto and came north to tiny Lakehead University to join what was probably the feeblest university basketball program in the country. During the previous season the audaciously named Thunderwolves had won just one game (by one point) and lost 30 (often by as much as 30 points).
Thunder Bay, it should be noted, has (in the words of the old joke) about 10 months of winter and two of tough sledding.
“I definitely had to do some adjusting,” says Salhia, who had never been north of Lake Simcoe and hated cold weather (“I’m Egyptian!” he laughs.) More significantly, he had never played on a losing team.
And would not play on one for long.
Coach Scott Morrison had never seen Salhia on the court — not even on video — when the freshman arrived at the northern university after a high school career at Western Tech in Toronto and a year at Weatherford Junior College in Texas, where he never played a game because of injuries.
“The first day in the gym, we were doing a rebounding drill where the guys come down the lane from the foul line,” says Morrison. “I’m there putting up a little interference with the blocking pad. Here comes Yoosrie — I’ll tell ya, the kid hit me with more brute force than I have ever been hit in my life, moved me back about a metre. It hurt. He’s hard. Then he did it again. I thought, OK — a man among boys. This is the rock on which I’m going to build my team.”
It took about a year and a half for Morrison to mould Salhia and a handful of rookies (including Gregg Carter, this year’s CIS defensive player of the year) into a unit that, like Salhia himself, could play with the biggest boys in the country, as they will be doing this weekend at the CIS championships at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.
Since the year after Sahlia’s arrival, Lakehead has never missed the championships (an accomplishment matched only by the legendary Carleton Ravens). In 2011, the team won the OUA Wilson Cup and has consistently been one of the top defensive teams in the country. Sahlia has been a frequent OUA all-star and has several times led, or nearly led, the CIS in rebounding and blocked shots. He has been a persistent scorer, an OUA leader in double-doubles, and is a physical and psychological survivor of such Promethean durability that, after two major knee surgeries and a half-dozen back injuries, he plays regularly with three slipped discs and in more or less constant pain.
“Some mornings it’s scary,” says his roommate and close friend Greg Carter. “He’ll be lying there in bed at the apartment and just can’t move.”
The miracle, says Morrison, “is that by game time he’s always ready, giving it everything he’s got, even if he’s only at 30 per cent.”
Born in Toronto in 1989, Salhia, the youngest of five siblings, grew up under the influence of his mother Saadia’s strict Muslim faith (his dad died during Yoosrie’s first year at Lakehead).
“He was a scrawny little kid. Very shy,” says his oldest brother, Badr. “Then, in about Grade 8, he discovered basketball. Unfortunately, it wasn’t till he was halfway through high school that we realized how good he was. Suddenly, universities were calling from all over North America.”
To this day, the family, an entourage of ever-smiling cheerleaders, attends Yoosrie’s games en masse, often driving hundreds of kilometres on weekends to see him play.
At one point in his adolescence, Salhia spent nearly a year in Egypt. He has been back and forth twice since and like the rest of the family has evolved a keen consciousness regarding political and social rights in the Arab world.
“Ever since I was little,” he says, “I’ve been listening to my mother’s rants about bringing home democracy, about human rights, about narrowing the gulf between the rich and poor in Egypt. So when Arab Spring came along, it was a natural for us. We got behind it. It’s a very important movement if they can keep it going.”
Yoosrie does not drink, observes fasting and prayer during Ramadan, and has worshipped on occasion at the tiny Thunder Bay Masjid, the only mosque between Toronto and Winnipeg.
“I don’t know much about his religion,” says Carter. “What I do know is that he’s a great friend with great depth — a guy you could trust with your life.”
Salhia is legendarily quiet, both socially and in the dressing room.
“But when he tells you to shut up in the room,” says Carter, “everybody shuts up and listens.”
Asked how his ethics and beliefs jibe with his reputation for intimidation and toughness, Salhia submits that he’s flattered if anybody’s intimidated by him on the court. “It’s not something I strive for. Basically, I’m just a rebounder” — a monstrously successful one often overmatched in height by post players towering above him.
Queried on the secret of his success on the boards, he says, “Hard work, a feel for the ball, and an instinct for getting to it.”
Almost as an afterthought, he adds, “If possible, you want to give the guy you’re playing against a good shot just before you both go up for the ball.”
A good shot where?
“If possible in the chest — it gives him something other than the rebound to think about.”
“I guess he’s given a lot of guys a lot to think about over the years,” laughs Hugh Mullally, Lakehead’s sports information director.
“What I really want them to think about,” says Salhia, is that when they’re out there against me, nothing will be easy. Everything will be a battle.”
“He’s down to his last battle this weekend,” says Morrison. “Winning it would be a great way to end a great career.”
“What I want them to think about,” says Salhia, “is everything will be a battle, and that in the end they’re not going to win it.”

