Three stars of the week: TWU’s Gordon, UBC’s Morgan shine bright

Three stars of the week: TWU’s Gordon, UBC’s Morgan shine bright

Canada West Communications

Highlights:

  • Trinity Western’s Kayla Gordon is the Canada West Female First Star of the Week after posting 52 combined points and 24 rebounds in the Spartans sweep of Mount Royal in women’s basketball
  • Connor Morgan from UBC men’s basketball is the Canada West Male First Star of the Week, following his 56-point weekend in UBC’s sweep of UNBC
  • Also earning star honours this week were: Victoria’s Jenna Bugiardini (female second star), Lethbridge’s Mitch Maxwell (male second star), Winnipeg’s Antoinette Miller (female third star), and Alberta’s Ryan Nickifor (male third star).

EDMONTON – A pair of basketball stars are the Canada West First Stars of the Week after leading their teams to weekend sweeps, as TWU’s Kayla Gordon and UBC’s Connor Morgan stole the spotlight on the hardcourt.

Taking home female honours this week is women’s basketball forward Kayla Gordon, who posted a pair of 26-point performances in Trinity Western’s sweep of Mount Royal. 

Gordon’s stellar weekend helped run TWU’s record to 12-6 on the season, as the Spartans reached the 12-win mark for the first time in program history.

This week’s Canada West Male First Star of the Week is Morgan, who posted 56 combined points and 19 rebounds for the first-place UBC Thunderbirds. 

The Victoria, B.C. native led the T-Birds to a pair of convincing wins over UNBC, as UBC improved their record to a conference best 17-1. 

Also earning star honours this week were: Victoria’s Jenna Bugiardini (female second star), Lethbridge’s Mitch Maxwell (male second star), Winnipeg’s Antoinette Miller (female third star), and Alberta’s Ryan Nickifor (male third star).

 

Female first star – Kayla Gordon

Trinity Western Spartans basketball

Forward

4th-year

Prince George, B.C.

Business 

Game log: Friday, February 3 – 26 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, in 87-82 W vs. Mount Royal / Saturday, February 4 – 26 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, in 80-51 W vs. Mount Royal.

Kayla Gordon recorded back-to-back double doubles in a weekend sweep of Mount Royal, combing for 52 points and 24 rebounds.

The fourth-year Prince George, B.C. product finished the weekend shooting 69 per cent from the field to maintain her spot atop Canada West in shooting percentage (54.9). In Saturday’s game, Gordon was particularly efficient, shooting 75 per cent from the field (9-12), helping the Spartans (12-6) to their sixth win in seven games. TWU’s 12th victory of the year set the Spartans program record for regular season wins.

Gordon also had another strong weekend on the glass, earning her third double-digit rebounding performance in TWU’s last four games. Following their sweep of the Cougars, the Spartans all but solidified home court advantage for the first round of the playoffs – something TWU’s women’s basketball team has never done in its history.

The Spartans will host local rival UBC this weekend to wrap up the regular season.

 

Male first star – Conor Morgan

UBC Thunderbirds basketball

Forward

4th-year

Victoria, B.C.

Kinesiology

Game log: Friday, February 3 – 36 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists in 123-75 W vs. UNBC / Saturday, February 4 – 20 points, and six rebounds in 109-61 W vs. UNBC.

Conor Morgan had another outstanding weekend to extend the UBC Thunderbirds' winning streak to nine games, while keeping himself atop the Canada West men's basketball scoring race.

The forward had a monster 36-point, 13-rebound, and four-steal performance in a 123-75 win over the UNBC Timberwolves in Vancouver Friday night. It was the fifth time Morgan surpassed the 30-point plateau in a Canada West game this year.

On Saturday, Morgan posted 20 points and six rebounds as UBC earned a 109-61 triumph.

He leads the conference with an average of 24.3 points per contest, and is third in field goal percentage at 56.9 per cent. 

UBC (17-1) visits Trinity Western (3-15) this weekend in the final conference games of the season.

 

Female second star – Jenna Bugiardini

Victoria Vikes basketball

Forward

5th-year

Hamilton, Ont.

Business 

Game log: Friday, February 3 – 22 points, and 13 rebounds in 68-57 W @ Fraser Valley / Saturday, February 4 – 19 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks in 75-66 L @ Fraser Valley.

Fifth-year forward Jenna Bugiardini recorded back-to-back double-doubles as the Vikes split a road doubleheader at Fraser Valley this weekend.

Scoring 41 points and picking up 29 rebounds on the weekend, Bugiardini was dominant as she put together her fifth and sixth double-doubles of the season.

