UBC wins big to complete weekend sweep against Saskatchewan


Vancouver – The UBC Thunderbirds men’s basketball completed the weekend sweep on Saturday night winning 99-75 against a very formidable Saskatchewan Huskies squad. Andrew McGuinness had a season-high 25 points to power his team to a convincing 24-point victory while Ben Baker had a team-high 17 points for the Huskies.
“We really were able to gain and ultimately keep the momentum going thanks to our offense tonight,” added McGuinness after Saturday’s game. “Yesterday our second half was a bit stagnant and tonight we were able to drain some buckets and get some stops on the defensive end.”
Conor Morgan tied his season-high in points with 17 on the final night of 2014 Canada West men’s basketball action while Jordan Jensen-Whyte chipped in with 16 points.
Tonight’s victory was UBC’s seventh straight win against the Huskies dating back to the 2010-2011 season including regular season and playoff action. The Thunderbirds were down at the 2:25 mark of the first quarter but after taking the lead shortly after, never looked back, maintaining a double-digit lead for the majority of the game.
With the victory, the Thunderbirds inch closer to the .500 mark, improving to 3-5 on the season while the Huskies fall to 4-4, being swept for the first time this season. The Thunderbirds opened the weekend series with an impressive 101-94 victory last night where they avoided a potential Huskies comeback late in the fourth.
Down seven at one point in the opening quarter, the Thunderbirds stormed back to take a 25-21 lead backed by Jordan Jensen-Whyte‘s eight points. UBC shot 58.8% in the first quarter while Saskatchewan shot 40%, going 3-for-10 from three-point range.
One night after the teams combined for 51 points in the first quarter, Saturday’s game was another high scoring affair as both teams put up 46 points.
Neither team went on a sizeable run in the first half, as the second quarter ended with a 43-39 at halftime. Dadrian Collins came alive in the second finishing 6-for-10 at halftime, good for 14 points. Collins was held to just six points last night after getting into foul trouble but was instrumental in keeping the Huskies close at halftime.
The Thunderbirds first half success can be attributed to strong ball distribution as no player hit double digits in points but had five players with seven or more points in the first. McGuinness took the cake with nine points in the opening half. Saskatchewan put it together in terms of shooting accuracy improving to an overall 48.6% shooting percentage through two quarters of play.
Morgan provided UBC with some energy, first by slamming an emphatic dunk before nailing a layup, and one, completing the three-point play. The 6’9 big man would nail another field goal and a pair of free throws scoring on four consecutive UBC possessions. All of a sudden the T-Birds were enjoying a 15-point lead and would shortly after have a 69-55 lead after three quarters of action.
Things got heated in the fourth quarter, with a pair of technical fouls in the early stages, as the Huskies lingered around, as they did a night earlier in a near-comeback. Thankfully, McGuinness was on fire in the fourth, helping his team to a 24-point lead with three minutes left on the clock. The game ended in a convincing 99-75 victory in favour of the blue and gold.
Once all was said and done, UBC had a 53.0% shooting percentage including 11-for-31 from three-point range. Saskatchewan shot 44.1% from the field and finished 7-for-27 from beyond the arc.
The Thunderbirds will enjoy a six-week break before returning to action January 9, 2015 for a two-game series against the Lethbridge Pronghorns to kickoff the second half of the season. The Pronghorns sit at 5-5 at the midway point of the season.