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TWolves fall short against red-hot Bobcats, drop regular season finale to Brandon

UNBC photo

The UNBC Timberwolves offense was good. The Brandon Bobcats offense was better. BU shot the lights out in the regular season finale, beating the TWolves 116-93 on Saturday in Brandon, Manitoba.

It was all offence, all the time to start the Saturday match-up in Brandon. Brandon star Anthony Tsegakele scored six points in the first few minutes, while Fareed Shittu responded with a triple and a pair of early free-throws as the Bobcats led 11-9 after less than four minutes of play.

Sultan Haider Bhatti made a pair of tough jumpers, and Tsegakele continued to bully his way to more offense as the Cats took a 22-13 lead at the midway mark. Brandon continued to assert themselves as Dominique Dennis made a jumper, followed by back-to-back treys, before his teammate Travis Hamberger made a triple of his own. In the first quarter, the Bobcats shot 68 per cent from the field and led 38-20 after 10 minutes.

The Timberwolves settled down in the second quarter as buckets from Evgeny Baukin and Micah Jessie got the UNBC offense going, while Brandon’s offense continued to produce, though not at the historic rate of the opening quarter. BU star guard Jahmaal Gardner did hit a pair of big shots soon after, however, building the home team’s lead yet again, while Tsegakele watched from the bench with foul trouble.

Fareed Shittu scored six points in the waning moments of the half, but when the buzzer sounded, Brandon held a 58-48 lead.

Tsegaleke opened the second half with seven consecutive points for the Bobcats, but Shittu and Jessie answered with three-pointers for the Timberwolves. The offensive war continued as the teams traded buckets, with Khari Ojeda-Harvey taking the lead for the Bobcats, while Justin Sunga and Spencer Ledoux chipped away for UNBC.

Every time the TWolves looked to be seizing a bit of control, Brandon would make an incredibly difficult shot to keep the visitors at bay. After 30 minutes, the Bobcats were shooting 54% from long range, and held a 91-74 lead.

In the third quarter, freshman Justin Sunga and Evgeny Baukin showed well for themselves, each making big plays for the TWolves as UNBC looked to make it interesting, but the clock was not their ally. The offensive barrage by the Bobcats continued, as Gardner, Tsegakele, and Ojeda-Harvey all kept up with their tremendous day shooting.

Eventually, UNBC would run out of time, falling 116-93 to a red-hot Bobcats team. BU would finish the day shooting 54.9 per cent from the field, and 48.6 per cent from three, on 17-for-35 shooting from beyond the arc.

Shittu led UNBC with 21 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks, while Baukin had 19 points, four rebounds, and three assists off the bench. Jessie had 17 points to go along with three boards, while Chris Ross had 13 points and seven rebounds.

Tsegakele had 28 points and 11 rebounds to pace Brandon, while Gardner added 21 points and seven boards. Ojeda-Harvey chipped in with 20 points of his own, while Elisha Ampofo, Dennis, and Jack McDonald all scored in double figures.

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