Thunderbirds get first taste of OUA and CIS playMonday, October 07, 2013 by: SooToday.com Staff
(SAULT STE. MARIE) The Algoma University Thunderbirds experienced their first real taste of OUA and CIS competition over the weekend at the John Zanatta Invitational at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.
Both the men's and women's teams suffered three losses against teams from across Northern Ontario and Manitoba.
"It was a great learning experience on and off the floor for our teams," said Thunderbirds Men's Head Coach Thomas Cory. "We have to continue to make improvements over the next few weeks to get ready for our season."
In their first game on Thursday evening, the men were unable to recover when the Lakehead Thunderwolves jumped out to an early lead at the Thunderdome, giving the Thunderbirds men their first OUA loss,79-54.
Thunderbird A.J. Barber led the team with 12 points, while Thunderwolves Dwayne Harvey led his team with 17.
On Friday, both Samy Mohamed and Jimmy Belinga kept the game interesting and close down the stretch, but the Thunderbirds were unable to recover a lead after Reynaldo Carnakie went down with an injury late in the final quarter, losing 80-74 to the Brandon Bobcats.
In their final game of the tournament against the Winnipeg Wesmen, the Wesmen ran out to an early lead and cruised from there.
Despite Jimmy Belinga's 14 points and Brett Zufelt's 13, the Thunderbirds lost 93-63.
In the women's first game against the Lakehead Thunderwolves, the Thunderwolves took an early lead and never looked back.
Despite great shooting from Thunderbirds Daya Bhogal, Algoma lost 69-50. In their second game, the Thunderbirds lost a close, physical contest to the Manitoba Bisons, 59-54.
Anna Stilin, Courtney White, and Laura Meadows led the scoreboard for Thunderbirds with 15, 13, and 10 points, respectively.
In Algoma's final outing, the Laurentian Voyageurs went on a 6-point run in the first quarter and continued to widen the gap throughout the game, eventually winning 63-53. Meadows led the Thunderbirds with 12 points.
The regular season begins Friday, November 1 as the Thunderbirds go head-to-head against the Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks starting at 6:00pm in Waterloo, Ontario.
The season home opener at the George Leach Centre (GLC) is scheduled for Friday, November 9 against the Brock Badgers with tip-off at 6:00pm.