Thunderbirds show why they are No. 3 in the nation

Thunderbirds show why they are No. 3 in the nation

Brendan Stasiewich, Mount Royal Sports Information


CALGARY- The UBC Thunderbirds (12-1) dominated on both sides of the ball on Friday evening on Kenyon Court, taking down the Mount Royal Cougars (7-6) 81-60.


Connor Morgan went 9-14 in the game, including three 3-pointers for a game high 24 points. As a team the Thunderbirds shot 49% and managed an impressive 20 points off turnovers.


Brett Layton was a bright spot for the Cougars on an otherwise forgettable night, going 7-12 from the floor for 19 points.


The Thunderbirds benefited from three early Cougars' turnovers, scoring on each of them to take a small lead.


Connor Morgan dominated the Cougars early and often in the contest, making four first quarter shots to lead his team with 11 points.


While the Thunderbirds knocked down most of their first quarter shots, the Cougars made only four shots from the field, and trailed the visitors 21-12 going into the second quarter.


The Cougars could do little to stop the Thunderbirds shooting performance. Morgan continued his strong play with 17 points in the half while Patrick Simon also contributed with five. 


While the Cougars would make some shots of their own, the Thunderbirds would go into the half leading 42-33.


Phil Jalalpoor would continue the Thunderbirds onslaught in the third, making a three-point field goal before Morgan would take the ball down the court for a dunk off a turnover. The five consecutive points would give the Thunderbirds a 60-40 lead, their largest of the night to that point.


The Cougars chaotic play on offense was met with hard defense by Canada West's top team, as the Thunderbirds seemed to make the Cougars pay on every bad pass.


On the offensive side of the ball the Thunderbirds had the Cougars number from both long distance and inside the paint, overpowering the Cougars constantly and attaining a 22-point lead to end the third.


The Cougars weren't going down easy. The home team opened the fourth on a quick six-point run, leading to a Thunderbirds timeout.


Out of the timeout the Thunderbirds continued their strong play from the previously three quarters. Gaining a 23-point lead, getting the chance to rest Morgan for the rest of the game, leaving with 24 points and seven rebounds.


The Thunderbirds would cruise the rest of the way and take the game 81-60.


The two teams will face-off on Kenyon Court again tomorrow evening at 6 P.M.