The UNBC Timberwolves were in position to win but couldn't finish off the University of Regina Cougars.
Friday night in Regina, the UNBC men's basketball team dropped a 76-73 decision to the Cougars. The Timberwolves took a 73-72 lead when fifth-year guard Francis Rowe drained a jump shot with 1:48 left on the clock but they didn't score again, including a miss on a three-point attempt by Rowe with 47 seconds to play. A subsequent foul by UNBC guard Joel Rybachuk sent Connor Burns of the Cougars to the line and, with 25 ticks remaining, he calmly knocked down both his shots to put Regina back on top.
On their next possession, the T-wolves turned the ball over and then committed another foul, which allowed Regina's Darius Mole to close out the game from the charity stripe.
"That's basketball," said UNBC head coach Todd Jordan. "We got a great [three-point] look for our best shooter [Rowe] and it was one of those nights where it didn't go down for us. But I thought the game was actually lost a little bit earlier. There were a couple stretches where we had some lapses defensively and those sorts of things. One more [defensive] stop a quarter would have made the difference. We gave up a couple easy bunnies in transition and you look back and those are what I think probably cost us the game down the stretch."
The Timberwolves were also in foul trouble for much of the night, which didn't help matters. While trying to battle against the big and physical Regina forwards, three UNBC players -- Charles Barton, Gabe Aubertin and Navjot Bains -- fouled out.
"Their bigs really did a number on us," Jordan said. "We weren't able to keep them off the glass. They were tough on us in there."
Fifth-year guard/forward Sam Raphael paced the T-wolves offensively with 24 points, while Paul Gareau had a game-high 25 for the Cougars.
Regina led 40-38 at half-time and 61-58 after three quarters.
With the loss, the Timberwolves saw their record in the Canada West Universities Athletic Association slip to 5-6. The Cougars, on the other hand, improved to 4-7.
UNBC played the game without leading scorer Jose Araujo, who was absent because of a family wedding in his home country of El Salvador.
The T-wolves will be back in action tonight in Brandon, where they'll battle the Brandon University Bobcats.
"That's obviously a big game for us," Jordan said. "The guys are a little bit down but we have to take that energy and put it into that game."
The Bobcats lost 76-74 to the Mount Royal University Cougars on Friday night and now have a 2-9 record.
At the Wesmen Classic in Winnipeg during the Christmas break, Brandon beat UNBC 87-73.