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Friday, Mar. 22, 2019
Laurentian men keep their foot on the gas to salvage the split
2019-01-08
by Randy Pascal

After watching one slip away late on Friday night versus the Queen's Gaels, coach Shawn Swords and the Laurentian Voyageurs men's basketball team were not about to ease up, even one iota, 24 hours later.

The Voyageurs salvaged a split of their second half opening weekend homestand, outscoring the York Lions in each and every quarter en route to a 111-80 victory, just one night after relinquishing a 60-59 advantage heading into the final ten minutes of play, beaten 87-80 by Queen's.

The L.U. men were right there with the Gaels throughout, ahead 20-15 after the first period and 38-35 at the half. Kadre Gray paced the Laurentian attack with 26 points, his help on this night coming off the bench in the form of Josis Mikia-Thomas (14) and J.D. West (12).

Tanner Graham did likewise for the visitors, torching the Voyageurs for 22 points in just 17 minutes of play, with Quinton Gray (17), Jesse Graham (12) and Harry Range (11) also all hitting double digits for Queen's.

The teams were almost dead even in rebounds (32-31 Laurentian), though the Gaels did hold the upper hand in three different shooting categories: 55.7% vs 49.2% (field goal %), 50% vs 44% (3-point %) and 70% vs 46.7% (free throw %).

Easing the minutes noticeably on the star player on Saturday, Swords and company received contributions right across the lineup, with six players recording ten points or more against York - Anthony Iacoe (24), Gray (23), Sam Ivey (18), and Theo Thomas, Haroun Mohamed and Gaetan Chamand, all with ten.

A top-heavy reply from the Lions featured the troika of Prince Kamunga (22), Gianmarco Luciani (16) and Deandrae Pierre (13), as Laurentian bolted to a 33-18 first quarter lead and never looked back.

The Voyageurs dominated the boards, out-rebounding York 48-27, although no single player recorded more than seven for the winners. With a record of 6-6, Laurentian is squeezed into fifth place in the OUA East Division, directly between Queen's (8-4) and York (5-7).

The locals are back at home against this weekend, with the nation's capital challenge at hand as the first place Carleton Ravens (12-0) and third place Ottawa Gee Gees (9-3) are in town.

They will battle the juggernauts, in that order, on Friday and Saturday, before preparing for five straight road games against the Ryerson Rams (January 18th), University of Toronto Blues (January 19th), York (January 25th), Queen's (January 26th) and the Nipissing Lakers (February 1st).

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