Sunday, December 29, 2013

'Wolves Move to 2-0 at Ryerson NIT

Media Release
Lakehead University Athletics Department
Thunderwolves Storm Back to Win Over Laval
December 29, 2013 — Toronto, Ont.
Justin Bell came off the bench to help key a 3rd quarter comeback that got the Thunderwolves back in the game and eventually win, 69-64 over the Laval Rouge et Or on Sunday afternoon.

It was the 'Wolves second game (and win) in Ryerson U's National Invitational Tournament (RUNIT).

The T-Wolves struggled early, down 12-4 late in the first quarter before salvaging the frame with a late run to knot the score at 12 after 10 minutes. Laval would have early success with a half court zone trap that befuddled the 'Wolves offense, as they trailed 27-20 at the half and got into a 15-point deficit, 44-29 halfway through the third quarter.

Lakehead's salvation would come on the defensive end, causing turnovers and converting on layups and free throws. Some of them came from reserve big man Justin Bell (Mississauga, Ont), who succeeded in slowing down Laval star forward Boris Hadzimuratovic and running the floor afterwards. Bell finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds in 19 minutes of play. Lakehead ended the 3rd Q down by only 1, 44-43.

After putting up 23 points in the 3rd quarter, the T-Wolves followed it up with a 26-point effort in the 4th quarter to complete the comeback.

Igor Lebov led the 'Wolves in minutes, points and rebounds, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in 38 minutes. Rookie guard Henry Tan scored 13 points with 2 steals, while Dwayne Harvey had 12 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.

Hadzimuratovic scored a game-high 19 points with 8 rebounds for Laval, followed by Antoine Beaumier with 15 points and 7 rebounds.

Both team shot poorly from long range, with the 'Wolves 1-of-10 and Laval just 4-of 20 from behind the arc. There were also copious turnover committed, Lakehead 24 and Laval 21. Lakehead's effort on the glass turned the game around, as they grabbed 48 rebounds (18 offensive) to Laval's 30.

Coach Matt Erdman:

"Our guys did a fantastic job of finishing off the game and making the necessary adjustments down the stretch. Credit Laval for slowing us down for most of the game and causing us to to turn it over 24 times. We matched their physical play and aggressiveness which was a key for us coming in and it directly resulted in our 18 O-boards. We need to keep building little by little each day."

The men's team completes their RUNIT schedule tomorrow at 12 noon against the Sheridan College Bruins.

Webcast available via the Ryerson Rams Network.

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