(WINDSOR, ON) – The No. 5 ranked Windsor Lancers advanced a rung up the playoff ladder with an 85-71 victory over the Toronto Varsity Blues at St Denis Fieldhouse last night in OUA men’s basketball action. The win simultaneously moves Windsor into the West division finals against the McMaster Marauders and eliminates Toronto from post-season play.
The opening quarter saw the visitors pressure the Lancers at all corners of the court. The Blues closed down the lane forcing Windsor to shoot from outside where they had little success in the first half. Hitting just 3-for-19 and 3-for-13 in the 1st and 2nd quarters respectively, there is little surprise that Toronto led for most of the half. Only a late surge before the buzzer allowed Windsor to finish on top 35-31 at the half.
Before the first minute of the 3rd quarter was done, Toronto had erased the 4-point margin and moved in front by 4 themselves by way of two free throws and a jumper. Windsor’s bench then took over and a buckets by Evan Matthews and a trey by Brad Parker quickly the Lancers up again. Then a jumper by Rotimi Osuntola Jr started a 15-2 run for Windsor and knocked the life out of the Blues.
Windsor maintained a 57-47 lead at the end of the 3rd frame and they were still up by 11 with 5 minutes remaining to play. A late run by Toronto was quelled by an Evans free throw and then Osuntola caped the night with a slam that sent Toronto back up the highway.
Osuntola led Windsor with another display of offensive power. He registered a double-double on the strength of 22 points and 18 boards. He also put the hand to 4 blocks and picked Toronto’s pockets for 2 steals.
Marko Kovac was a catalyst for Windsor. His were the only treys to drop in the 1st half and he contributed 3 timely rebounds.
Evans put up 15 points in the winning effort and hauled in 7 boards, including 5 in the Toronto zone. In his own end, Evans issued 3 blocks to deny Toronto the scoring opportunities.
Not to be outdone, Khalid Abdel-Gabar scored in the double digits for the Lancers with 12 points, and he added 6 rebounds as well as 5 helpers.
Windsor now advances to the OUA quarter-finals and will play McMaster in Hamilton on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm. You can watch the playoff action on OUA TV.