Written by Lauren Hollins
Winnipeg, MB – The Bison men's basketball team (2-6 prior to the game) went up against the University of Winnipeg Wesmen (6-2) on Thursday, December 1 at Investors Group Athletic Centre, ready to extend their 2-0 conference record from last season against Winnipeg. Manitoba led the contest from start to finish, ending its five-game losing streak by a 91-60 margin.
The Bisons dominated the first half of the game with Bison guards Ilarion Bonhonne and Keith Omoerah leading with 12 and 10 points. Omoerah netted a put-back dunk with just under four minutes left in the first half, causing the crowd to erupt into cheers.
Wesmen guard Narcisse Ambanza led the Wesmen with 11 points after 20 minutes.
The Herd took over in the second half, out-scoring the Wesmen by 27 points. Omoerah went 80% of his free-throws, making almost 70% of his field points, and grabbing nine defensive rebounds. Wesmen's Ambanza led Winnipeg's side with 17, six rebounds, and a double-double for Ryan Oirbans (11 points, 10 boards).
Compared to last weekend's (Nov. 25-26) loss against the Alberta Golden Bears, Bison head coach Kirby Schepp says, "they really tried to take care of their transition defense, tried to limit their fast break opportunities."
"There's way more on the line," says Schepp on playing Winnipeg compared to out-of-town teams, "there's way more pressure. There's no question it means more. More people from the basketball community are here to watch, more people pay attention to the results."
This win brings Manitoba to 3-6 in the conference standings, while Winnipeg bumps back to a 6-3 mark.
Both teams' next game day is on Saturday, December 3 — but Winnipeg will host Manitoba this time.
WPG: Ambanza (17)
MB: Omoerah (21)
WPG: Lynch-Blair (2)
MB: Basi (4)
WPG: Oirbans (10)
MB: Omoerah (12)