By Danielle Doiron
Winnipeg, MB – The University of Manitoba Bisons women's basketball team won their second in a row with a 69-47 victory over the Mount Royal University Cougars at Investors Group Athletic Centre Friday, Feb. 10 night.
Manitoba improves to 4-15 this season after handing the Cougars their sixth consecutive loss. Mount Royal is now 3-16, while the Bisons have one three of their last five contests.
"Obviously, we've improved a ton," Bison head coach Michele Sung said. "We're starting to put some things together and find some rotations."
Manitoba's Brittanie Parisien led both sides with 17 points and eight rebounds. Taylor Randall and Tianna Mighty each had 14 points for the Bisons, and Erin Kehrig led the Cougars with 12.
The teams got off to a slow start. It took almost three minutes for Manitoba's Rebecca Potter to sink a jump shot, the first basket of the game. Guard Michelle Tiffany responded with a jumper for the visiting side, but after that, the home team took after. Manitoba's squad passed the ball around, and all but two Bison players who clocked time in the first recorded points. Manitoba closed out the quarter with a dominating 17-6 lead.
The Bisons dominated the next quarter, thanks in part to their scoring from behind the free throw line. Manitoba scored a third of their points in the second on free throws alone, and Taylor Randall led the home side with six points in the quarter. The Cougars spread the ball around, with four scorers contributing to their 13 points in the second, but the Bisons led 38-19 at the end of the half.
Manitoba's defence held Mount Royal to only one basket, a Kehrig jump shot, through most of the third quarter. The Cougars tried to claw their way back, but nothing the visitors did could stop the Bisons. Manitoba rookie Parisien put up eight points in the quarter alone – the same as the entire Mount Royal squad in the entire third. The Bisons ended the quarter with a 30-point lead, up 57-27.
"We moved the ball well, so it allowed us to get open shots," Sung said about the third. "I thought everyone was pretty unselfish. Our rookies stepped up today, which helped."
Mount Royal's offence started racking up points and slowly closing the scoring gap in the fourth. Angela Driscoll and Marina Kehrig had four and five points in the quarter, respectively, but the Cougars just couldn't catch the Bisons. When the final buzzer rang, Manitoba led 69-47.
The Bisons will miss the post-season, but Sung said the team hopes to close out the year on a high note.
"We want to make sure we finish strong," she said. "Getting a sweep this weekend is important for our development."
The two-game weekend set continues on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. CT at Investors Group Athletic Centre.
MAN: Brittanie Parisien (17)
MRU: Erin Kehrig (12)
MAN: Tianna Mighty (3), Tiara Licsi (3), Brittanie Parisien (3)
MRU: Angela Driscoll (4)
MAN: Rebecca Potter (11)
MRU: Becky Nash (12)