PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men's basketball team extended their winning streak to three with a 87-81 victory against the UNBC Timberwolves Friday night at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre.
The WolfPack improved to 4-5 in Canada West, while the Timberwolves also now sport an identical record of 4-5. UNBC's loss broke a four-game winning streak.
Volodymyr Iegorov, the WolfPack's big fifth-year guard, had 14 points in the first quarter, and added five more in the second quarter. He finished the night with 23 points after resting most of the second half after WolfPack head coach Scott Clark chose to give his younger line-up more playing time.
Maalik Hazziez, a third-year TRU guard added 14 points, while third-year guard Derek Rhodes and second-year guard Mike Rouault each netted 10.
TRU ran out to a fast start with a 22-15 lead after the first quarter and extended it to 50-26 after 20 minutes, shooting a sparkling 66.7 percentage from the field.
"We had a little bit of energy and jump to us and we played hard," said Clark. "Our younger guys need to learn to develop and I could have brought Iegorov back (in the second half), but they need to learn to play with a lead. We gave up 39 points in the fourth quarter and hopefully they learn from that."
Second-year forward Austin Chandler led UNBC with 22 points and eight rebounds. Second-year shooting guard Saje Gosal was next with 17 points, all of which he netted in the fourth quarter when UNBC outscored the WolfPack 39-18 to make it a close game. Vaggelis Loukas and Marcus Mackay each added nine points.
"We can't get down like that in the first half, we have to adjust better in the first half," said UNBC head coach Todd Jordan.
"We can't allow them to shoot 66 per cent in the first half. Our compete level in the first half wasn't there and we have to take away their transition game."
Despite a 24.1 shooting percentage in the first half, the Timberwolves finished the game at 45.5 per cent.
"Hats off to UNBC, they didn't fold in the second half," said Clark. "Our guys got a taste of real-game competition."
The WolfPack and Timberwolves tip off again Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre.