Men’s Lions are down and out at national hoops tournament

The York Lions men’s basketball season came to an end Friday with a 76-65 loss to the Laurier Golden Hawks at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Final 10 Men’s Basketball Championship in Halifax.

Right: York’s Omar Passley fights off a Laurier defender in a losing cause (photo by Nick Pearce)

The Lions’ championship quest ended the day before in the opening game of the tournament. A dramatic three-point shot with four seconds on the clock just missed, and the ninth-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies edged the eighth-seeded Lions, 75-74. The loss eliminated the Lions from contention for the national title and left them facing tenth-seeded Laurier in the game to decide the ninth and tenth place finishers. Saskatchewan moved on to meet the top-ranked Victoria Vikes in the championship quarterfinals.

In the Thursday game, the Lions led, 36-29, at the break but the Huskies came back to outscore them, 20-12, in the first 10 minutes of the second half to move in front. With the score 74-71 in favour of Saskatchewan, York’s Dan Eves had a chance to tie the game from three-point range with 4.8 seconds remaining. His shot, however, went off the rim.

The Huskies hit one of two free-throws to seal the victory with four seconds to go. Eves, who led the Lions with a game-high 24 points, hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to make the final score 75-74, but it was too little, too late.

Jordan Foebel recorded his fourth double-double of the playoffs with 23 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. York shot 48.3 per cent from the floor and 40 per cent from beyond the arc. In the game against Laurier, co-captains Eves and Foebel both finished with a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds for York. Foebel also added a game-high five blocks.