Aneesa Heatherington, UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds (4-4) brought their record back to .500 with a decisive bounce-back 78-43 win over the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack (1-5) at War Memorial Gym Saturday night.
"We got out to a good start today by holding them to single digit points in the first," said UBC head coach Deb Huband. "We played a lot more disciplined and focussed defensively, with a much better tempo offensively. We need to learn to play together and get the most out of each person's strengths. It's a work in progress, sometimes we have lapses and scoring becomes very difficult, other times we get it right. We had four people in double figures and twenty assists today so that's a good step in the right direction."
Keylyn Filewich scored a team-high 18 points with 10 boards, Maddison Penn also had a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds (plus four steals), and Jess Hanson tallied 13 points along with six assists.
UBC earned 40 points in the paint and out-rebounded the WolfPack 54 to 34, while also scoring 20 points off turnovers in their largest margin of victory this season. TRU racked up six blocks as Jenae John and Brooklyn Golt each got a pair. Kanesha Reeves led the WolfPack with 12 points, while Michelle Bos grabbed nine rebounds.
"To go cold in the first quarter, I think that took the wind out of our sails," said TRU head coach Scott Reeves. "That's a very talented team and they're playing at home, so to get a sweep on the road I knew was going to be tough. Last night we just shot it so extremely well and then when it's not going in, it's just an emotional drain which turns into a physical drain. We can't get up and down the floor, they get easier points in transition and I think that was the difference."
The T-Birds raced out to an early 19-1 lead and kept the WolfPack on their heels in a statement opening quarter after their 12-point loss Friday night. TRU's efficient shooting from the previous night went cold in the first 10 minutes of action on Saturday, as the WolfPack shot just 14% from the field and found themselves down 21-8 heading into the second quarter. UBC continued to share the ball well in the second frame, had three players with double digits in scoring and a 38-20 edge at halftime.
Penn's second triple widened the lead to 45-22 early in the third before Reeves drilled her second three of the game to cut the T-Bird lead to 20 at 51-31. Hailey Counsell capped off some pretty passing with a three for a 68-40 UBC advantage that they would carry through to the series split.
The 'Birds are now off on a bye week and return to action on November 30th to host Mt. Royal. TRU will head back home to host UBCO next weekend.
PHOTO: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds