Things didnt look good at halftime.
But, after regrouping during the intermission, the UNBC Timberwolves came out and dominated the University of Manitoba Bisons in the final 20 minutes and were rewarded with an 83-72 home-court victory on Saturday night.
In the Canada West womens basketball game, the Timberwolves trailed 47-40 at the break and seemed to have no answer for Manitoba guard Robin Eyer, who burned them for 20 points. Eyer was especially dangerous from three-point land, hitting six of her nine shot attempts.
The second half, however, was a different story. The T-wolves were much more effective at getting in Eyers face and kept her from scoring even a single basket. Better defence sparked better offence and UNBC outscored Manitoba 43-25 over the final two quarters.
In the first half we didnt really respect their shooters and in the second half we dug deep and stopped their main scorer, said UNBC guard/forward Mercedes Van Koughnett. We decided to switch more often on defence rather than try to get through screens and that worked out. We started playing more as a team and just ran the ball.
The T-wolves 83 points were a season-high. Offensively, they were led by forward Sarah Robin, who finished with 24. Robin did a good job of getting to the hoop and that translated into trips to the free-throw line. From the stripe, she hit 12 of 16 shots.
She played awesome, Van Koughnett said. It was great to see her come out with confidence. Shes really growing as a player.
Robin also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.
Jennifer Bruce added 18 points for UNBC, Emily Kaehn had 12 and Van Koughnett finished with 11. Eyers 20 were the most by a Manitoba shooter. The Bisons, seventh in the Prairie Division, slipped to 2-13 this season.
The Timberwolves, meanwhile, are now on a three-game winning streak - not bad for a first-year team in the league. Overall, UNBC pushed its record to 6-8, good for fifth place in the ultra-tough Pacific Division. The top four finishers will make playoffs, and, right now, the University of Victoria Vikes are fourth with a 10-4 mark.
The next four games for the Timberwolves will be stiff tests. This Friday and Saturday, theyll be in Abbotsford to play the Pacific-leading University of the Fraser Valley Cascades (11-3), who entered last week as No. 1 in Canada. The following weekend, UNBC will tip off against the ninth-ranked Vikes in Victoria.