After a nightmare first half, the University of Northern British Columbia Women’s Basketball team showed better execution in the second frame before eventually falling 71-46 to the University of Calgary Dinos on Friday, January 3rd in Calgary, Alberta.
The Dinos looked every bit the #2 ranked team in Canada in the early going, pressing the TWolves and using their length and athleticism to open a 21-8 lead after ten minutes.
Things got worse for the Timberwolves in the second stanza, as a lid formed over the Dinos basket. UNBC managed just four points in the quarter, while Calgary used their depth to stretch the advantage. Bobbi-Jo Colburn, Liene Stalidzane, and Erin McIntosh were all in double figures as the home team held a 36-12 lead at the half.
“In the first half, we struggled to keep them off the glass,” said UNBC’s Rebecca Landry. “They were able to force us into turnovers and win the rebound battle, so they had a lot of second chances.”
Coach Sergey Shchepotkin’s message was head loud and clear by his squad, as the Timberwolves came out more focused in the third quarter. Maria Mongomo made a pair of three-pointers early on, and Madison Landry looked to assert herself by getting to prime scoring location. UNBC eclipsed their first half output by putting 20 points up in the quarter, and trailed 52-32 heading into the final frame.
Playing for pride, the TWolves continued to represent themselves well by pressuring the Dinos in the backcourt and showing great character to battle back. When the final buzzer sounded, Calgary took it by a 71-46 score to continue their unbeaten season at 9-0.
“Coach Sergey really wanted us to keep them off the boards and get going,” said Landry, postgame. “We really focused on our goals and fought. We were able to settle down at both ends of the court and that helped.”
Leading the way for UNBC was Mongomo with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Landry added 11 points and three boards. Emma vanBruinessen chipped in with seven points and eight rebounds
Calgary was paced by Stalidzane and Colburn with 15 points each, while McIntosh had 10 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and a pair of blocks.
“They are really good shooters from the outside, and they are great at finding the open shooter,” said Rebecca Landry. “We need to be aware of their fast break, and focus on our defence.”
The TWolves will look to build on the strong second half that saw them outscored by a single point, 35-34. The two teams play at 4 PM Pacific tomorrow night, in Calgary.