The University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves shot the lights out on Seniors Night, making 21 three-pointers and defeating the University of Fraser Valley Cascades 101-91, Saturday, January 27th at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre.
On a night honouring graduating fifth-years Marcus MacKay and Daniel Stark, it was the seniors who set the tone. Two minutes into the game, Stark registered a fast-break dunk just two minutes into the game, bringing the NSC crowd to its feet. MacKay followed suit with a trio of three-pointers in the opening stanza as the Timberwolves outscored the Cascades 37-20.
"We have a lot of dangerous basketball players, and it is good to start early," said Stark postgame. "That hot start allowed us to ward off their pushes later on."
The TWolves continued their torrid pace in the second quarter, as Jovan Leamy and Tyrell Laing each buried back-to-back triples. When the buzzer sounded at halftime, UNBC was leading 66-46 on incredible 17-for-23 shooting from beyond the arc.
"That was crazy, honestly," said MacKay. "The team was clicking, and it was fun to see. We had our three-pointers hitting some, and guys who don't normally hit a ton of threes were knocking them down, as well. It was really fun."
The Cascades wouldn't go down easy, as Mark Johnson put the UFV squad on his back, making difficult shot after difficult shot. He would finish with 34 points and 13 rebounds. But the Timberwolves would bend and not break, hitting the century mark for the first time this season, and sealing the 101-91 victory.
Jovan Leamy came off the bench to lead the TWolves in scoring with 28 points in 28 minutes, while Vova Pluzhnikov had 17 points. Stark and MacKay added 12 and nine points, respectively, in their final games on home court.
Sukhman Sandhu came off the bench for the Cascades and contributed 19 points, while Vick Toor had 12 points. The Cascades' loss drops their record to 5-13 on the season. They will play host to Manitoba next weekend to conclude their regular season.
The victory moves the TWolves record to an even 10-10 to end the regular season, and makes it extremely probable that they will return to the Canada West playoffs for the first time since 2015.
"It's been a long time since I have played with a team this cohesive," said Stark. "Hopefully we can do some things in playoffs, but just getting to this point is an incredible milestone."