'Wolves Advance to National Semi-Final with Win over #2 Cape Breton

Media Release
March 8, 2013
T-Wolves Advance Past Capers 74-61; CIS Round 2 at Last
The men's basketball team reached pay dirt at the CIS Final 8, at long last, and advanced past the first round to the semi-finals, with a 74-61 win over the Cape Breton U Capers (#2) on Friday afternoon.

Although deemed to be an 'upset' by many, there were no teams seeded in the Top 6 that Lakehaed matched up better against than the Capers. Much to the dismay of the bus loads of 'Orange Army' Caper supporters, the hunter orange they donned by the hundreds on the baseline did nothing to deter Lakehead gunners from unloading both barrels in the opening minutes of the game. Lakehead opened on a 11-4 run, with Ben Johnson hitting 2 threes in the first 3:31 of the game.

The Capers would respond after coach Scott Morrison pulled his starters on a near-line change substitution following some rushed shots on the offensive end and a couple defensive lapses. With 4 reserves on the floor, Cape Breton made a run to tie the game at 12. Lakehead would finish the quarter up 15-12, and the rest the starters got in the 1st Q would pay off in the 4th quarter.

On the defensive end, Lakehead was locked in on All-Canadian Jimmy Dorsey, drawing two offensive fouls on the crafty guard in the first 5 minutes of the game. Dorsey picked up his third foul at 7:34 of the 2nd quarter after pushing off on a drive against CIS Defensive Player of the Year Greg Carter. That put the Capers in a tough position, thus relying heavily on their bench, who did a good job, propelling the Capers ahead to lead 33-29 at the half.

To begin the second, Carter would even the score with two straight hoops, and Ben Johnson provided a long range snipe to take the lead at 8:00 of the third, and another triple to give the T-Wolves a 42-35 lead.

Cape Breton fought back time and again, taking a 46-44 lead, and the 3rd Q ending in a 48-48 tie. The game would be tied again at 52, before Lakehead guards Carter and Dwayne Harvey would score on back to back plays and get the T-Wolves ahead for good. Lakehead out-scored CBU 26-13 in the final quarter. Attribute that to fantastic team defense and rebounding down the stretch, courtesy (in part) of veteran Yoosrie Salhia and sophomore Joey 'Nitro' Nitychoruk, who was absolutely Buck Wild in the lane, grabbing a game-high 9 rebounds (4 offensive) to go with 3 blocked shots and 6 points in 13 minutes of play. Salhia finished with 8 rebounds, 2 points, a block and a steal.

Ben Johnson was a man on fire from the land beyond, hitting on 7 of 10 three point attempts, totalling 25 points and 3 rebounds. Dwayne Harvey had 16 points (6-10 FG), 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals. Joe Hart finished 50% from the field (4-8) for 11 points and 5 rebounds. Greg Carter had a good home coming, scoring 9 points with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. On top of that, he limited CBU's Dorsey to 12 points (4-15 FG), a good 9 pts below his season average.

Four Capers scored in double figures, with Dorsey and Arild Geugjes with 12pts apiece, and Cedric Kasongo and Sean McCormick adding 10pts each. Geugjes had a team-high 8 rebounds.

Lakehead out-rebounded Cape Breton 47-33, and shot 5-17 from three in the first half, compared to 5-8 in the second frame (41% on the game).Box Score

Coach Scott Morrison:

"Both our seniors and our young players stepped up and elevated their games today to get an important win for our program. Aside from 5-6 minutes in the first half I thought our guys executed our plan about as well as possible. If we are to have a chance that number must be very close to 40 minutes tomorrow. Either way it's great to be out of the morning games this year."

The Thunderwolves will play Ottawa tomorrow at 5:30 pm ET.

