Lakers hold off late Queen's charge for first playoff win

Lakers hold off late Queen's charge for first playoff win

What a night.

The Nipissing Lakers men's basketball had already made history by qualifying for the playoffs, then by hosting a playoff game and then they did one better.

The Lakers picked up a huge victory, as they hung on for a thrilling 77-74 victory over the visiting Queens Gaels in the preliminary round of the OUA Playoffs.

The Lakers got off to a great, putting up 22 points in the first quarter and grabbing a nine point lead after 10 minutes of play.

In the second, Nipissing showed no signs of slowing down, adding another 21 points to their total and holding a 43-27 advantage at the half.

They certainly didn't look like a team playing their first OUA playoff game, as they came out flying.

The lead was extended by four in the third quarter, putting the Lakers up by 20 heading into the final quarter.

All they needed to do was lock the game down and they would be advancing to the next round.

The Gaels had other plans, however, as they stormed back.

Queens outscored Nipissing 26-9 – a 17 point swing – to cut the lead and set up some last second, heart-stopping moments.

With the score 77-66 with 3:38 left, the Gaels began their climb back.

Just 30 seconds later, the difference was just seven and with under a minute, Nipissing led by just five.

A layup with 29 seconds to go pulled Queens within three and they had a shot at the buzzer, but it rimmed out and they were unable to get another look, giving the Lakers the victory.

Although the fourth wasn't their best effort, the Lakers played a strong game and earned the victory, sending the home crowd into a frenzy.

Justin Shaver led the Lakers with 17 points, Jaaden Lewis had 15, Marcus Lewis had 12 and Marvin Ngonadi added 10 points in tonight's victory.

The Lakers will now move on to face the third ranked Ryerson Rams in Toronto on Saturday, in the Quarter-Finals.

Game time is 8pm at the Mattamy Centre.

Source: Nipissing Lakers