Amber Doyle, Bison Sports
WINNIPEG – The University of Winnipeg Wesmen (11-4) earned their ninth straight win after beating their rival University of Manitoba Bisons (8-9) 86-66 in the women's basketball portion of the 27th annual Duckworth Challenge at Investors Group Athletic Centre on Friday.
After passing the lead back-and-forth throughout the first half, the Bisons fell into a deep slump in the third quarter. It took over nine minutes for the Herd to score a basket after halftime. In the quarter, the Wesmen outscored the hosts 24-2. As a team, the Bisons' shooting efficiency was five per cent.
"I don't think we could shoot worse in the third quarter," said Bisons Head Coach Michele Sung. "We had a really good opportunity to build our mental toughness today and we didn't take advantage of it."
The Wesmen were led to victory by fifth-year guard Antoinette Miller. She put on a shooting clinic, posting 40 points for the visitors. The effort earned her the Duckworth Challenge Player of the Game.
"She's really good," said Sung. "We're going to have to look at our game-plan and make some adjustments."
Miller currently leads Canada West women's basketball in points per game and sits second in the conference for three-point shooting efficiency.
Last year, Miller was one of Canada West's First Team All-Stars, and was named both Defensive Player of the Year and Outstanding Player of the Year for the conference.
Third-year forward Faith Hezekiah was also a major player for the Wesmen. She put up 21 points and 17 rebounds.
The Herd's offense was led by second-year guard Taylor Randall. She put up a total 29 points and seven rebounds, earning her team's Duckworth Challenge Play of the Game. She leads the Bisons with points-per-game, averaging 16.6 so-far this season.
The Wesmen topped the Herd in last year's women's basketball Duckworth Challenge game. The Bisons finished that season with a 4-16 record.
The same teams play tomorrow at 5 p.m. CT at the University of Winnipeg's Duckworth Centre. The game can be watched live on canadawest.tv.
Manitoba – Taylor Randall 29
Winnipeg – Antoinette Miller 40
Manitoba – Nicole Konieczny 10
Winnipeg – Faith Hezekiah 17
Manitoba – Nicole Konieczny, Keziah Brothers 5
Winnipeg – Antoinette Miller 3