The Score Television Network Will Broadcast the Game.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

'Wolves Open 2013 Final 8 vs Cape Breton (CIS-TV)

Media Release
March 6, 2013
Lakehead vs. Cape Breton in Round 1 of CIS Final 8

The men's basketball team will take on the Cape Breton U Capers in round 1 of the CIS Final 8 tournament, held at Scotiabank Place in Kanata. The 'Wolves go into the weekend seeded 7th, while Cape Breton is seeded 2nd. This will mark the 4th consecutive trip to the 'Big Dance' of Canadian University basketball for coach Scott Morrison and the Thunderwolves.

This will also be the first time that his team has not faced a B.C. opponent in the first round. The Thunderwolves and Capers last met at the national tournament in 2009 in the consolation round (which CBU won). They have had a couple exhibition meetings since then (all resulting in Lakehead losses), but no games in the current season.

The ties between these two teams run deeper than an outsider might assume, however. Lakehead assistant coach Nathan Johnson was assistant to now CBU Capers head coach Matt Skinn during their time with the St FX women's program, just prior to Johnson coming to Lakehead. With that in mind there could be some tactical familiarities in the teams' game plans.

As for personnel, shooting guard Joseph Jones was roommates with Capers star Jimmy Dorsey during their playing days together at Howard College in Maryland, before both players came north of the border.

The Capers are 21-1 on the season, their only loss coming to Acadia (73-49 on Feb 16). They do have a knack for winning close games, having beaten St FX twice by 5 points, St. Mary's twice by 4 and 5 points, along with Dalhousie and UPEI by 2 points, all but one of those games played away from their comfortable Sydney, N.S. confines.

Jimmy Dorsey leads the Capers in scoring (20.8 PPG 6.4 RPG, 5.4 APG), and was also named a first-team All-Canadian earlier today. Of note as well is Shaquille Keith, who made the CIS All-Rookie team, and comes off the bench for the Capers.

One place the Thunderwolves hope they can have success against CBU is from the 3-point line, where the Capers shoot 30.5%, and average close to 26 long range attempts per game. The Thunderwolves have the second best 3-point defense in the country, limiting teams to 27.2% from beyond the arc.

Coach Scott Morrison:

"I am excited for our graduating seniors that they get the opportunity to go for #1 a fitting way to end their careers at Lakehead especially since our first appearance on the national stage occurred in this building back in 2010.  At the time we were a bunch of wide-eyed kids - this weekend we need to be men if we want to advance for the first time to round 2. Cape Breton is a formidable team with excellent coaching and one of this era's top players in Jimmy Dorsey.  We will be underdogs for sure but I know our guys will come out fighting to extend their season one more time."

Game time is Friday, March 8 at 12 noon ET.

Webcast Coverage of Game 1 vs Cape Breton Available via CIS TV

Games in the later rounds will be televised on The Score Television Network, and all games webcast on CIS TV.

Greg Carter - Two-Time National Defensive Player of the Year

March 6, 2013
(via CIS)
The CIS announced the All-Canadians and major award winners for the 2012-13 men's basketball season this morning. Repeating as CIS Defensive Player of the Year is senior point guard, Greg Carter. A full list of award winners follows below.
Carter, who has been honoured each of the past four years at the OUA West level, becomes only the second multiple winner of the CIS defensive MVP award since its inception in 2005.
The 5-foot-10 point guard was the anchor of a defensive unit that ranked sixth in the country in points allowed per game (68.5) and fifth in opponents’ field goal percentage (38.3). The business administration student finished second in the OUA in steals (2.1 per contest) and showcased his exceptional all-around game by also contributing 9.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per contest.
A native of Ottawa, the four-year co-captain led the Thunderwolves to second place in the OUA West standings with a 14-7 record.
“We’re pleased that the CIS coaches have recognized once again what we at Lakehead have known for five seasons - that Greg Carter is the elite defensive player in the country,” said Lakehead head coach Scott Morrison. “Many players have the ability to change a game with a big defensive play but few, if any in recent memory, have the impact on an opponent’s offensive game plan that Greg does on a weekly basis. Greg has been a hard worker, a leader and a winner at every level he has played and it is nice to see his CIS career draw to a close with this outstanding honour being bestowed a second time.”


