Windsor (9-4, 4-3) 86, Toronto (6-6, 4-3) 84... 5’11” Mike Rocca hit two free-throws with just 6 seconds remaining after being fouled about 90 feet from his basket just after the Blues tied it with three, lifting the Lancers to an exciting, confidence-building road win at the Goldring Center at U of T.
6’2″ Micqueel Martin and 6’7″ Luke Allin combined for 31 of their 41 points after halftime as Windsor rallied from a 7 point deficit, taking a late 5 point lead into the final 2 minutes. But the Blues brought 6’1″ Seun Olutogun (Calgary, AL) off the bench and the reserve knocked down an unlikely three from the left baseline to tie with under 10 seconds to go. Somewhat shockingly, Olutogun then committed a foul on Rocca on the in-bounds and the veteran lefty made no mistake. 6’3″ Sage Usher‘s attempt at a three from the top of the bowl fell short at the buzzer and Lancers escaped.
But the story of the game was the second half performance of Laurier transfer Allin (18 points), playing his first game as a Lancer, who had 7 consecutive points to start a 12-0 Windsor run that erased a 70-65 deficit and gave Lancers momentum. Martin, who finished with 23 points after a quiet first half, was also instrumental with his fine array of finishes including turnarounds, takes to the rim and 3’s (3-6 from downtown). Not to be outdone, Usher had 13 of his 18 after halftime, adding 7 rebounds and 4 assists while 6’5″ Devin Johnson led the Blues with 23 points, 16 after halftime.
The game was generally well played with only 9 turnovers combined and started out like both teams would hit the century mark with a terrific first quarter. Usher found 6’2″ Reilly Reid (15 points, 12 rebounds) in transition for a pair of 3’s and Blues perimeter shooting and slick inside passing pulled the Lancers out of their match-up zone. But with the addition of Allin, Windsor has another high-quality scorer who can score off the post up, shoot over small defenders well beyond the three point line and generally create mis-matches offensively. The talented forward did foul out of the game and finished with only 2 rebounds.
Windsor will be tested on Saturday night at Ryerson against a Rams team that pounded Western 105-76 tonight as 6’3″ Adika Peter-McNeilly had 24 – including 6 of 7 threes – of his career-high 36 in the first half and broke the Ryerson school record for three-pointers in a game with 10 (on just 13 shots) as Ryerson shot a ridiculous 23 for 44 (52.3%) from beyond the arc. Peter-McNeilly added 7 rebounds and 6 assists, highlighting the dominant effort by Ryerson (8-2, 6-0). Western (3-11, 1-6) will meet U of T at the Goldring Center on Saturday afternoon at 2 PM ET.