Josh McAvoy, UNBC Athletics
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - Every time the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves got close, the University of Manitoba Bisons hit a big shot, holding off UNBC 76-69, on Friday, January 11th at the Charles Jago Northern Sports Centre.
A defensive first half, filled with several lead changes, led to a 36-28 half-time lead for the Bisons. A late surge from Nicole Konieczny helped put the Bisons ahead at the break. Maria Mongomo and Madison Landry combined for 20 of the Timberwolves 28 first half points.
The Timberwolves began to mount their comeback in the 3rd quarter, led by their veteran Maria Mongomo, who put up a quarter-high 10 points. Vasiliki Louka capped off the quarter with an And-1, putting the Timberwolves within one point of the Bisons as the quarter finished 52-51.
An action packed fourth quarter saw the Timberwolves and Bisons trade leads on several occasions. Madison Landry and the Timberwolves put on the pressure, but for all of the Timberwolves efforts, the Bisons stayed strong. Point guard Taylor Randall was crucial in preserving the Manitoba lead, hitting a number of jumpers late in the quarter. The score at the end of the night read 76-69 in favour of the visiting Bisons.
"Getting wins on the road in this league is very important, and we'll look to continue this tomorrow night" said Taylor Randall, who finished with 20 points and seven assists.
In a disappointing night for the Timberwolves, Maria Mongomo led all scorers with 23 points, and 9 rebounds. Vasiliki Louka also added 16 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 assists.
"We came out flat, with low energy and didn't play to our strengths. Although we lost, I think we can build on it and come out tomorrow with a different mindset," said the Timberwolves Madison Landry.
"We stayed true to our game plan on the night, and shots seemed to fall for us throughout" said Randall.
The loss snaps the Timberwolves unbeaten home record on the season, and they will look to bounce back Saturday as the two teams face off again at the Charles Jago Northern Sports Centre. UNBC falls to 8-5, while Manitoba now sits 6-7 on the season.