Mike Moser Memorial Trophy (player of the year): Philip Scrubb, Carleton
Defensive player of the year: Greg Carter, Lakehead
Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy (rookie of the year): Deontay Smith, UPEI
Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy (coach of the year): Dave Smart, Carleton
Ken Shields Award (basketball, academics & community service): Daniel McCarthy, GuelphFirst Team
Pos.     Athlete                        University       Year    Hometown                  Faculty
G         Philip Scrubb               Carleton           3          Richmond, B.C.           Commerce
G         James Dorsey              Cape Breton     5          Baltimore, Md.             Community Studies
G         Stephon Lamar            Saskatchewan  3          San Diego, Calif.         Arts & Science
F          Tyson Hinz                  Carleton           4          Ottawa, Ont.                Commerce
F          Owen Klassen              Acadia             4          Kingston, Ont.             Kinesiology
Second Team
F          Lien Phillip                  Windsor           4          St. Marks, Grenada      Business                     
G         Doug Plumb                 UBC                5          Pitt Meadows, B.C.      Arts
G         Maxwell Allin              Laurier             4          Chatham, Ont.             Arts
G         Warren Ward               Ottawa             5          London, Ont.               Arts
C          Mike Andrews             Bishop’s          3          Oakville, Ont.              Education
All-Rookie Team

G         Deontay Smith             UPEI                1          North Preston, N.S.      Arts
G         Rohan Boney               McMaster         1          Oakville, Ont.              Social Science
G         Shaquille Keith            Cape Breton     1          Brampton, Ont.            Community Studies
G         Youssef Ouahrig          Alberta             1          Montreal, Que.             Native Studies

G         Karl Demers-BĂ©langer Laval               1          Quebec City, Que.       Actuarial Studies 

Hugh Mullally
Sports Information Director
Lakehead University Athletics
Office: 807 766 7157

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Neate Sager Feature on Joseph Jones

