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Despite Shittu’s record night, TWolves fall to Bobcats

The Bobcats came out firing in the first quarter, as Shun Williams and Jaleel Webb made threes early on, helping Brandon open up a 17-5 lead. Freshman post Saymon Loki provided offense for the TWolves, who were struggling otherwise, scoring seven points in the frame, but UNBC found themselves trailing 31-17 after ten minutes.

In the second frame, UNBC showed good pushback, as a pair of two other freshmen provided sparks for the home team Fareed Shittu showed his athleticism and length, finishing in the paint and getting the TWolves second chance opportunities, which led to a pair of big three-pointers from Dylon Matthews. However, at the other end, the Bobcats continued to shoot the ball with tremendous success. Anthony Tsegakele made big shots, along with Dominique Dennis who was able to convert on two treys that dropped late in shot clocks to deflate the Timberwolves At halftime, Brandon was up 20.

“On the defensive end, we weren’t getting the stops we wanted to,” said Shittu, postgame. “They went on a couple big runs where we didn’t get any stops. That’s where they took off.”

In the second half, the story was much the same. The TWolves executed decently on the offensive end, as Shittu became more and more effective in the paint, leading to some successful execution, but the Bobcats did well to limit UNBC’s two leading scorers. The length of the Brandon guards was enough to keep Vova Pluzhnikov and Tyrell Laing off the scoresheet for the most part, while the Bobcats continued to fill it up at the offensive end.

When the final buzzer sounded, the visitors had topped the Timberwolves 96-74, earning a road sweep in the process.

“We have experience. We have had close games where we have been up, and the team claws back, or we are down and we have to come back,” said Brandon’s Webb. “After that experience, it helps us finish games.”

The Bobcats had six players score in double figured, led by 21 from Jaleel Webb. Haashim Wallace added 18 points and nine rebounds, while Anthony Tsegakele had a 17 point, 15 rebound double double. Williams added 13 points, Dennis had 12, and Elisha Ampofo chipped in with 10.

Shittu made UNBC history, as his 26 points broke the Timberwolves’ single game rookie scoring record, adding another impressive notch to the athletic freshman’s belt. He added 10 rebounds and 2 blocks.  Matthews add 11 points and seven rebounds in the best game of his young Canada West career. Pluzhnikov and Laing were held to a combined eight points.

“I definitely feel more comfortable with the ball, and my teammates are trusting me,” said Shittu. “These young guys are going to be my teammates. The more I see improvement, the better I think we will be down the road.”

The game was won behind the arc, where the Bobcats went 16-for-38 for 42.1 percent, while the Timberwolves were 6-for-27, good for just 22.1 percent.

“This was a big weekend for us, because we really needed these two wins to make it into playoffs,” said Webb. “We were knocking down a lot of shots this weekend, so that really helped.”

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