Kamloops, BC—Make it four wins in a row for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s basketball team. The WolfPack swept the visiting Mount Royal University Cougars this weekend (Jan 22-23) in Canada West play.
On Saturday night (Jan 23) on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre, the WolfPack beat the Cougars 81-62.
TRU has an Explorer Division leading 12-2 record while Mount Royal drops to 5-9.
After challenging his team to come up with a better effort on Friday (Jan 22), TRU head coach Scott Clark was pleased with what he saw from his troops. “ I thought it was remarkably improved. Friday we were out efforted in some areas. Tonight we weren’t.”
Clark pointed to his teams rebounding in this game. They had 51 including 33 on the defensive glass. “ That was the major thing. Guys got to the offensive glass and did a good job on defense. That is a good indication of your activity level.”
TRU outscored Mount Royal in every quarter but the third when the Cougars got 23 to the ‘Pack’s 19.
“We are pretty disappointed with the results this weekend,” stated Mount Royal coach Marc Dobeil. “We weren’t prepared in the first half to attack the zone. I blame myself for that. I didn’t give our team enough answers for it.”
Thompson Rivers had four players in double figures led by Luke Morris (3rd year, forward, Mission, BC). Morris was named the TRU Bookstore/McDonalds “Leader of the Pack” player of the game for coming off the bench and scoring 20 points.
“I am happy for him,” Clark explains. “He met our expectations. It is good for him to be excited and for other guys to be excited. His performance tonight was my expectation for him and I think that level of play is what he expects from himself as well.”
The WolfPack got ‘double-doubles’ from Josh Wolfram (5th year, forward, Kamloops, BC) and Gerard Gore (5th year, forward, St. John’s, Antiqua). Wolfram had 19 points and 13 rebounds (11 defensively) while Gore had 10 points and 13 rebounds (seven defensively).
Volodymyr Iegorov (4th year, forward, Donetsk, Ukraine) had 17 points for TRU.
Mount Royal was led by Glen Yang (2nd year, guard, Hong Kong, CHN) who hasd 24 points and three steals. Former WolfPack guard Derek Wolf (4th year, Penticton, BC) had 15 points while Brett Layton (1st year, forward, Calgary, AB) had 14 points and six rebounds.
“Glen had a real good game for us,” Dobeil explains. “He probably had his best weekend of his career. Sadly it was all for not as we didn’t get any wins out of it.”
Clark liked what he saw from two of his first year players: guards Jeff Tubbs (iKelowna, BC) and Mike Rouault (Vernon, BC). Both saw increased court time this weekend. “You want your bench to come in and contribute and add. Those guys did. The tempo increase might have been better and so could have their defense. You hope that you don’t lose momentum when you go to your bench. We rotated them in quickly today to make sure we didn’t lose their pace.”
Both the Cougars and the WolfPack have next week off. Clark says he welcomes it despite the winning streak. “ We have been on the road a lot. These are our fifth and sixth games since October 20th at home. Having a weekend at home where we don’t have to play will be good. Then coming back and being at home will help. The road has a cumulative effect in terms of fatigue and home has a cumulative effect in the area of rest. In order to get better you have to be rested. I think the rest will give us a chance to get better.”
Dobeil will also take the time off: “It is good. We are banged up. We were playing without one player tonight. A fifth year player (James Lefebvre, forward, DIdsbury, AB) who would have made a big difference for us. He is going to get a chance to recover along with another guy who played limited minutes tonight because he is sore . It is a good time for us to heal some of our nicks and wounds and start focusing in on the last three weekends.”
Mount Royal returns to Canada West play February 5th when they host the MacEwan Griffins. TRU will be at home to the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves the same night at the Tournament Capital Centre. Tip off on the Warner Rentals Court will be 8 pm.