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The Thunderwolves started well, but could not contain the most dangerous home team in the CIS for a full 40 minutes, as Lakehead bowed out of the OUA playoffs, 93-71 to the Ryerson Rams.
The ‘Wolves were successful in weathering the storm early on, as they battled in the first quarter, which was capped off by 10 straight points by Bacarius Dinkins to lead 23-19. Alex Robichaud hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter as well to respond to an imposing rival atmosphere at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
The undoing of the ‘Wolves momentum would be their spotty defensive rebounding in the second quarter. The Rams had the benefit of copious offensive rebounds leading to open shots, and made the ‘Wolves work longer on defense. Adika Peter-McNeilly keyed several runs for Ryerson in the second Q, as they out-scored Lakehead 31-11 to lead at the break 50-34. Peter-McNeilly finished with 19 points and 3 assists.
Alex Robichaud, who was playing to extend his Lakehead career to the OUA Final Four, would foul out with six minutes left to play. He finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds, and completed his career as he defined it the past five years: with tough defense, tremendous hustle, and a touch from outside the arc. Robichaud succeeded in limiting Ryerson’s top scorer Aaron Best to 6 points.
Bacarius Dinkins scored a game-high 25 points with 12 rebounds, while his counterpart Kadeem Green had 17 points and 7 boards.
Rookie Darnell Curtin got the start for Lakehead and scored 3 points with 7 rebounds, while Nick Burke chipped n 9 points with 4 boards and 2 assists.
Coach Manny Furtado:
Thus ends the 2015-16 season for Lakehead Men’s Basketball, who finish the year with a record of 22-13 overall (Non-Conf 11-3, OUA 10-9, Playoffs 1-1).