The Winnipeg Wesmen used a key third-quarter run to score a victory on Day One of the 2016-2017 Canada West men's basketball season.
Denzel Lynch-Blair had a game-high 25 points, plus nine rebounds, five assists and three steals as the Wesmen opened the conference season with a 74-59 win over the UNBC Timberwolves Friday night at the Dr. David F. Anderson Gymnasium in Winnipeg.
The Wesmen hit five of their seven three-pointers in the second half, three of them in the third when Winnipeg cued up a timely 8-0 run that stretched a modest five-point lead into double digits.
UNBC would not get the deficit down inside single digits the rest of the way.
"I was happy with the we came out after the halftime break", said Wesmen head coach Mike Raimbault. "I thought we were able to push the tempo a bit in our favour by getting some stops and making a few plays on the glass".
Lynch-Blair was 10-for-14 on the night for the Wesmen, who shot 42 per cent from the field. Winnipeg connected on 7 of 20 three-point shots, including 5 of 11 in the second half.
Marcello Kambola hit 3 of 6 three-pointers off the bench and had 12 points and five rebounds for Winnipeg. Ryan Oirbans added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Wesmen, who won their season-opener for the first time since 2013.
Will Sesay had a game-high 14 rebounds for Winnipeg, which dominated the glass to the tune of a 59-29 edge in rebounds.
Marcus MacKay led UNBC with 22 points, Rhys Elliott added 15 and Vaggelis Loukas 11.
The Timberwolves, who fell to 0-3 all-time against Winnipeg in Canada West play, shot 32 per cent from the field.
Winnipeg and UNBC will wrap up their weekend series on Saturday night. Tip off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.