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Boykova nabs 20 rebounds in a hard fought TWolves loss to TWU

LANGLEY – Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre the UNBC Timberwolves women (4-14) dropped a hard-fought 69-61 battle to the Trinity Western Spartans (12-6). Jayden Gill once again led the way for TWU offensively with 18 points while Hailey Van Roekel (12) and Ryann Lee (10) also finished in double-digits. The big story on the night stat-wise was UNBC’s Svetlana Boykova who finished with 15 points, 20 rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block. Boykova entered the game with the second highest rebounds-per-game in Canada West (11.1) and now has six double-doubles on the season. Rebecca Landy added a team-high 17 points for UNBC while Bella Mesquita added 10.

A slow start to the night offensively as Trinity Western held a slim 10-9 edge after one. For a second straight night, UNBC started the game on a 5-0 run thanks to a deep two from Mesquita and triple from Amrit Manak. Sergey Shchepotkin’s club held Trinity Western to just one field goal in their first eight tries. UNBC would get their four remaining points off a pair of free-throws from Landry and a difficult layup from Boykova through a double-team. Spartans top scorer Jayden Gill got her first points of the night on free-throws, while Shemaiah Abatayo and Hailey Van Roekel both hit threes, guiding them to their 10-9 lead. UNBC out-rebounded Trinity Western 16-13 in the opening frame with seven of those coming from Boykova.

The second quarter was far more offensive as the Spartans outscored the TWolves 23-18 and led 33-27 at the half. Leading the way for Trinity Western was Cassidy Buchanan, who had seven points in the period, and nine at half which led all scorers. Gill and Abatayo each added five points for the hosts. The sharpshooter in the second for UNBC was Landry who nabbed six points, all off field goals. Manak helped the cause with a pair of buckets while Boykova continued to dominate the glass, pocketing four more rebounds (along with three assists). Her 11 first-half rebounds were by far a game high. Turnovers went in favour of the Spartans who had five, compared to UNBC’s eight.

Boykova’s impact continued to be felt positively in the third quarter as she recorded six more points and four additional rebounds. By the halfway point of the quarter, she had her sixth double-double of the season. The depth of the TWolves did their part to keep the game within single digits as Halle Tiessen and Bella Mesquita each hit a pair of free-throws, and Sophia Fuller added a layup – but Jayden Gill had seven points for the Spartans and Ryann Lee and Hailey Van Roekel each added threes as they took a 53-42 lead into the fourth.

A jumper from Boykova and free throws from Landry and Mesquita pushed UNBC back to within nine in the early moments of the fourth. Then as the halfway point drew closer, Landry drilled a three as part of her eight-point fourth, pushing the gap to eight. Jayden Gill responded with two free-throws, giving her 20 points on the night, restoring the 10-point edge for TWU. Defensively Boykova snagged five more rebounds, helping her arrive at the 20-mark for the third time in her Canada West career.

Boykova and Landry hit threes down the stretch, Mesquita hit free-throws and Filatova converted a layup which helped get UNBC to within six, but all hopes of a TWolves comeback ended with a Jasmin Avila layup – the final points of the night in a 69-61 victory for Trinity Western – their fourth in a row.

UNBC won the rebounding battle Saturday by a +14 margin (59-45), but turned the ball over 13 times compared to Trinity’s 12.

Sergey Shchepotkin’s club will now return home for their final two games of the 2023-24 Canada West season – A Friday, Saturday clash with the conference leading Saskatchewan Huskies beginning Friday at 6 p.m.

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