(WINDSOR, ON) – The Windsor Lancers concluded the 2016 NCAA/OUA Tip-off Classic on an up-note with a 71-68 win over the visiting Drury Panthers, from Springfield, MO. The victory was the first in three tries for the Lancers during the Classic, having fallen to Drury on Saturday and Charleston Southern a week prior.
Fresh off a win over the Western Mustangs on Monday, Drury shot from the gate and quickly ran to an 18-8 1st quarter lead before Windsor went on a 11-point run to lead at the end of the period, 19-18. The Lancers then continued their hot streak in the 2nd quarter as they led by 8 half way through and ended up by 3 at the half, 36-33.
Windsor moved ahead further after the break, countering each Drury excursion down court with a stiff defense and points at the other end. With under 2 minutes to play in the 3rd, Windsor enjoyed a 10-point lead, cut slightly by a Grant Boswell connection from downtown.
After going up by 11 to start the 4th, Drury started to slowly chip away at the Lancers lead until taking the upper hand themselves, with 5:22 on the clock. The two sides traded the lead and then played head-to-head to a 68-68 tie with just 49 seconds remaining.
A Panther attempt at the Windsor basket was turned aside and Mike Rocca moved the ball into the Drury end. As the clock wound down, Rocca found Lukas Wood in the corner who coolly drained a trey at the buzzer.
Rocca led the Lancers attack with 26 points and 9 boards while enduring 35 minutes on the hardwood. Tyler Persaud dropped 16 points and 6 rebounds, and he and Rocca each made 3 steals. Wood put up 2-of-7 from outside and finished the game with 12 points on 36% shooting.
In addition to the dramatic heroics, Lancers earned the win through tough defense. They forced 22 turnovers by Drury and then proceeded to out-score their opponents 23-13.
Windsor will use the next month to continue to refine their skills and prepare for Lambton College on September 28 at St Denis. There are five more preseason games, and one tournament, before opening the OUA season on the road at Nipissing Lakers and Laurentian Voyageurs on November 11 and 12.