Hot-shooting T-Birds win first game of 2015


VANCOUVER – A strong offensive effort, especially in three-point shooting, was the difference as the No. 5 UBC Thunderbirds defeated the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns 81-60 in Canada West women’s basketball action at the 1st Choice Savings Centre on Friday night.
“I’m very pleased with the intensity and focus both offensively and defensively,” said UBC head coach Deb Huband of her players. “We were able to sustain intensity and effort for 40 minutes with everyone making contributions. It was a solid team effort and a positive step forward in kicking off the second half of the season.”
The Thunderbirds scored a season-high 81 points, in a game that saw a masterful performance by guard Cassandra Knievel (Nanaimo, B.C.), who made a season-high six three-point baskets en route to a 20-point night to lead all players in the game. As a team, UBC went 10-for-20 from beyond the arc on Friday night.

Fifth-year guard Kris Young of North Vancouver added 19 points while Surrey native Harleen Sidhu had another one of her efficient nights, scoring 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. Kris Young also had her usual contribution in the win with 19 points. Fifth-year standout Kim Veldman, who leads the conference in scoring, had 17 points and six rebounds to pace the ‘Horns, who also got 13 points from Zoe Dahl. She was 5-of-7 from the field and was the second-leading scorer for Lethbridge.
In one of their best offensive displays of this season, the ‘Birds scored 28 points in the third quarter to improve to 6-3, while the Pronghorns drop to 4-7 with the loss.

UBC held a slight 21-20 lead in the second quarter before ending the period on a 12-1 run that effectively sealed the victory as Lethbridge never got within single digits the rest of the night. The ‘Horns were down 61-40 to start the final quarter. The big run was capped off by Knievel who nailed a three-point basket at the halftime buzzer.
She made six of her nine attempts from downtown and propelled the Thunderbirds to one of their best nights of the season in terms of three-point shooting. UBC made half of their long-distance shots on Friday, better than their regular season average of 30.2 per cent.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow at 4 p.m. PST.