By: Matt Packwood, Brandon University Athletics
BRANDON – A pair of pull-up jumpers and a timely defensive stop by Vasiliki Louka proved to be the difference as the visiting UNBC Timberwolves picked up a 66-65 win over the host Bobcats Friday.
Brandon led by three with forty-five seconds left, but a missed free-throw attempt proved costly. Louka calmly nailed a jumper ten seconds later before hitting another step-back jumper with seven seconds left to give the T-Wolves a one-point lead.
Louka then stopped a driving Keisha Cox in the dying seconds, which led to a missed desperation buzzer-beater by the Bobcats to seal the deal for UNBC.
Louka's play in the final minute was the difference between two teams desperate for wins in the second half of the Canada West conference schedule.
It was the second straight sluggish Friday night start for the Bobcats. After scoring just seven points in the first frame one week ago, the Bobcats were slow to start again, putting up just six points this time. It wasn't just offense that hurt BU, as the Bobcats turned the ball over ten times in the first.
BU was also plagued from beyond the arc in the first half, hitting just one out of 13 attempts. UNBC wasn't much better going 2 for 10.
The two teams turned things around following the half-time break, as the third and fourth quarters saw back and forth action, contested shots at both ends of the court, and timely defensive stops.
Louka's late heroics were just part of her double-double performance, finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Fellow import Maria Mongomo of Spain also registered a double-double, finishing with 18 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
Lauren Anderson finished just shy of a double-double for the Bobcats with 20 points and 9 rebounds, while Cox had 10 points and 12 boards.
The win moves UNBC's record to 7-8 while the Bobcats fall to 2-11.
The two teams meet again Saturday night at Brandon University's Healthy Living Centre. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 pm.
Saturday's game can be seen live on www.canadawest.tv.
Photo courtesy Milana Paddock