The University of Winnipeg Wesmen fought off a determined university of Manitoba to record a 79-71 victory Saturday night in the Women's Basketball portion of the 26th Annual Duckworth Challenge at the Dr. David F. Anderson Gymnasium.
With the win, the Wesmen improve to 10-0, and the Bisons fall to 1-9 in the Canada West Women's Basketball Conference standings.
The Wesmen were led by fifth year Kerri Kuzbyt, who netted 24 points, including draining six-three pointers. Antoinette Miller finished with a double-double 21 points and 10 rebounds. Lena Wenke also figured in double digits scoring 17 points.
Emma Thompson led Manitoba with 16 points and five rebounds. Rebecca Potter finished with 12 while Brittanie Parisien and Tiara Licsi each had 11.
The Wesmen got out to an early 6-2 lead, but Manitoba answered with a 9-0 run, taking an 11-6 lead. Winnipeg went on a 6-3 run to narrow the gap to 14-12 after one quarter.
Manitoba went on a big run early in the second quarter, as their 10-1 output gave them a six-point lead. Winnipeg would once again have an answer, as they went on a 13-0 run themselves. The run was led by Kuzbyt, as she drained a trio of three-pointers to spark the run.
Winnipeg took a 33-26 lead into halftime, thanks in large to their pressure defense forcing Manitoba to turn the ball over 15 times.
Both teams could not miss from the field to start the second half, as Winnipeg shot 53.3 percent from the field, and Manitoba shot 61.5 percent. The teams exchanged shots throughout the quarter, as the home side kept their seven-point lead, and took a 61-54 lead into the final quarter. Kuzbyt scored 15 points in the quarter, and Rebecca Potter kept the Bisons close with eight points in the frame.
The visitors kept pace in the fourth, but the home side would pull away late for a 79-71 win.
Kerri Kuzbyt (Winnipeg) and Emma Thompson (Manitoba) were named the Duckworth Challenge Most Valuable Players for their respective teams.