Windsor holds on to beat the Thunderbirds by three

Tonner Jackson

Vancouver, BC – The UBC Thunderbirds’ late push would fall short as the University of Windsor Lancers defeated the Thunderbirds 90-87 Saturday evening at War Memorial Gym. The Lancers finished a perfect 2-0 at the UBC Men’s Basketball Invitational tournament while UBC was 1-1.

Ahead by five points heading into the final quarter, Windsor added to their lead going on a 7-0 run to go up by 11, 75-64. However, the ‘Birds responded with an 8-0 run of their own, to cut the lead to just three points, 75-72. Unfortunately, like the rest of the game, that is as close as the Thunderbirds would come. Windsor went back in front by eight points. UBC made a late rally led by Conor Morgan who scored nine points in the final 26 seconds, including a three-pointer with four seconds left to get UBC within three, but Windsor would hold on for a 90-87 victory.

Morgan led all scorers with 34 points on the night, including five three-pointers. Rotimi Osuntola and Alex Campbell each finished the night with a double-double for the Lancers. Osuntola had 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Campbell chipped in with 13 points and 11 boards.

Windsor led 22-16 in the first quarter before Tommy Nixon scored five of the Thunderbirds next seven points to make it a two point game after 10 minutes of action, 24-22 for the Lancers.

The visitors extended their lead to 10 points in the second quarter when Mike Rocca hit a three-pointer to make it 35-25. Again the Thunderbirds would hang tough getting to within three, 42-39, but the Lancers would head into halftime up 47-41.

In the third quarter Windsor established its biggest lead of the night, going up by 11 as Khalid Abdel-Gabar hit a three pointer for three of his 17 points on the night, 54-43 Windsor. However, UBC put together a 9-2 run led by Nixon to make it a 58-55 game. Osuntola’s layup put the visitors in front by nine, before Morgan hit a three ball from beyond the arc in the last minute of the quarter to cut the lead to five points, 65-60. 

Tonner Jackson had 17 points on the night to go along with six rebounds, while Nixon had 16 points, five assists, and four rebounds.

UBC shot 41.5 per cent from the field, while Windsor shot 44.2 per cent.

The Thunderbirds will hit the road for three exhibition games in three nights in Ontario next weekend, playing Friday, October 24th against the University of Waterloo, Saturday, October 25th versus Wilfrid Laurier University, and wrapping up on Sunday, October 26th at the University of Guelph.