Feature on Joseph Jones by Neate Sager

Lakehead Thunderwolves’ Joseph Jones goes from Good Samaritan to saviour

Lakehead University's Joseph Jones led his team to a CIS Final 8 berth on Saturday (RM Photo)
TORONTO — In the last month, Joseph Jones has pulled a woman out of a car crash and kept the Lakehead Thunderwolves' finest senior class wrecking their final season.
The deeds don't compare, since real life is on a higher plane than sports. But finding out what the Thunderwolves fifth-year guard did a few weeks ago before seeing him sink a game-high 23 points Saturday when Lakehead, with leading scorer Ryan Thomson on crutches watching, beat the Windsor Lancers 78-64 in the Ontario University Athletics bronze-medal game? That kind of works on a couple levels.
On Feb. 9, Jones was driving in Thunder Bay with his mind on the Thunderwolves' game a few hour laters. It was a big one: rival Windsor in tone, playoff implications and Senior Night for he and five other fifth-year 'Wolves. His dad, Gilbert Lowery, and his junior college coach, Benny Edison, had both made the trip north. Then the Landover, Md., native saw a woman driving behind him go into a skid.
"I guess she overcorrected her steering," Jones recalled after Lakehead beat Windsor to reach the Canadian Interunivesity Sport Final 8 men's basketball championship for the fourth season in a row. "The next thing I know I saw her car take off into a ditch and do a couple flips and landed upside down. I pulled over and sprinted over there. It was instinct. No person would not want to be helped. So I rushed over there. I did what I could. I kept her calm until the police arrived. She was upside-down. We said, 'do you want to try to get out?' So the cop and I helped her out of the car."
The story might have ended there with Jones giving an eyewitness account to an Ontario Provincial Police officer. He played later that night. But the woman, who wasn't identified in the media and evidently didn't realize the person who came to her aid is a big man on campus, wanted to give thanks.
As Lakehead's campus paper The Argus reported, she posted a video on Facebook of Jones giving a statement to police, with the message, "This guy stayed with me while I was trapped upside down in my car, hysterically waiting for help. He kept me calm while we waited, and also helped me explain to our friendly OPP what happened."
"Would love to find this guy in the video to thank him,” she added.
Of course, the first law of Facebook is even if you might not wish to be singled out for something, you will be.
"I definitely didn’t feel like a hero," says Jones. "I felt like that was what any good human should do when you see someone in need. Initially, I didn’t even know there was a video of it. Everyone was texting me and calling me: ‘this lady is looking for you.’ I was like, ‘what are you talking about?’ This was like two or three days later. And they were like, ‘go on Facebook, I’ve shared the video.’ About 12 people had posted it on my wall."
Saturday, Jones was equally loath to take credit for Lakehead bouncing back from a 21-point semifinal loss against Carleton one night earlier. With Thomson out, though, he was the only experienced shooter handy. Once he started hitting, while sacrificing his lean 6-foot-2 frame under the boards, it seemed to spread. The Thunderwolves shot better than 50 per cent from the field — 29 of 56, plus eight triples. That was double their efficiency from 24 hours earlier, when they were 14 of 57 from the floor against Carleton. Led by Jones, they reached deep to make sure the most accomplished core to come through Lakehead in decades did not go out on two losses in a row.
"Before the game I wrote four words on the board," said Lakehead coach Scott Morrison, who recruited Jones out of Howard (Md.) Community College four years ago. "We didn’t talk much about X-and-Os. I wrote: ‘Toughness, confidence, teamwork and effort.’ I told them that for the majority of their careers, they’ve led the country in all four of those categories. I believe Carleton is the only team with more wins than us.
"I knew J.J. was going to come play today," Morrison added. "He got hot early and everyone started to buy in."
That fed into everything else. It was a tight five-point margin at half since Windsor was getting extra possessions thanks to its rebounding and 13 Lakehead turnovers. But the Wolves began feeling the flow. They gave it away only four more times after the break, with Jones hitting a big dagger three midway through the fourth quarter that took the lead out to 18. That was where Windsor was wanting.
"They got some confidence early and went from there," Lancers coach Chris Oliver said. "We had a lot of guys turn down shots early and it had the opposite effect. Nobody ever played free on offence."
Jones hasn't met many shots he didn't like. With a shooter such as him, the true test is how he reacts when it's not falling. On Senior Night, Morrison told the Lakehead faithful about what happened in 2009 when he first watched Jones in person. The ambitious young coach, who has resurrected the Thunderwolves by recruiting in the U.S., had gone to to the Washington, D.C., area on a tip from Edison, who was a contemporary of during their playing days in the Maritimes. (Edison's juco program is a bit of a pipeline north, since Cape Breton Capers star Jimmy Dorsey also played at Howard.)
Morrison then watched Jones miss shot after shot in practice.
"We needed everything because we were a bad team at that time," said Morrison. "And we were looking for guys with strong character and strong work ethic.
"That day I saw what everyone sees now with J.J. — he bricked his first 20 shots. He was getting a little frustrated, but he showed a lot of character, won a lot of the drills, 100 per cent. Then he was one of the most mature and nicest guys I have ever taken out for a recruiting meal. Sometimes when you’re recruiting in the States you’re looking for second chance guys or guys who can’t get a Division I scholarship. Sometimes there’s some baggage or reasons. But JJ’s never let me down."
Four years later, Jones is set to graduate in concurrent education from LU. He says he's mulling pursuing teaching or working in the correctional system. The latter sounds like a way to pay forward
"I like working with youth," he says. "I feel like the youth really respond to me." On Saturday, Lakehead responded to him, and that's why their season will go on.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca.

4th Straight Final 8 For Thunderwolves

Media Release
March 2, 2013
T-Wolves Light Up Lancers, Win 78-64, Earn CIS Final 8 Berth
The men's basketball team were not to be denied on Saturday, winning 78-64 against the Windsor Lancers. With the win they are awarded the OUA Bronze medal and a berth at the CIS Final 8 tournament in Ottawa next weekend.

Lakehead got out to a good start, thanks to a Ben Johnson triple that answered two opening baskets by the Lancers. It would be a consistent hot touch from behind the arc that kept Lakehead in the game early (5-8 3FG in 1st half), which made up for a slew of first half turnovers (13). The T-Wolves held a 19-12 advantage after 10 minutes, with Windsor responding in the 2nd quarter to trim the Lakehead lead by 2 points, making it 34-29 at halftime.

Joseph Jones buoyed the 'Wolves hopes in the first, scoring 13 pts with 3 rebounds and 2 steals in 12 minutes of play. Jones would finish with 23 points (8-15 shooting), 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 assists and 1 T/O in 27 minutes of play. For his exceptional efforts he was named the Porter Player of the Game.

