FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2013
T-Wolves Win 66-62, Enter Gold Game 36 Years in the Making
KANATA, ON -
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