Amber Doyle, Bison Sports
WINNIPEG – The no. 6 ranked UBC Thunderbirds flew past the University of Manitoba Bisons 80-57 in a fast-paced men's basketball game at Investors Group Athletic Centre on Friday.
The Thunderbirds extend their winning streak to three and improve their record to 4-1. Meanwhile, the Bisons fall to 2-3 on the season. Last year, the Thunderbirds finished off their regular season with an impressive 17-3 record. Manitoba finished 12-8 and lost to UBC in the first round of playoffs.
"I think as a team, we all played very well," said Thunderbirds fourth-year guard Manroop Clair. "But, we're all going to keep working."
The Thunderbirds were a dominant force from tip-off to final buzzer. The visitors were especially dominant in transition and on the boards with 51 rebounds to Manitoba's 34.
"They were running it down our throat most of the night," said Bisons head coach Kirby Schepp. "We could do a little bit better on the glass, and just play better offensively."
Clair led the Thunderbirds in total rebounds with nine, while Grant Audu snagged another seven.
The Thunderbirds had a more consistent offensive showing, shooting 43.5 per cent compared to 34.4 per cent from the Bisons.
Clair also led UBC's offensive effort with 20 points, while Bisons fourth-year guard Rashawn Browne put up the most points for the hosts with 16.
"Lately, we've been struggling on offence," said Clair "Today, I think we moved the ball really well."
After being down 18-8 in the first, the Bisons picked up the pace in the second quarter, scoring 16 points to UBC's 19. Despite the Bisons being in good position heading into the half, the Thunderbirds also came out of the break with more energy. The score gap widened to 61-38 after the third. With a strong lead, the Thunderbirds coasted through the fourth quarter.
"In the second half, we played with more intensity," said Schepp. "But, offensively, we weren't disciplined enough to get great shots. We rushed a lot, and our execution was poor."
Both teams play again at Investors Group Athletic Centre on Saturday at 7 p.m., following the women's game. The game can be streamed live online with CanadaWest.TV.