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Henry Tan saved his best for last in an incredible, 60-58 win over the Western Mustangs on Wednesday, nailing his first three of the game with 8 seconds left and pushing his team into the next round of the OUA playoffs.
That said, Tan got a lot of help from fellow veteran Alex Robichaud in avenging their 2014 playoff loss to the Mustangs. To make things even sweeter for the Thunderwolves, rookie Kache Kopec scored 12 points with three 3-pointers in the first half, and a critical bucket late in the game to finish with 14 points and 2 rebounds.
Western would storm back early in the third, trimming the Lakehead lead to 5 with 10 minutes to play, as their leaders Greg Morrow and Peter Scholtes awakened after slow starts.
Nick Burke also played a big role down the stretch, making a tough drive and finish in traffic to tie the game at 56 with under a minute to play. Following a Greg Morrow pull-up that put Western up by two, Burke was fouled on the ensuing play. Burke hit the first free throw, but missed the second. After a scramble under the basket for the rebound, Dinkins got the ball out to a wide open Henry Tan, who buried the 3-ball to put the ‘Wolves back in front, 60-58 with 8 seconds left.
Tan finished the game with 7 points and 4 rebounds, while Burke scored 10 points with a team-high 9 rebounds and Alex Robichaud had 14 points with 6 boards and 2 steals.
Coach Manny Furtado:
Lakehead thus advances to the second round of the playoffs, and faces the highly-touted Ryerson Rams on Saturday evening at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto at 8pm.
Webcast will be available via OUA TV.