Algoma Thunderbirds notch win over Toronto Varsity Blues
Thunderbirds raise funds in Shoot for a Cure
SAULT STE. MARIE - The Algoma Thunderbirds basketball teams donned new pink jerseys last night at the George Leach Centre in the annual CIS Shoot for a Cure, part of the Algoma University's Cancer Awareness Weekend, proudly sponsored by the Alumni Council.
The men's basketball team came out ahead of the Toronto Varsity Blues, winning their fifth game of the season by a score of 74-69.
In front of an energetic crowd, the men battled hard, exchanging baskets in a wide open first quarter that ended 18-16.
The pace quickened in the second quarter and Algoma widened the gap to five after Andre Barber went 2-2 from the free-throw line.
With key steals from the Thunderbirds, Algoma began to pull away from the Varsity Blues, and were leading at half-time, 45-27.
The Varsity Blues began to claw their way back in the third on the back of Dylan Churchill's three-point shooting.
The Varsity Blues continued to chip into the deficit, trailing by just 11 going into the fourth quarter.
Algoma tried to hold their own but Toronto got within one point with only five minutes left to play.
The Thunderbirds battled back, edging ahead of the Varsity Blues by four.
Thunderbird Reynaldo Carnakie's two free-throws gave the Thunderbirds their fifth win of their debut OUA and CIS season.
The Thunderbirds improve to 5-15 and the Varsity Blues drop to 4-16 in the East.
The Thunderbirds shot 39.4 percent from the field and 69 percent from the charity line.
Reynaldo Carnakie led the Thunderbirds with 26 points followed by Brett Zufelt with 18.
Churchill had 24 for Toronto in their losing effort.
"It was a good team win," said Head Coach Thomas Cory after the game.
In their last OUA home game of the season, the Thunderbirds women suffered a 69-43 loss to the Toronto Varsity Blues.
The Blues drew first blood, jumping out to a 12-0 lead after three shots from beyond the arc.
Algoma came back, driving the ball to the post and taking advantage of open lanes, but Toronto opened the second quarter with a 10 point advantage.
Algoma increased their aggressiveness and held their own, chipping into the deficit.
The Thunderbirds moved the ball, taking advantage of Toronto's passing woes and shot clock violations, getting within seven of the Varsity Blues.
Foul trouble by the Thunderbirds allowed Toronto to increase the gap to 15 going into the half.
With increased intensity in the third, Toronto stopped the attack of Algoma and penetrated their defence, pulling away by 24 going into the final quarter.
With added full-court pressure in the final 10 minutes, Toronto ran past the Thunderbirds.
Algoma remains winless at 0-20 while Toronto improves to 11-9.
The Thunderbirds shot 34.1 percent from the field and were led by Laura Meadows with nine points in their losing effort.
Rachel Sider led the Varsity Blues with 18, followed by Alicia VanKampen with 15.
"Tonight's Shoot for a Cure event was a huge success," said women's Assistant Coach and creator of the Cancer Awareness Weekend event, Pat Murray. "I'm really proud to see the Thunderbirds teams, the University, our fans, and the local community coming together for such a worthy cause. It's even better to see the event growing each year and becoming more successful."
At half-time, Varsity Sports Coordinator Rachel Johnson cut and donated her hair to Locks of Love.
The event raised well over $3,500 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
About Algoma University
Algoma University offers a wide variety of liberal arts and sciences degree options including programs in Psychology, Social Work, Computer Science, Business Administration, Fine Arts, Community Economic and Social Development, and Biology in Sault Ste. Marie, Brampton, Timmins and St. Thomas.
As a partner with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Algoma U is committed to respecting Anishinaabe knowledge and culture.
Algoma University has launched its Essential Elements Campaign to expand its campus and offer more scholarships and awards to students.
To learn more, visit www.algomau.ca.
Pictured: Reynaldo Carnakie competing in the Shoot for a Cure event on Saturday at the GLC. Photo courtesy of Ken Armstrong