by Wilson Wong
January 6, 2014, VANCOUVER (ISN) – Fourth-year guard Kris Young scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds, both team highs, to help the UBC Thunderbirds to a 68-56 victory over the defending NAIA champion Westmont College Warriors in non-conference women’s basketball action in Santa Barbara, Calif. today.
UBC led by just a bucket early in the second half when it went on a 12-3 run over a span of four minutes and nine seconds to open up a 50-39 lead from which Westmont never recovered. Adrienne Parkin nailed a jumper with 16:40 to go in the second to start the run, which also included two layups and a foul shot from Cassandra Knievel, a layup from Harleen Sidhu and a three-point shot made by Jaime Hills.
Westmont got to within seven points twice in the second half. A pair of foul shots by Warrior Cora Chan closed the gap to 52-45 with 6:14 to go in the game but Maggie Sundberg immediately replied for UBC by hitting a layup and a three-point shot on consecutive possessions.
The Thunderbirds’ lead was down to 61-54 with 1:44 left in the game but UBC made seven of nine foul shots after that to maintain its advantage to the final whistle.
UBC shot 50.9 per cent over the scope of the contest (27 of 53) and held Westmont to just 28.0 per cent shooting in the second half and 37.7 per cent for the game (20-53).
With the Warriors leading 18-17 midway through the first half, the Thunderbirds went on a 16-3 run, with six points from Young and five from Sidhu, to go up 32-21 with 3:19 to play.
But the home team scored the next nine points to close the gap to single digits. UBC scored the next four points on buckets by Maggie Sundberg and Andrea Strujic. Kelsie Sampson responded with a layup to make the score 36-32 at intermission.
UBC converted 10 of its 13 opportunities at the foul line and out-rebounded Westmont 35-28.
The team will return home to prepare for its first Canada West regular season games of the 2014 calendar year. The Thunderbirds, with a record of 12-5 (7-3 in conference play), will host the Alberta Pandas on Jan. 10 and the Saskatchewan Huskies on Jan. 11. Both games will be contested at War Memorial Gymnasium.
Tickets can be purchased online at http://gothunderbirdstickets.universitytickets.com/user_pages/event_listings.asp