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Lakehead’s men’s basketball team lost their first matchup of the weekend with Laurier tonight by a score of 92-71, snapping a five-game win streak. Lakehead drops to 8-13, though the Thunderwolves remain in contention for a playoff spot.
“It’s been a tough day for us collectively,” Lakehead men’s basketball coach Ryan Thomson said. “Travelling the day of the game is always difficult, and it was this group’s first time doing so.”
Lakehead’s men’s basketball team made the long trip from Thunder Bay to Waterloo via Toronto earlier Friday.
“It certainly isn’t an excuse for the lack of execution in that first half,” Thomson said, “but it seemed like we started to get our legs a bit in the second half.”
The Thunderwolves got out to a slow start, giving up a big lead to the Golden Hawks early; Laurier scored 10 before Lakehead notched their first points of the game. The Thunderwolves clawed back to within 4 in the first quarter, but it was the closest they’d get, with Laurier pulling ahead to a 23-11 lead going into the second period. The lead expanded to 47-23 by half.
The second half, however, was a different story, as the Thunderwolves won the final two quarters 48-45.
Lakehead was led by guard Isaiah Traylor’s 19 points and 2 steals. Nick Burke added 9 points on 4-8 shooting, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals of his own. The Thunderwolves, however, were limited as a team to 35.4% shooting, including 28.1% in the first half. Lakehead also committed 10 turnovers in the first quarter. The Thunderwolves improved to 42.4% from the floor in the second half.
The two teams return to action tomorrow at 8pm, following the women’s game.
“We have no choice,” Thomson said, “but to be better tomorrow.”
Playoff picture update: Even with tonight’s loss, Lakehead remains in control of claiming a playoff spot in the OUA West. Lakehead is now 8-13, while Guelph sits above them at 9-12, and McMaster sits fourth at 9-11. Guelph owns the tiebreaker with the Thunderwolves, but Lakehead holds the tiebreaker with McMaster. Windsor sits one spot out of the playoffs at 6-15. Lakehead owns the tiebreaker with the Lancers, so one more Thunderwolves win or Windsor loss will guarantee Lakehead a playoff spot.