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Pre-season non-conference play continues for Lakehead’s basketball teams this weekend, with the women’s team headed west to U Winnipeg to play three games at the BOB FM Shootout, while the men’s team will host the Algoma Thunderbirds at home for a doubleheader.
The men’s home games are slated for 8:00pm Friday and 3:00pm Saturday afternoon.
Men (3-1 non-conf)
The men’s team matches up well to the Algoma Thunderbirds, with both teams sporting athletic, slightly undersized line-ups. In their tilt last season, Lakehead prevailed 74-64 behind 14 points from Henry Tan. That being said, it was a late surge by the ‘Wolves, 22-13 in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory.
Algoma’s Adam Benrabah, a rookie, scored 15 points in that game and returns in his sophomore year with a more experienced team around him.
Since Algoma joined the OUA two seasons ago, they have seen marked improvement under coach Thomas Cory, and Lakehead coach Manny Furtado sees this weekend as an important challenge.
“This weekend is going to be a huge test for us mentally and physically,” says Furtado. “We’re coming off a tough loss to Winnipeg and now face a very physical Algoma team.”
Women (1-1 non-conf)
The Lady T-Wolves find themselves up against the Winnipeg Wesmen to begin the tournament, having split their two games against them last weekend, a 63-65 loss and a 71-63 win.
Lakehead’s Bridget O’Reilly and Cassandra Soulias had career highs in points in those two games, and sophomore August Ricketts looked confident in the post as well. Fourth year Katelyn Zen is stepping into her new leadership role with her usual high-energy play, but has also added some finesse to her mid-range game.
After Winnipeg on Friday, the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers and the U Manitoba Bisons await the Thunderwolves, Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Coach Kreiner sums up the weekend:
“We did a decent job containing them last weekend but it’s always tough to play Winnipeg in their home gym. We will have to make some adjustments and improve a few things as we won’t have the benefit of starting forward Katelyn Andrea. CMU plays in the small college league (MCAC) and has a number of young talented players from Winnipeg’s various club programs. Manitoba graduated their top 5 scorers from last season but have a strong recruiting class. Their team has some good length and aggressive scorers and each game will be a different test.”