By Danielle Doiron
Winnipeg, MB – The University of Manitoba Bisons women's basketball team fell 85-75 to the UNBC Timberwolves in the first of a two-game set on Friday, January 27 at Investors Group Athletic Centre.
With the win, the Timberwolves improve to 6-9 and extend their win streak to three games. Manitoba sits in last place in the Canada West division with a 1-14 record. The Bisons' lone win this season came against Thompson Rivers University in November.
UNBC's Maria Mongomo led both sides with 23 points and five rebounds. Emma Thompson put up 19 points and six rebounds for Manitoba. Nicole Konieczny and Keziah Brothers each had 15 points for the Bisons.
Manitoba fought back from an early deficit to lead 18-17 at the end of the first. The lead changed five times in the tight quarter, but free throws helped the Bisons get ahead. Cara Neufeld sunk a pair to bring the game within two, and Taylor Randall – who led the home side with eight points in the quarter – added two more free throws to tie the game at 17 and then put Manitoba up 18-17.
Konieczny shone in the second. After hitting a jump shot in the opening seconds of the quarter, the second-year guard added seven more points – including a three-pointer and another jumper in the first four minutes – and four rebounds.
But midway through the quarter, the visiting offence attacked. The Timberwolves put up 10 points in a two-minute span and held Manitoba to a single basket in the same time frame. UNBC tied the game at 31 on a Stacey Graham three-point jump shot and later ended the half up 37-33.
The Timberwolves quickly doubled that four-point lead. Just under a minute into the second half, Mongomo sunk a three-pointer (her third basket of the third quarter) to make it 44-35 UNBC. The Bison offence fought back but couldn't regain the lead. The visitors closed out the third up 56-53.
Manitoba kept battling in the fourth, but the Bisons couldn't overtake the Timberwolves. The Bison offence put up 22 points in the final quarter, but UNBC had 29, thanks, in part, to the visitors' near-perfect free throw percentage. The Timberwolves made 15 of 16 free throw attempts in the quarter, good for a 93.8 percentage. The Bisons never caught up, and UNBC took the game 85-75.
The two-game weekend set continues on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. CT at Investors Group Athletic Centre.
MAN: Emma Thompson (19)
UNBC: Maria Mongomo (23)
MAN: Taylor Randall (4)
UNBC: Maria Mongomo (5)
MAN: Nicole Konieczny (9)
UNBC: Vasiliki Louka (11)