Brendan Stasiewich, Mount Royal Sports Information
The Mount Royal Cougars (3-10) put on a defensive showcase on Friday evening, taking down the UBC Thunderbirds (9-4) 80-75 on Kenyon court.
Marina Kehrig played a spectacular game for Mount Royal, putting up 15 points to go along with three rebounds. Abbey Gillette also came up clutch for Mount Royal, making six late game free throws to seal the win.
Maddison Penn had an off night by her standards for the Thunderbirds, shooting just 7-28 but still led her team with 21 points.
After the Thunderbirds established a small lead early, the Cougars put on the pressure and took a 13-12 lead after a Drew Knox three pointer from the corner.
The Thunderbirds continuously attempted to exploit the Cougars inside, but defensive efforts by Abbey Gillette and Becky Nash allowed the Cougars to keep the game close.
The Cougars had one of their best shooting quarters of the season, making four 3-point field goals, two courtesy of Kehrig, to take a 26-19 lead going into the second quarter.
Mount Royal continued their solid shooting performance into the second quarter, especially on the interior as Becky Nash went 4-6 in the quarter.
On the defensive side of the ball the Thunderbird guards had little answer as the Cougars consistently double-teamed the ball carrier, forcing 13 turnovers and holding UBC to just 29% shooting in the half.
Mount Royal's solid outside shooting as well as Nash's inside game sent the home team into the locker room up 41-29 going into the second half.
While the Thunderbirds tried to claw their way back into the game in the third, the Cougars made it tough as Michelle Tiffany would make back-to-back three pointers five minutes in, putting the Cougars back up by 13.
With two minutes remaining in the quarter Drew Knox fed teammate Marina Kehrig in the corner where she would make her third field goal of the game, a three pointer, to give Mount Royal a comfortable 15 point lead leading to a UBC timeout.
Maddison Penn, who struggled early in the game, would answer with her first three-point field goal moments later, starting a five point run after the timeout.
With time ticking down the Cougars would take a foul down low, as Keylyn Filewich would make one of her two free throws to go into the fourth quarter down 12.
The Thunderbirds came out strong in the fourth as Penn found her form, making her second three pointer before Jessica Hanson made a shot in tight to put UBC within eight.
The Cougars began playing sloppy with six minutes remaining in the game. Mount Royal turned the ball over three times in a one minute span, leading to three Thunderbird points forcing a Cougars timeout up by six.
With three and a half minutes left in the contest, one of the best Cougars' on the night, Angela Driscoll, committed her fifth foul, leaving the game as the Thunderbirds made both free throws to pull within four.
Fortunately for the Cougars on the next two possessions Michelle Tiffany and Becky Nash each made clutch baskets, putting Mount Royal's lead back at eight.
With just under a minute remaining the ball came to Shilpa Khanna who knocked down a three pointer to put the Thunderbirds within four, and with just under 24 seconds remaining Penn stepped to the line where she would make one of two free throws to put UBC within three points.
Thankfully for the Cougars, Abbey Gillette had nerves of steel from the foul line down the stretch. In the last six minutes Gillette made all six foul shots she was granted, helping Mount Royal on their way to a 80-75 win.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow evening at 4 P.M. on Kenyon Court.