PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The UNBC Timberwolves rebounded from a slow start in the first quarter and went on to defeat the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack 89-82 Friday night at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre.
UNBC's victory stopped a brief two-game losing streak, who now improve to 2-7 in CIS Canada West. The WolfPack, coming off a victory against UBC Okanagan Nov. 26, fall to 3-7.
After trailing the WolfPack 44-41 to end the first half, second-year forward Maria Mongomo sparked UNBC's offence with 17 points in the second half to secure the win.
"The key to the win was our defence tonight," said Mongomo who had a game-high 26 points. "They were pressing all of us a lot and we just calmed down and just found a way to score."
Mongomo added seven rebounds. Freshman forward Madison Landry, who had 17 points in the first half, finished the night with 23. Third-year forward Vasiliki Louka earned a double-double with 14 points and grabbing 15 rebounds off the glass.
The WolfPack were led by third-year guard Audrey Rankin with 18 points, followed by third-year forward Emily Vilac with 16 points and five rebounds. Emma Piggin, the WolfPack's leading scorer going into the game, netted 11 points.
"We weren't blocking out and they were strong offensive rebounding," said WolfPack head coach Scott Reeves. "We weren't able to shoot the ball well and we didn't take care of our offensive assignments."
After a see-saw battle to begin the game, TRU went on an 11-3 run mid-way through to take a 27-16 lead after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, UNBC's defence rebounded and held TRU to 10 points, including Piggin to seven points.
Landry drained 11 points to help guide the Timberwolves to an 11-3 run in the last 90 seconds of the second quarter to narrow the WolfPack's lead to three to end the first half.
Mongomo and Louka sparked UNBC's offence to begin the third quarter to tie the game at 48-48. They took the lead for good when fifth-year forward Stacey Graham sunk a pair of threes to stake the team to a 54-50 lead at the 3:47-minute mark, eventually outscoring the WolfPack 26-13 in the third quarter for a 67-57 lead.
After a solid 53.8 shooting percentage from the floor in the first half, the WolfPack shot 40 per cent in the second half to finish.
UNBC shot 47.1 per cent from the floor.
The two teams clash again Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre in Prince George. The contest is the annual Shoot for the Cure game in support of raising funds and awareness for breast cancer research.