Amber Doyle, Bison Sports
WINNIPEG – The University of Manitoba Bisons women's basketball team extended their winning streak to five games after topping the No. 8-ranked UBC Thunderbirds 75-72 in a tight matchup at Investors Group Athletic Centre on Friday.
"Close games don't scare us," said Bisons head coach Michele Sung. "We have the composure now to execute."
Saying it was a close game would be an understatement. Both teams came to play in the opening quarter. The Bisons were looking to push their winning streak to five games, while the Thunderbirds were looking to put their record above .500.
Possession bounced back and forth in the first with the Herd narrowly coming out on top 23-22.
The same story continued into the second quarter with the Bisons holding a slight 45-41 lead heading into halftime.
The score became even tighter in the third as the teams took turns in the lead throughout the quarter. The Bisons just barely came out on top with a score of 58-57.
The visiting UBC Thunderbirds turned on the jets in the fourth quarter to briefly hold a 7-point lead. Despite the spark of electricity, the Bisons pulled ahead to close out the game.
"It was a good battle," said Thunderbirds head coach Deb Huband. "Manitoba came out really tough on the court. Hopefully, we'll make some adjustments and come back better tomorrow."
The Bisons fourth-year Emma Thompson sunk six three-pointers on six attempts for 18 points in the opening half. Thompson put up a total of 20 points in the game. Her teammate, Taylor Randall, led the way with 22 points and five assists.
"Our big players are stepping up, and they're bringing others with them," said Sung.
Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds' points were evenly spread across their starting lineup. Third-year Keylyn Filewich led the way with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Maddison Penn added another 16 points and 13 rebounds.
The Bisons improve their record to 5-0. On the other side of the court, UBC falls to 2-3.
Both teams meet again Saturday (Nov. 10) at Investors Group Athletic Centre. Tip-off is at 5 p.m. The game can be streamed live on CanadaWest.TV.