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Lakehead’s women’s basketball team had a chance at avenging their Friday-night loss to USPORTS #4 McMaster, but dropped the rematch in the final moments. After bouncing back from an early deficit, Lakehead kept the game close down to the wire, but a deep buzzer-beating heave fell short and the Marauders walk away with a 70-67 victory. USPORTS #10 Lakehead drops to 12-4.
“McMaster did a great job early,” Thunderwolves head coach Jon Kreiner said, “and we found ourselves battling back from the get-go.”
Lakehead stumbled out of the gate, and McMaster’s Linnaea Harper and Olivia Wilson combined for 11 points in the first quarter to make the Thunderwolves pay. The Marauders took a 21-10 lead into the second quarter. Lakehead managed to put up more of a fight in that second period, but McMaster built on their lead by two points, and the Thunderwolves went into the half down 36-23.
“Erin Burns made us pay off the bench tonight, and Linnaea Harper really played at a high level,” Kreiner said.
The Thunderwolves won the second half by a score of 44-34, but it was ultimately too little too late, and McMaster came away with a three-point win and a weekend sweep.
“We turned things around in the second half and played some great basketball,” Kreiner said, “but we just couldn’t finish the comeback.”
Lakehead was led by Leashja Grant’s 28 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Karissa Kajorinne added 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals, and Tiffany Reynolds contributed 10 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. The Thunderwolves managed a solid 45.3% on field goals in the game, but again put up an uncharacteristically low 23.1% from downtown.
“The old saying is ‘great shooting makes up for a multitude of sins,’” Kreiner said. “We missed nine free throws and Mac made 42% of their threes.”
The Thunderwolves return home next weekend to host the Western Mustangs. Friday night’s portion of the doubleheader will be Lakehead’s “Bell Let’s Talk” night, raising money and awareness for mental health research and education, and Saturday night will be the “Think Pink!” “Shoot For the Cure” game, a campaign in which money is raised for the Canadian Cancer Society and other related local and provincial charities.
Games begin at 6pm on Friday, January 25th and again at 6pm on Saturday, January 26th at the Thunderdome in Thunder Bay.