By Larry Read
TRU Sports Information
KAMLOOPS, BC---The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men's basketball team are going into their Christmas break on a high note. The WolfPack enter the Canada West pre-Christmas break unbeaten in their last three starts.
TRU swept the visiting University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves this weekend at the Tournament Capital Centre. Saturday night (Dec 1) on the Warner Rentals court, Thompson Rivers was a 93-72 winner over UNBC.
The WolfPack go into the break at 5-7 while UNBC will wind up at 4-8.
The WolfPack jumped to a 10 point lead after the first quarter getting 10 points from their lone fifth year player: Luke Morris of Mission, BC. Joe Davis contributed six points for TRU while UNBC was led by Marcus MacKay and Jovan Leamy with 5 points apiece.
Morris already had a double-double before the end of the first half. He had 16 points and 11 rebounds (10 defensively) as TRU led by 12 (42-30) at the break. Morris wound up with 24 points and 13 rebounds (12 on the defensive glass) to led TRU in scoring. Derek Rhodes added 23.
The second half saw the WolfPack outscore the Timberwolves: 51-42.
UNBC's top scorer on the evening was Jovan Leamy with 16 points. Vaggelis Loukas chipped in with 15.
Thompson Rivers :
Luke Morris (5th year, forward, Mission, BC): 24 points, 13 rebounds (12 def), 3 assists, 1 steal: 39 mins
Derek Rhodes (4th year, forward, Antioch, CA):23 points,1 rebound, 1 assist: 33 mins
Joe Davis (3rd year, forward, Kamloops, BC): 18 points, 4 rebounds (3 def), 3 assists, 1 steal: 30 mins
Anton Bilous (3rd year, guard, Cherkassy, Ukraine):10 points, 6 rebounds (5 def), 2 assists: 21 mins
Marcus Mackay (5thyear, guard, Terrace, BC): 12 points, :28 mins
Jovan Leamy (4th year, guard/forward, Toronto,ON): 16 points, 8 rebounds (7def) 1 assist, 2 steals: 31mins
Vaggelis Loukas: (4th year, forward, Athens, GRE):15 points, 9 rebounds (6 def), 2 assists: 29 mins
James Agyeman (4th year, guard, Brampton, ON): 12 points, 3 def rebunds,6 assists: 31 mins
UNBC: 10 TRU: 9
TRU: 39 (33 on defense) UNBC: 40 (28 on defense)
Score by Periods:
TRU 26 16 22 23 --93
UNBC: 16 14 18 20 --72
UNBC: 4-8 TRU: 5-7
TRU Head Coach Scott Clark:
On the sweep: "We were better than them on more possessions so the score was in our favor. In the first half, we played pretty hard and did our job. Defensively we were pretty good. In the second half, we took a couple of mental vacations on defense on some possessions. They got it down to 11. We responded. It is nice to get a sweep and finish at 5-7. Now we can take a break and see if we can get a little bit better and move forward in the New Year."
Assessing the first half: "I think we got better. I thought we got better each and every week. I think we played our best basketball this weekend. I don't mean to toot our own horn by saying it is by design but we try to have a crescendo to the season. This would be the top of that crescendo. From that perspective, I am happy."
Video of post game interview: click here
UNBC Head coach Todd Jordan (8th year):
On playing the last four road game in a row, was that a factor in this game? "I don't know. It is road games in Canada West. I think everyone deals with it. I don't think the way we lost tonight that you can blame necessarily fatigue, we didn't execute some things and they shot the ball really well"
On the weekend: "The story of the weekend was that we couldn't handle their interior post play. We tried some things to counter it. We shrunk in on the posts. They were able to kick it out and made shots this weekend. It was kind of picking your poison for us a bit. They were making the shots. We weren't getting to guy's quick enough on rotation.
Video of post game interview: click here
The WolfPack and Timberwolves have now wrapped up pre-Christmas league play. Thompson Rivers will go to Phoenix for two exhibition games on December 18th and 19th. The first game will be against UMWestern and the second against SAGU.
TRU and UNBC will return to Canada West play on Friday, January 5 2018. The 'Pack will visit the University of Victoria. UNBC entertains the UBCO Heat.
Next home game for Thompson Rivers will be Friday, January 12,2018 vs the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades. Tip off on the Warner Rentals court will be 8 pm.
The "TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack" Player of the game was Morris. Former WolfPack guard Kyler Eckess (Prince Rupert, BC) was at the two games this weekend. Eckess is 'red shirting' with the Timberwolves after transferring to UNBC during the summer.