Aaron Martin, UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds women's basketball team (6-4) ripped off another dominant win over the Mount Royal Cougars (2-10) Saturday night at War Memorial Gym, capping off a two-win weekend with a 95-72 triumph over their Albertan foes.
Madison Penn was the offensive driver for UBC, finishing with team-highs of 19 points and 12 rebounds. Meanwhile, Jessica Hanson was the team's primary facilitator, she racked up a 10-point, 10-assist double-double. Keylyn Filewich also had a nice showing, posting 14 points in just 13 minutes on the court, while Tanis Metcalfe had 12 points on 3-of-3 shooting (6-of-8 from the line).
Second-year forward Sydney Tabin and rookie guard Sarah Rinsky each posted 13 points to lead MRU in scoring. Alesha Stanley topped all Cougars players with five rebounds, and she was one of four players, along with Marnie Garner, Abbey Gillette, and Jordan Blaskin, with eight points on the night.
"First half, especially, was similar to yesterday, in that our defence was tough and it was stingy," said UBC head coach Deb Huband. "It created some offence for us and gave us the ability to transition."
Trailing 4-0 after a quick start from the Cougars, Filewich earned UBC's first points of the contest on a pair of free throws, igniting a 9-0 run for the 'Birds. It was a lead that UBC never relinquished for the remainder of the contest.
Though the Cougars came close to pulling even, making it just 11-9 for UBC after a Stanley corner three, the 'Birds pulled away again on free throws. Overall, UBC went a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe in the opening frame, taking a 21-13 lead into the second.
Dominating on the glass, out-rebounding Mount Royal 30-17 in the first half, the T-Birds also took advantage of some haphazard shooting from the Cougars. Mount Royal only connected on 1-of-14 attempts from three-point range.
At the half, UBC's overall dominance was reflected in a 48-27 score.
The 'Birds never let up despite the score, as the closest Mount Royal got to closing the gap was a 20-point deficit. UBC continued to shoot particularly well from distance, going 6-of-14 over the first three quarters as they pulled to a 72-48 advantage heading into the final frame.
Penn and Filewich saw just three minutes of floor time in the fourth as Huband took advantage of the opportunity to go deep into her bench. All but one player on the roster got at least 10 minutes of action over the course of the game.
"I think we had a chance to get everyone some good minutes," said Huband of the contest's second half, with the result never really in doubt. "Everyone had a chance to get out and contribute to a good team-win weekend. I think we did some things quite well, better than we had been, so that's something to build off as we go into the break."
MRU recorded 23 points off turnovers compared to eight for the home side.
UBC will return to action on Friday, January 4, as they will host the UBC Okanagan Heat at War Memorial Gym. The Cougars will open up 2019 with a home-and-home Crowchild Classic series against their cross-town foes, the Calgary Dinos.
PHOTO: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds