Rich Abney, UNBC Athletics
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - The University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves wanted a win on home court to finish their Canada West regular season, and they got one, edging the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns 79-76, Saturday, February 2nd at the Charles Jago Northern Sports Centre.
"It was a hard fought game, and it felt really great to play, and win for our home crowd in our final game of the season," said the Timberwolves Abby Gibb.
The Timberwolves came out looking for revenge, after the Horns had edged them 77-71 in the first part of the doubleheader. The two teams proved Friday's hard-fought atmosphere was no coincidence, battling from the opening tip. Maria Mongomo led the charge for the Timberwolves in the first half, putting up 17 points, but UNBC couldn't separate from Horns and held a 36-34 lead at halftime.
The back-and-forth nature of the game continued in to the third quarter. With both teams seeking momentum with every possession, it was the TWolves who seized morale on a late three pointer from Madison Landry, put them up 56-54 heading in to the final frame.
The shooting of the Pronghorns was the story for Lethbridge as Asnate Fomina and Kacie Bosch were able to penetrate and kick out for open looks.
Playing her final home game, fifth-year Vasliki Louka was huge for the Timberwolves in the final quarter, sinking two clutch jumpers to keep her team ahead in the final minutes. The Pronghorns refused to quit, but the UNBC trio of Mongomo, Louka, and Landry did enough to hold the visitors off. When the final buzzer sounded, the Timberwolves were able to solidify the first winning season in the team's Canada West history with an 11-9 record.
"I'm very proud of our team, and the position we've managed to find ourselves at the end of this season" said Abby Gibb. "That was a good team we played, but the crowd was behind us, and we found the energy to hold on."
Landry was the high-scorer for UNBC with 23 points, adding five assists, and three rebounds. Louka, had 22 points and 11 rebounds in her final home game for the Timberwolves, while Mongomo added 19 points and four steals.
"These were two of the most physical games we had this season," said Fomina postgame. "I would give our posts credit tonight. We were giving up size. Louka did really well this weekend, and it's always tough to play against good players like that."
The Pronghorns, who have a variety of diverse weapons, were led by Kacie Bosch who had 18 points and eight rebounds. Asnate Fomina chipped in with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Amy Mazutinec had 14 points and Kathryn Hankins added 11.
"We are really upset about this loss, but it's better to lose this week than next," said the Pronghorns, Asnate Fomina. "We need to work this week to prepare for the next battle."
With a 12-8 record, the Pronghorns will now play host to the Manitoba Bisons on Friday, February 8th. The Timberwolves will head to Trinity Western for a date with the Spartans.