In the second half Lakehead's offence would pick up its pace, and take much better care of the basketball (only 4 T/O's in 2nd half). After out-scoring the Lancers 23-17 in the 3rd Q, Lakehead would hold an 11 point advantage that was never seriously threatened, despite the best efforts of OUA West Player of the Year Lien Phillip. Phillip finished 4-14 from the field (6-6 FT) for 15 points and 13 rebounds in 38 minutes to lead the Lancers.

Late in the third the Lancers ran an isolation 1-on-1 play for Phillip at the top of the key with Lakehead captain Yoosrie Salhia guarding him. It would be the defining defensive stand for Lakehead, as Yoosrie stuck to the rangy 6'8" Windsor center and sent his turn-around jumper aside with one swat of his hand, and hauled down the rebound. Add to that Salhia dribbling the ball from the baseline over the timeline, a sequence of plays that were possibly a career first.

Lakehead stretched the lead to 70-50 with 6:37 remaining in the game and would cruise from there.

After Jones, top T-Wolf scorer was Dwayne Harvey with 14 pts (5-8 shooting), 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 33 minutes. Ben Johnson put up 11 points (3-7 3FG) with 5 rebounds. Leading Lakehead above the opposing trees was Matt Schmidt, grabbing a team-high 8 rebounds with 4 pts. Joe Hart (Southend, UK) put up 9 points (3-5 FG, 2-3 FT).

Following Phillip, Rotimi Osuntola Jr. scored 13 pts, and Ismar Seferagic had 10 pts in the loss.

Windsor shot 22-69 (32%) from the field, compared to Lakehead's 29-56 (52%). Windsor kept their hopes alive with offensive rebounding, grabbing 15 on the game. Both teams shot poorly from the free throw line (Lakehead 57%, Windsor 60%).

Coach Scott Morrison:

"I was extremely proud of our basketball team today. After yesterday's poor showing the guys had a lot of reasons to be down. However our true strengths as a team shone through today in the form of a big heart, excellent teamwork and the confidence that should come from winning as many big games as this group has won over the years. Add one more to that list."


Stay tuned for CIS Final 8 seeding information, to be determined early Sunday evening. Following that Lakehead's schedule will be set for the weekend, with their first game sometime Friday, March 8th at Scotia Bank Place in Kanata, Ont.

Hugh Mullally
Sports Information Director
Lakehead University Athletics
Office: 807 766 7157

Saturday, March 2, 2013

#7 LU Falls to #1 Carleton... Face Windsor Tomorrow With Season On-The-Line

Media Release
March 1, 2013
T-Wolves Dropped 72-51 by Ravens

The men's basketball team were defeated by the Carleton Ravens on Friday evening, 72-51.

After 1st Q, it was 17-8 Carleton, as Dwayne Harvey had 5 points, and Ben Johnson sank a three early in the quarter. Other than that it was slim pickings, with Carleton's Tyson Hinz putting in work in the paint. Hinz finished with 11pts and 5 rebounds in the first half.

Sophomore Joseph Nitychoruk provided most of what little offence came in the second quarter, as Lakehead was stuck at 8 points from the 0:50 second mark of the first quarter until the 5:07 mark of the second with a free throw. Nitychoruk followed that one made free throw with 4 more straight, thanks to some hustle on the offensive glass.

Despite Lakehead's offence looking like a Pinto pulling a train, Carleton's Ferrari looked like it was in need of a tune up as well, as the Ravens shot 25% in the 2nd Q, going 4-16 from the field.

Halftime score was 30-16 Carleton.

The Ravens did pull themselves loose of the T-Wolves' defensive grip in the third quarter, nearly doubling their score and scoring 23 in the Q. Lakehead did pick up its production, if only slightly, scoring 12 points and trailing 53-28 after 30 minutes. 

The fourth quarter was inconsequential, with Lakehead finishing with 2 fewer points scored than the last time they played Carleton, although they limited the Ravens to 22 fewer points than during their November 23 match-up in Ottawa.

Yoosrie Salhia saw limited minutes in the first half, and only a couple in the second half once the Ravens began pulling away. It will be his energy stores that will likely be called upon in tomorrow's bronze medal game.

It was the 'Three Joes' doing above average damage for Lakehead, led by Joe Jones with 15 points, while Joey Nitychoruk had 12 points and 5 rebounds and Joe Hart had 8 points. Dwayne Harvey finished with 5 points and 6 rebounds.

