The UNBC Timberwolves men (9-10) are back in the win column following a spirited home victory Friday over the Saskatchewan Huskies. Darren Hunter paced the TWolves attack with 25 points, falling one point shy of matching his previous career high.
Led by a charged-up crowd, the UNBC Timberwolves started the game on an 18-4 run– eight of which came from Spencer Ledoux. The fifth-year forward started the night three-for-three from the field. Ledoux, Hunter and Justin Sunga all hit from deep in the first for UNBC, and Todd Jordan’s club shot an impressive eight-for-17 overall. Defensively Josh Gillespie pulled down three boards, and Hunter nailed a late triple with under 30 seconds left, to cement a 24-10 advantage for the hosts. Fifth-year guard Alexander Dewar responded with eight of Saskatchewan’s 10 first-quarter points.
The TWolves continued to gain offensive traction thanks to a 12-4 run to start the second. Six of those 12 belonged to Sunga, who notched back-to-back triples, forcing a 36-14 advantage. Sunga’s first three makes on the night all came from deep. Hunter added seven more to his team-leading point totals (12) and Gillespie’s eight rebounds at half were a game-high. On the other side, Dewar continued to find pay dirt for Saskatchewan as he added seven more. With 15 points through the opening 20, Dewar had supplied half of his team’s offense. UNBC held a 6-2 edge in threes and held a +5 rebounding edge (26-21).
The Huskies narrowly outscored UNBC in the third by a 24-20 margin. Captain Chan De Ciman supplied five while Fisayo Mbibi hit four free throws and a bucket for six. Hunter’s big night continued for UNBC as he tacked on seven more to lead all scorers with 19 points after three. Defensively Will Keyes put his 6’11” frame on display with two emphatic blocks! Through three, the leading rebounder for UNBC was still Gillespie who had 10 boards along with nine points.
The TWolves bent but didn’t break in the final 10 as the Huskies did manage to claw their way back within 10 points. Seven points from Emmanuel Bonsu and five apiece from Dewar and Tyrese Potoma helped instill some offensive confidence for the visitors, but it wasn’t enough. Ledoux (8) and Hunter (6) supplied all but three of the fourth quarter points for UNBC. Hunter, who earned Mr. Mikes Player of the Game honours, delivered the final dagger with an incredible ‘And 1’ drive to the hoop that gave the home crowd another highlight reel play to celebrate.
When the final horn sounded, UNBC could celebrate their 86-75 victory. Beyond Hunter’s 25, Ledoux (18) and Sunga (16) combined for 34 points while Gillespie pulled a game-high 13 rebounds. The leading point producer for Saskatchewan was Dewar who finished with 22 while Easton Thimm collected 11 rebounds.
The two sides will meet once more tomorrow night at 7:00 pm from the NSC. Tomorrow night marks Seniors Night and Fan Appreciation night as fans will have one final chance to watch Darren Hunter, Spencer Ledoux and Chris Ross play at home.