Nipissing (3-3) 78, MacEwan (3-2) 71… In Edmonton, the Lakers rallied for an important road victory as 6’7″ sophomore forward Kalil Langston went 4-6 from downtown and finished with 17 points and 6 boards. Nipissing won the game on the glass when it counted, primarily on the strength of 6’7″ Carleton transfer Justin Shaver, who dominated inside late – finishing with a 10 point, 11 rebound double double in 35 minutes. Lakers out-rebounded MacEwan 46-35 overall including 18 “o” boards.
Nipissing had rallied from a 12 point deficit midway through the third quarter and got a big boost from 6’2″ freshman Jaaden Lewis, who made his first entry into the game with just 2 minutes remaining in third but finished with 12 points in the final 12 minutes including some critical defensive plays to allow Lakers to extend their lead in the final 3 minutes.
Lakers Coach Chris Cheng was pleased with the victory however stated: “I thought we rebounded well but still allowed too many offensive rebounds. I am still mixing up different line-ups to see what works and what doesn’t.”. It was a game of runs as Lakers hit 4 first quarter 3’s to jump out to a double digit lead but the Griffins took over in the second quarter and appeared ready to run away in the third quarter before Shaver and Co. reasserted themselves inside, allowing Nipissing to come away with a key road victory.
Griffins Coach Eric Magdanz lamented his team’s inability to compete on the glass “We just failed to execute. Right now we’re playing too soft. We need guys who are going to toughen up and guys who are going to commit to rebounding and guys who are willing to do the dirty jobs. ”
6’1″ third-year guard Thadius Galvez (Ogden, Utah) led the way for MacEwan with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in 32 minutes with several acrobatic finishes. Star 6’3″ wing Denzel James finished with 16 points but was saddled with his fourth foul late in the third which coincided with Lakers run.
Nipissing now gets set for the Golden Bear Invitational at Alberta beginning today with a match against host Alberta followed by a second Canada West power UBC Thunderbirds tomorrow night. MacEwan awaits Western Mustangs in a Sunday afternoon meeting. Mustangs are the second OUA side to play at the Golden Bear this weekend.