Stu Walters/UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds didn't show any rust following a bye weekend and relied upon spread out scoring with five players reaching double digits en route to a commanding 101-67 victory over the visiting Mt. Royal Cougars Friday at War Memorial Gym.
The T-Birds surpassed the 100-point plateau for the second time this season thanks to efficient execution that saw them shoot nearly 61 per cent overall from the field and nearly 54 per cent from three-point land in the win. For the 'Birds It was fourth-year guard Maddison Penn leading the way from start to finish with a game high 21 points and 11 rebounds. Fellow T-Birds reaching double digits included Keylyn Filewich with 17 points and eight rebounds while Madison Legault also had a strong game down low with 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Meanwhile, Jessica Hanson chipped in with 12 points and eight assists and Gabrielle Laguerta rounded it out with 10 points on the night.
Leading the way for the Cougars was first-year guard Maddison Hooper with 17 points while Charity Marlatt added 10 points and eight rebounds.
"I think one of the main things coming off of a bye weekend is executing what we practice all week and coming out firing with energy and executing our plays right from the start," said UBC guard Penn. "One of our goals is to also have at least four players in double digit scoring so that's definitely nice to check the box with tonight."
"I thought we came out strong, our defence was outstanding in the first half beginning with the first minute of the game," said UBC head coach Deb Huband. "I also thought our defence created a lot of offence for us and I think we moved the ball and shared the ball quite well tonight."
The T-Birds jumped out to a great start in scoring the opening 13 points of the contest, nine of which were courtesy of Penn. With the score 8-0 UBC, Cougars head coach Nathan McKibbon chose to call his first timeout of the night but after the break it was Penn who was still making an impact beginning with a steal that led to an uncontested fast break layup. Penn followed that up by hitting her lone three-point attempt of the frame the next time down the court for a 13-0 advantage. Mt. Royal's first points would come courtesy of a Michelle Tiffany free throw ahead of back to back three pointers by the visitors from Abbey Gillette and Sarah Rinsky to cut the T-Birds lead 17-7. The 'Birds would then receive a late scoring surge off the bench from Laguerta who picked up seven quick points including a three-pointer to match Penn's team high in the frame while Filewich was just behind with six points of her own to help spot UBC a 26-11 lead to close out the first quarter
The 'Birds would continue their dominance in the second quarter outscoring the Cougars 25-13, leading the way was Filewich adding six more points and three rebounds to her total. UBC also stayed sharp from beyond the arc with Hailey Counsell and Laguerta making good on their three-point attempts helping to a 44.4 shooting percentage from distance in the quarter. Hooper would respond from three-point land for the Cougars as part of her team high seven points in the frame as Mt. Royal went into halftime facing a 51-24 deficit.
After the break, it was Hanson setting the pace for the home squad thanks to some precision shooting helping to add a team high seven points in the quarter which included the first of her two three-pointers on the night to take a comfortable 58-29 lead. Filewich continued to score from down low adding five more points to her total while Legault and Krysten Lindquist chipped in with four points each for UBC. Hooper continued to set the tone for the Cougars contributing six more points while Tiffany and Marlatt each counted four points in trailing 75-47 after three quarters.
Following a quiet third quarter, it was Penn who made her presence felt once again in the final frame by scoring a quarter high 11 points which included her second three-pointer of the night. Hanson would also hit from distance for the T-Birds while Marlatt led the way for the Cougars with six points in the fourth ahead of UBC securing a 101-67 win.
With the win, the T-Birds improve to 5-4 on the season while the Cougars fall to 2-9 and are still in search of their first road win of the campaign. The squads will meet again tomorrow night for their final regular season games of 2018 ahead of the holiday break with a 5 p.m. tipoff at War Memorial Gym.
PHOTO: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds