VANCOUVER – The No. 3 UBC Thunderbirds managed to emerge victorious by a score of 67-56 thanks to a final-period performance that saw them overcome a tough Calgary Dinos team to complete a weekend sweep.
The game saw another good performance by Kris Young (20 points) and the three-point specialist Cassandra Knievel, who converted three triples en route to 13 points. The real difference maker tonight was Harleen Sidhu, who produced a great performance with 19 points, 17 of which came in the second half. She also managed to grab six rebounds.
On the Dinos side, forward Claire Colborne was the mastermind behind the Dinos’ good show tonight. Colborne scored 14 points and went on to get 10 rebounds, eight of which were on the defensive end.
The ‘Birds faced a tough Calgary team that stayed with for the majority of the night, until Sidhu stepped up her offensive and defensive performance to take home the game.
Entering the fourth period up by three points, UBC had to come up with a solid performance to escape from the Dinos.
With about six minutes left on the clock, UBC had a 12-2 run that ended any hope for a Calgary comeback. Forward Adrienne Parkin started the surge with a jumper and guard Diana Lee capped it off just over three minutes later with a bucket that put the Thunderbirds up 65-52.
Sidhu was the star of the fourth quarter as she scored ten points.
“We know how important these games are and so we stepped up our defence in the second half and not give them anything too easy. I’m just proud of this team and what we are accomplishing right now,” said Sidhu.
Similar to last night, the first quarter was dominated by Calgary. A 8-3 run by the Dinos at the end of the period meant the team in red went into the first-quarter break up 17-13. Kelsey Lund was the star of the opening period with seven points.
UBC answered quickly in the second with Kris Young scoring seven points in a 10-0 run that helped the Thunderbirds regain the lead, one that was at 33-30 at the half.
The third quarter was the closest of them all as the two squads went back and forth. The Thunderbirds went up by eight points only to see the Dinos roll off seven straight points. A Lawrie Saunders layup with about a minute and half left in the quarter tied the score at 44-44. As a reply, Sidhu capped her great performance with a layup and a foul at the buzzer, giving UBC a 47-44 lead.
The Thunderbirds are now 13-3, while the Dinos fall to 9-8.
On her expectations for the playoffs, Sidhu said, “We just want to put ourselves in a good position so we can reach as far as we can, we would love to go to the nationals, that have been our goal since last summer and were going to do whatever it takes to reach there.”
The ‘Birds travel to play Regina next weekend, while the Dinos host Alberta in a single game on Thursday.