On Friday, the Vikes defeated the Cascades 68-57 on the strength of 22 points and 13 rebounds from the native of Hamilton, Ont. 

Bugiardini scored 19 points, came down with 16 rebounds and added five assists in a losing effort on Saturday. 

The veteran forward's big weekend vaulted her into the Canada West record book, as she is now in the top 25 in career conference points with 1365, and the top 15 in career conference rebounds with 719.

The Vikes host the Winnipeg Wesmen this weekend inside the CARSA Performance Gym in Victoria, B.C. Those will be the last regular season games in Bugiardini’s storied career, as the Vikes continue to prepare to host the U SPORTS Final Eight on March 9-12.

 

Male second star – Mitch Maxwell

Lethbridge Pronghorns hockey

Forward

4th-year

Magrath, Alta.

Arts/Education

Game log: Friday, February 3 – one assist in 2-1 L @ Alberta / Saturday, February 4 – three goals and an assist in 4-3 2OT W @ Alberta.

With his team’s playoff hopes hanging in the balance, assistant captain Mitch Maxwell was in on all five of the Lethbridge Pronghorns goals scored in a weekend split with the No. 6-ranked Alberta Golden Bears in Edmonton.

The Magrath, Alta. product set up the lone Pronghorn goal Friday night in a 2-1 loss to the Golden Bears. The next night Maxwell was a one-man show, registering a hat trick and setting up the overtime winning goal in the Pronghorns’ 4-3 win.

The win maintained the Pronghorns two-point lead over the UBC Thunderbirds for the final playoff spot in Canada West with one weekend to play.

With five points, Maxwell moved into a tie for fourth in Canada West scoring and he leads the conference in assists this season with 20.

The Pronghorns can clinch their first post-season berth since the 2011-12 season with a single win during the last weekend of the regular season, hosting the U SPORTS No. 2-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies.

 

Female third star – Antoinette Miller

Winnipeg Wesmen basketball

Guard

4th-year

Phoenix, AZ

Applied Health and Education

Game log: Friday, February 3 – 22 points, nine rebounds, and five assists in 83-67 L vs. Regina / Saturday, February 4 – 27 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, and five steals in 62-58 W vs. Regina.

Fourth-year guard Antoinette Miller was at her best in helping the No. 7-ranked University of Winnipeg Wesmen women’s basketball team pick up a weekend split on home court against the No. 2-ranked University of Regina Cougars.

In the two games, Miller totaled 49 points (24.5 ppg), 19 rebounds (9.5 rpg), seven steals, six assists and drained four-three pointers.

In Friday’s match, she scored a game-high 22 points while grabbing nine rebounds and dished out five assists.

On Saturday, Miller put the team on her back scoring a game high 27 points and hauling down 10 rebounds in Winnipeg’s 62-58 victory.

Miller currently leads the Canada West conference in scoring averaging 18.6 PPG and is 8th in rebounds with 8.1 RPG.

Winnipeg currently sits first in the Canada West women’s basketball standings with a record of 16-2 and will wrap up regular season play this weekend on the road against the University of Victoria Vikes.

 

Male third star – Ryan Nickifor

Alberta Golden Bears hockey

Outside hitter

5th-year

Sherwood Park, Alta.

Science

Game log: Friday, February 3 – 20 kills, one ace, four digs, four block assists, 23 points in 3-2 W vs. Mount Royal / Saturday, February 4 – 23 kills, 37 per cent attack percentage, seven digs, 24.5 points in 3-2 W vs. Mount Royal. 

Fifth-year University of Alberta Golden Bears volleyball outside hitter Ryan Nickifor is the Canada West Male Third Star of the Week following his strong weekend in a pair of five set wins over the Mount Royal Cougars. 

Nickifor recorded a total of 43 kills, 11 digs, 3 blocks and 47.5 points to power the No.4-ranked Golden Bears past the tenth ranked Cougars over 10 sets at the Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton. The Faculty of Science student-athlete now has 229 kills on the season, which leads Alberta and is seventh most in Canada West. He also has an average of 3.75 kills per set, fifth best in the conference and a season total of 266.5 points to date.

He put together 20 kills, one ace and 23 points on Friday night, helping Alberta come back from a 2-1 set deficit to win in five. On Saturday, he packed away another 23 kills, as well as 24.5 points as the Golden Bears overcame a 0-2 set start against MRU to once again win in five sets.

The Bears now sit third in the conference standings with a 15-3 record, but are guaranteed a berth to the 2017 national championship tournament as the hosts.

Nickifor and the Bears will look to clinch a Canada West playoff berth this weekend when they travel to take on the UBCO Heat in a two-game weekend series in Kelowna.