Big fourth quarter gives WolfPack win over Timberwolves

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Thompson Rivers University men's basketball team went on a 22-5 run in the last five minutes of the game and went on to defeat the UNBC Timberwolves 92-80 Saturday night at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre.

It was the WolfPack's second-straight win over the Timberwolves and their fourth-straight of the season. TRU now improves to an even .500 record at 5-5 in Canada West play. It was the second-straight loss for the Timberwolves who now fall to 4-6.

"That's four consecutive wins for us," said WolfPack head coach Scott Clark. "We put ourselves in position to be in position (for the playoffs). Now we can come back with intensity and see what happens."

TRU had two players with double-doubles. Fifth-year forward Volodymyr Iegorov finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Fourth-year guard Luke Morris had 22 points and 11 rebounds. Third-year guard Derek Rhodes netted 23 points. 

"He can play in the post or on the perimeter and that causes issues for people," Clark said about his big forward Iegorov. "His flexibility is something that poses problems and you saw that tonight."

UNBC's attack was led by second-year forward Anthony Hokanson with 19 points. Freshman guard Tyrell Laing had 15 points, while Sam Zhang had nine points. Vaggelis Loukas was the team's top rebounder with nine. 

UNBC was up 40-33 at half-time, and with Loukas and Austin Chandler on the bench due to foul trouble, TRU started pounding it inside.

Their success in the paint, along with hot three-point shooting helped the WolfPack erase the deficit.

In the fourth quarter, Chandler fouled out for the Timberwolves and UNBC held a 75-70 advantage at the 5:43 mark. TRU then went on a 16-0 run to go up 86-75 and earn the victory.

"Due to some foul trouble tonight, we got small," said UNBC head coach Todd Jordan. "They pounded it inside on us and hurt us. Anytime you give up close to 60 points in a half, it's going to be tough to win a ball game."

 The game was the last in Canada West play until 2017.

The WolfPack host the University of Victoria Vikings on Jan. 6-7, while UNBC travels to Lethbridge to battle the Pronghorns Jan. 6-7.