Thunderwolves cruise past Rams

By Adam Ali
TORONTO - Jamie Searle exploded at the end of the third quarter, scoring 16 of his game-high 33 points to lead the Lakehead Thunderwolves (1-1) to a 101-74 romp of the Ryerson Rams (1-1) on Saturday night. 

The Belleville, Ont. native went 10 of 18, sinking six shots from beyond the arc, and was unstoppable in the second-half, nailing consecutive jumpers as the Thunderwolves, who were down 54-51, streaked to a 68-59 lead at the end of the third period.  They never looked back from that point, shooting nearly 64% in the second half and outscoring the Rams by 29 points. 

Coach Roy Rana was less then pleased with his team's performance. 

"It's disappointing that we didn't have the type of effort that we needed even though we were underhanded."

The Rams were missing starters Bjorn Michaelsen and Ryan McNeilly, and were also without 6'8'' tower Matthew Lapointe.

"The (injuries) up front was important with Matthew and Bjorn out; we got beat on the glass tonight, and that was a big problem."

Ryerson looked solid early on, with Jahmal Jones leading the offense in the first half.  The Toronto native nailed a couple of shots, and put the Rams up 38-36 going into half-time.  Both teams got hot early in the second half, with the Rams carrying a four-point lead with about five minutes to go in the third quarter.  That's when things seemed to fall apart for Ryerson. 

"We came out of the time out, blew a couple of assignments, and never recovered," said Rana, who refused to use injuries as an excuse for his team's performance.  "We weren't mentally tough enough to overcome the adversity tonight.  They got hot, went on a bit of a run, and we kind of just packed it in."

As Lakehead's lead got larger, Ryerson began trying to do anything they could to close the gap, but their desperation only led to more turnovers and Thunderwolves points.  Lakehead totalled 26 points off of Ryerson's mistakes, and out-rebounded the Rams 39-27. 

Jordon Gauthier led the Rams with 21 points, going an impressive six of seven on three-pointers, and was named the Hero Burger "Hero of the Game".  Jones ended the night with 17 points. 

Rana said that his team will be focusing on defence this week, as the Rams prepare for their first road games of the year.  They will take on the Western Mustangs (1-1) and the Windsor Lancers (2-0) next weekend. 



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