The UNBC Timberwolves clawed back from a 15 point deficit, but had the game slip through their grasp, falling 92-72 to the UVic Vikes on Saturday, December 4 in Victoria.
Fresh off a tough shooting night, the Timberwolves unfortunately picked up right where they had left off, struggling to get much going on the offensive end. The Vikes took full advantage of UNBC’s shooting woes, getting out in transition, leading to a pair of Diego Maffia treys and an Aaron Tesfagiorgis triple. With Victoria up 21-6, UNBC looked to settle down and find their rhythm. Bench reserves Chris Ross and Darren Hunter provided a spark, scoring seven straight points for the TWolves, but UNBC found themselves down 27-21 after ten minutes.
Fareed Shittu came out a man possessed in the early parts of the second stanza, getting a putback layup, a tomahawk dunk, and a three-pointer to keep UNBC in the ballgame. The Vikes continued to look efficient offensively, however, as Matthew Ellis had a slam of his own, and Maffia buried another from beyond the arc to put UVic up eight.
However, UNBC would not go away. Shittu continued to be assertive, and veteran guard Vova Pluzhnikov found ways to impact the game, as the TWolves clawed all the way back to lead 48-46.
Shittu led all scorers with 16 points, while Tyrell Laing added 12. Maffia was the high scorer for Victoria with 13.
Sledding was tough for both programs in the third frame, as the Vikes and Timberwolves dug in defensively. Ellis continued to score efficiently inside for Victoria, while senior guard Payton Tirrell drove the bus for the Timberwolves, as the teams took turns with some semblance of control. When the buzzer sounded, UVic held a 64-58 advantage.
Victoria extended their lead in the first few minutes of the final frame, as Maffia and Justin McChesney each made big three-pointers. Every time UNBC made a shot, the Vikes would come down and respond, as the game slipped out of the TWolves’ grasp. UVic would outscore the Timberwolves 28-14 in the final ten minutes and take the game 92-72.
Shittu led UNBC with a 23 point, nine rebound effort, while Laing added 18 points and six boards. Spencer Ledoux chipped in with 14 points and five rebounds.
Maffia was the game’s leading scorer, dropping 25 points on 6-for-11 shooting from long range. Ellis added 18 points and five boards, while veteran guard Scott Kellum would contribute 10 points and six helpers.
With the victory, Victoria improves to 7-1, while the Timberwolves see their record drop to 2-6.
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