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Tevaun Kokko scored 21 points to lead Laurier to their first win of the season on Friday night (Photo Credit: Kha Vo)
Tevaun Kokko scored 21 points to lead Laurier to their first win of the season on Friday night (Photo Credit: Kha Vo)
MBASK saves best for last in OT thriller
Laurier: 71 Algoma: 65

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WATERLOO, Ont. (November 11, 2016) – The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s basketball team was forced to pull extra duty Friday night at the Athletic Complex in order to score a 71-65 overtime victory over the visiting Algoma Thunderbirds.

This win marked not only the first of the year for the Hawks, but also the first of new Head Coach JUSTIN SERRESSE’s tenure at Laurier.

Looking for redemption following a season-opening loss, the Hawks (1-1) learned early in the proceedings that things were not going to be easy, as the Thunderbirds (0-2) were playing right with them. Making things more difficult was a couple early fouls on starting center Matt Chesson (Whitby, Ont.), forcing him to take a seat.

Regardless, the Hawks took a 16-14 lead after one quarter thanks to a combined 11 points from Nicholas Broady (Vancouver B.C.) and Chuder Teny (Kitchener, Ont.), as well as a late three from Tevaun Kokko (Markham, Ont.). 

The Laurier offence slowed by some degree in the second quarter as the Hawks often found themselves stuck deep in the shot clock and forced to settle for perimeter shots. The Hawks solid defence though, which held Algoma to 29 percent shooting on the night, had looked to have given them a halftime lead. This was until Kitchener-native Jermaine Lyle drained a buzzer-beating three to end the half.

The triple had seemed to give Algoma some momentum coming out of the break as some turnovers and out of control fouling from Laurier allowed the Thunderbirds to grab a narrow lead. Just as the game seemed to be slipping, the Hawks provided a mini-run of their own, capped by an Owen Coulthard (Oakville, Ont.) three, bringing the crowd to their feet and the game back within reach heading to the final quarter.

The game remained tight into the final minute of play. Broady was particularly strong late, putting in some big-time effort on the glass, collecting 14 rebounds on the game. Another Coulthard three looked to be enough but a late lapse allowed Nathan Riley (Kitchener, Ont.) to tie the game in the dying seconds and send it to overtime.

Bent but not broken, the Hawks pushed it into full throttle in overtime, completely overwhelming the Thunderbirds on route to victory. Broady’s hustle was again on display, making a spectacular save on a ball going out of bounds and getting it to Kokko, who finished for two of his game-high 21 points.

The second half of this Laurier/Algoma doubleheader goes Saturday, November 12 at 3 p.m. at the Athletic Complex
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