Michael Sexton, UNBC
PRINCE GEORGE, BC -
Phil Jalapoor was deadly from long ranging, draining eight three-pointers to lead the UBC Thunderbirds to a 104-72 win over the UNBC Timberwolves, Saturday at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre.
The Thunderbirds started hot from the opening tipoff, scoring buckets in transition and getting out to a 31-13 lead after the first quarter.
The Timberwolves settled down in front of their home crowd, led by some timely shooting from Vova Pluzhnikov. After twenty minutes, it was a 54-35 game.
Todd Jordan's squad came out firing in the third quarter, opening the half on a 13-0 run that saw the T-Bird advantage cut to just six points. UBC found their rhythm soon after, however, and essentially sealed it when Jalapoor made a seemingly impossible trey as time expired. The UBC advantage through three quarters was 84-56.
"We went small, and they had a bit of trouble matching up with it," said UNBC coach Todd Jordan after the game. "We were successful with small ball, but Jovan Leamy got in some foul trouble and that was the end of that."
The TWolves continued to battle, as reserve guard Tyrell Laing was strong off the bench, but the long-range game of the visitors was the story. Jalapoor and the T-Birds made 13 treys, for 50 percent, and topped UNBC 104-72.
"We kept pushing in transition, and the guy did a great job pushing them back and getting me open," said Jalapoor. "I was just letting it go and seeing where it goes."
Connor Morgan played just 17 minutes for Kevin Hanson, but contributed 22 points and six boards.
Pluzhnikov led the Timberwolves with 17 points, while Marcus MacKay managed ten off the bench.
The T-Birds improve to 4-2, while the UNBC Timberwolves fall to 2-4 on the Canada West season.
"UBC is as talented a team as there is in the country," said Jordan postgame. "We had some positive spurts, but at the end of the day, their length and athleticism was too much for us."
Jalapoor said the victories were important, coming off a pair of defeats at the hands of the Calgary Dinos.
"It's tough coming off two losses and trying to turn it around. There were big wins against a very good team."