For the Ravens, Phillip Scrubb led with 15 points and 5 assists, while Tyson Hinz scored 14 points with 9 rebounds. Clinton Springer-Williams put up a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Coach Scott Morrison:

"I was happy with our defensive effort for most of the game. That said I thought some of our guys played scared and it showed in the form of horrendous shooting and poor turnovers in the first half. There is nothing to be gained from hanging our heads. We have to get locked in on tomorrow's opponent and claim a CIS Final 8 berth."

Lakehead will play at 4pm tomorrow afternoon against the loser of the Windsor-Ottawa game being played this evening.

Hugh Mullally
Sports Information Director
Lakehead University Athletics
Office: 807 766 7157

Friday, March 1, 2013

Carter Wins 4th Straight OUA Defensive Player of the Year

Media Release
March 1, 2013
Carter Awarded Record 4th Straight Defensive POY
The OUA announced their major award winners earlier today at the Championship Breakfast. 

Lakehead's 5th year senior Greg Carter (Ottawa, ON) was awarded the OUA West's Defensive Player of the Year for a record-breaking 4th consecutive season. Other major award winners are listed below.

Last season the Ottawa native was awarded the CIS Defensive Player of the Year honour, marking the first time a Lakehead athlete has won the award since the award's inception in 2005. The Thunderwolves’ guard helped lead Lakehead to the best defence in the OUA West, surrendering just 68.5 points per game. He finished second in OUA with 45 steals for an average of 2.1 steals per game.

Carter hopes to lead his team to a 4th consecutive CIS Final 8 tournament, with his team's fate hanging in the balance this weekend at the Wilson Cup Final Four. The top 3 teams from the Wilson Cup tournament will advance. Lakehaed takes on Carleton this evening, and Ottawa or Windsor tomorrow.


Player of the Year: Lien Phillip – Windsor
Defensive Player of the Year: Greg Carter – Lakehead
Rookie of the Year: Rohan Boney – McMaster
Ken Shields Award: Dan McCarthy – Guelph
Coach of the Year: Chris Oliver – Windsor


Player of the Year: Phil Scrubb – Carleton
Defensive Player of the Year: Thomas Scrubb – Carleton
Rookie of the Year: Sukhpreet Singh – Queen’s
Ken Shields Award: Kevin Churchill – Carleton
Coach of the Year: Dave Smart – Carleton

'Wolves Place Two on OUA West 1st Team

Media Release
February 28, 2013
Lakehead Men's Basketball Awarded 2 All-Stars, 1 All-Rookie

(With files from OUA)

The OUA announced today their list of All-Stars and All-Rookie team for the 2012-13 season.  Yoosrie Salhia and Ryan Thomson were both named as first team All-Stars, while Joe Hart was recognized on the All-Rookie team. The OUA's major award winners will be announced tomorrow, March 1, at the Wilson Cup awards breakfast in Toronto.

For the first time in program history, two members of the Lakehead Thunderwolves have been named OUA first team all-stars. Despite not playing in the final game of the season, fifth-year forward Yoosrie Salhia still led the league with 32 blocks, five more than the next closest competition. The Toronto native also grabbed 207 boards, good enough for second best in the OUA  (behind Windsor's Lien Phillip with 222 rebounds) and was second in team scoring with 12.6 points per game. This is first recognition on the OUA first team after being named a second team all-star in 2009-10 and an all-rookie in 2008-09. 

Fourth-year forward Ryan Thomson (Oakville, ON) led the Thunderwolves with 14.4 points per game, shooting 43.6 percent from beyond the arc. This is Thomson’s first league honour since being named an all-rookie in 2009-10.

Joe Hart (Southend, England) made the All-Rookie squad, shooting 94% from the free throw line this season and 35% from the 3-point line (31-88), accumulating 141 points so far this season. 



Lien Phillip – Windsor
Yoosrie Salhia – Lakehead
Ryan Thomson – Lakehead

Taylor Black – McMaster
Maxwell Allin – Laurier


Enrico Diloreto – Windsor
Josh Collins – Windsor
Joe Rocca – McMaster
Dan McCarthy – Guelph
Mark Gibson – Brock


Rohan Boney – McMaster
Matt Chesson – Laurier
Joe Hart – Lakehead
Isaack Egueh – Brock
George Johnson – Western

Hugh Mullally
Sports Information Director
Lakehead University Athletics
Office: 807 766 7157