VANCOUVER – Fifth-year guard Kris Young scored 22 points in her final regular season game with the UBC Thunderbirds to lead the No. 2 team in the CIS to a 69-61 victory over the visiting Manitoba Bisons on Saturday night at War Memorial Gymnasium.
With those 22 points, the North Vancouver native finishes with a career total 1,551 points in Canada West regular season play. That ties Young with former Lethbridge Pronghorn Shawna Molcak for 10th-best in league history. Young has the most regular season points of any UBC women’s basketball player. Erica McGuinness is still in No. 1 spot when points from non-conference and playoff games are factored in.
Young will finish her career as the UBC player with the most points in regular season play, most field goals, most field goals attempted and most steals.
It was UBC’s 12th regular season triumph in a row, which is the second-best single-season winning streak in school history. More importantly for the current squad, the win helped secure first place in the final Canada West standings and the right to host the league’s Final Four tournament should the team get that far in the playoffs.
The Thunderbirds (17-3) will open the Canada West Quarter-Finals in two weeks. Manitoba’s season is complete after a 1-19 campaign.
“I think the regular season has been really good, we started out a little slow getting to know each other, but as the games have gone on, I think we have improved a lot. It is all a reflection to how we are doing in practice. We are working really hard and it is all coming together,” said UBC point guard Diana Lee.
UBC forward Adrienne Parkin was the main player on the Thunderbirds’ side with an unmatched eleven points and three rebounds.
After failing to register a point the night before, Manitoba’s leading scorer Robyn Eyer hit a three-point shot to give her a team a 20-18 lead in the first quarter, capping off a 12-4 run by the visitors. All 12 points came from long distance. The Bisons finished 10-for-24 from beyond the arc on Saturday and 23-for-61 from the field overall.
But the reply from the hosts was quick and decisive as Young provided half the points in a 14-0 surge bridging the first and second quarters that put UBC up 32-20. The Thunderbirds led 46-31 at the half. Young had 11 in the quarter.
A free throw from Stephanie Bell with 3:24 left in the third quarter pushed the difference to 21 points.
In their final quarter of the season, the Bisons showed a lot of will power in their attempt to eliminate the huge deficit, starting with an 11-4 run. Eyer and Stephanie Gill scored a combined 12 points to give the ‘Birds a run for their money.
Eyer led her team with 17 points while Gill had 15.
In addition to Young, Parkin scored 13 points while fifth-year senior Harleen Sidhu had 12. UBC’s three graduating seniors, Young, Sidhu and Lauren Seabrook here honoured after the game for their contributions to the school. Eyer, Gill, Samantha Pyke, Sheree Carmona-Galdamez and Vanessa DeVries were also give bouquets by the UBC coaching staff.
The Thunderbirds were 22-for-52 (42.3 per cent) shooting on Saturday night.
Lee, the playmaker and assist leader among the Thunderbirds said, “We have to keep working hard in practice, I think that is all it is. Keep our focus and get ready for the playoff push.”
The Thunderbirds will have a bye next week.