Winnipeg, MB – In a tightly contested affair the UBC Thunderbirds earned a weekend split against the Winnipeg Wesmen with a 50-48 victory Saturday evening in weekend.
Trailing 39-38 after three quarters of play, the fourth quarter was a defensive battle with neither team willing to concede easy baskets. The Thunderbirds would jump out to a 48-43 lead with 3:07 remaining thanks to back to back jumpers from Harleen Sidhu.
Kris Young extended the lead to five points before Samantha Donald hit a three pointer with 1:12 remaining to make it a 50-48 game.
UBC’s defence took over from there, allowing just one shot opportunity for the Wesmen and forcing two turnovers to hold on to the two point victory.
The Thunderbirds limited Winnipeg to 28.4% shooting from the floor, while the ‘Birds shot 41.5%.
With the win the Thunderbirds improve to 4-2 on the season, while Winnipeg falls to 5-3.
“We were able to impact the game with a bit more frequency tonight but continued to allow Winnipeg to dictate too much of the game,” said UBC head coach Deb Huband. “Our defensive effort was more consistent but we need to attack the defensive boards as a team and not approach it as a one or two player responsibility.”
Sidhu, who took just four shots from the field in UBC’s loss the previous night, was 7-of-19 from the field Saturday scoring 14 points and dominating on the boards, grabbing 15 rebounds. Young chipped in with 11 points, as did Adrienne Parkin who also had seven rebounds.
Stephanie Kleysen and Skylar Boulanger each had 12 points apiece for the Wesmen. Boulanger added 10 rebounds.
“It was nice to see our group perform as a veteran team this weekend, but we still need more from our experienced players.
UBC jumped out to a quick 10-4 lead in the opening quarter on the strength of six points from Sidhu. Winnipeg went on a 9-6 run to cut the lead to 16-13 after the first 10 minutes of play.
Young hit two straight shots to extend UBC’s lead to 21-13 in the second quarter, but the Wesmen would slowly chip away. Boulanger hit back-to-back jumpers to end a 14-6 run for Winnipeg and tie the game at 27-27. The Thunderbirds led 28-27 at the half.
Midway through the third quarter Megan Noonan hit a three pointer to put the home side in front 35-32. UBC though scored six straight points to go back in front 38-35, only to see Kleysen hit a jumper to finish the quarter on a 4-0 run for Winnipeg and a 39-38 lead through three quarters of play.
The Thunderbirds will return home to host the Saskatchewan Huskies for a pair of games in the final weekend of action before the Christmas break.