They played scared for the entire first quarter. The result was a blowout loss against one of the elite teams in the country.
The UNBC Timberwolves suffered a 48-point defeat Friday night at the University of Regina. The Canada West women's basketball game ended 95-47 in favour of the host Cougars, who currently hold the No. 2 ranking in Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
The Timberwolves, in their first season of Canada West competition, allowed themselves to get blitzed in the opening quarter and recovered only slightly as the game progressed.
"The first quarter killed us -- we were down 31-7 after 10 minutes," said UNBC head coach Loralyn Murdoch. "So you're fighting a pretty big uphill battle after that and we lost our composure. Our effort wasn't there. But we did an OK job of regrouping and played OK at times."
The much bigger and stronger Cougars won the game with their absolute domination on the glass. They pulled down 28 offensive rebounds and, in total, out-rebounded the T-wolves 68-25. Every player in the Regina lineup scored at least two points and five team members finished in double digits. Starters Danielle Schmidt, Brittany Read and Lindsay Ledingham led the way with 15 points each.
Fifth-year forward Kady Dandeneau was the only dangerous UNBC player and ended the contest with 17 points.
The Cougars improved to 10-1 this season and the T-wolves -- losers of six in a row -- dropped to 3-8.
Murdoch used the painful night as a teaching opportunity.
"The big thing I told the girls was about intangibles," she said. "We have to out-compete and outwork teams if we want to have any kind of success. And that doesn't even mean win, it just means coming off [the court] feeling good about how we played. If we don't work hard and get defensive rebounds and take care of the ball, then we're going to have games where we get absolutely rocked by 50 points."
The Timberwolves will have a perfect opportunity to redeem themselves tonight in Brandon, where they'll take on the winless Brandon University Bobcats. On Friday night, the Bobcats lost 72-51 to the expansion Mount Royal University Cougars and dropped to 0-11 on the season.
"This game is done with and we're refocusing on Brandon," Murdoch said. "We're staying overnight here and we'll bus 4 1/2 hours to Brandon [today] and hopefully get there in time to have a shoot. We're getting mentally prepared to really compete."