Matt Packwood, Brandon University Athletics
BRANDON – What started as a marathon turned into a sprint, as the Manitoba Bisons ran the floor, and the score, down the stretch to pick up an 86-61 win over the Brandon Bobcats Saturday night.
Brandon carried a 42-34 lead into the half, but the dying minutes of the game turned into a race that Manitoba won, closing the game on a 30-7 run in the final frame.
The Bobcats showed strong shooting (18-35) in the first half and beat the Bisons on the boards, jumping to a 42-34 lead at the half.
Much like the night before, the Bisons found a burst of energy at the mid-point of the third quarter going on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 46-46.
Another cold streak in the fourth plagued the Bobcats, in which they didn't score for a three-minute stretch, allowing Manitoba to take an eight point lead at the mid-point of the fourth.
The Bisons blew it wide open in the dying minutes of the game, ending on a 19-1 run to pick up the win and the weekend sweep.
"We did a good job of not stepping down to adversity. When we played in the pre-season we saw a very different field that we did this weekend," says Bisons fifth-year forward Claire Harvey.
"Our game plan was just to run right from the get-go. We have a lot of agile players on our team so we planned to just run and play a fast-paced tempo, and they played with that same tempo so we were a little taken aback, but we battled through it and were able to get the win in the second half," Harvey adds.
Harvey's double-double (12 points, 14 rebounds) was just one of five Bisons to finish in double-digit scoring. Nicole Koneiczny had a game-high 20 points, while Keziah Brothers and Addison Martin put up 14 points and Deidre Bartlett finished with 12 points.
Lauren Anderson had a second straight double-double for the Bobcats, this time finishing with 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead her team in both categories.
Hailey Maas had 16 points, all coming in the first half, while Adrianna Proulx finished with 14 points.
The win moves Manitoba's record to 2-0 early in the conference season while Brandon sits at 0-2.
Both teams are back in action next weekend with Manitoba at home against Mount Royal for the Bisons home opener.
The Bobcats are on the road to Kelowna to play the UBC-Okanagan Heat with games next Friday and Saturday.
(Photo courtesy Milana Paddock)