By Ian Shalapata
(WINDSOR, ON) – It was another tough challenge weekend for the men’s basketball team at the University of Windsor as the Lancers hosted back-to-back games against the Lakehead Thunderwolves at the St Denis Centre. Windsor earned a split, as they did in Thunder Bay in February, against a team that went to the CIS finals last year.
In game one on Friday, Windsor came out on top 82-71 in a match that saw just a two point difference at the end of the 3rd quarter. Windsor finally pulled away in the 4th as they doubled-up on the T-Wolves 25-12.
The difference in this game was the three point shooting. The Lancers converted on 10 of 23 while Lakehead dropped just 2 of 15 from outside. Leading the way was Josh Collins who hit 4 for 7 from downtown, on his way to 20 points. Collins also contributed six assists and four steals.
Following in the long-range shooting was Rotimi Osuntola, connecting on 3 for 4 3-pointers. He also went 5 for 7 from the floor for 13 points and playing 24 minutes coming off the bench.
Windsor also enjoyed another strong performance from consistent stand-out Lien Phillip. The 6’ 8” business student from Grenada put up another double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds (11 defensive).
The Lancers relied on the outside game for most of the night. In addition to winning the 3-point battle, the home side capitalized on Lakehead’s errors, scoring 19 points from turnovers. They also picked up 13 points from 18 offensive rebounds. However, Windsor only scored 26 points from inside the paint.
Saturday’s game couldn’t have been more different.
Other than Lien Phillip producing another double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds), the Lancers didn’t seem to have their heads in the game. The team committed a number of unforced errors like travelling and stepping out of bounds, and just couldn’t get on track as the Thunderwolves prevailed 80-71.
This time around, Windsor was slow out of the blocks. The visitors lead 26-13 at the end of the 1st quarter and the Lancers couldn’t recover. They did cut the lead to 5 in the 3rd quarter, but that was as close as they could get.
Other than Lien, three other Lancers scored in the double digits. Collins put up 19, Enrico Diloreto scored 15, and Evan Matthews potted 12, but the boys in blue were unsuccessful from beyond the arc. The 3-point shooting percentage dropped from Friday’s 43.5% to a dismal 21.7% on Saturday as the went 5 for 23 in the game.
The Lancers will now break for the exam period in December before travelling to Florida for the Chuck Daly Memorial Tournament in West Palm Beach. They’ll return to OUA play on January 8 when the take on the Golden Hawks in Waterloo, and then the Marauders in Hamilton on the 11th.
Windsor will return to the St Denis Centre on January 15 when they host the Guelph Gryphons. Tip-off is at 8:00 pm.