The UNBC Timberwolves kept pace with the University of Victoria Vikes but couldn't upset the ninth-ranked team in the country.
UNBC and UVic collided in a Canada West Universities Athletic Association women's basketball game Friday night in Victoria and the Vikes were a little stronger in a 65-48 win. As has often been the case for the Timberwolves in their inaugural Canada West season, turnovers were the difference in the contest. The T-wolves committed 25, and many of those miscues translated into points for the home side.
"We didn't take care of the ball like we needed to," said UNBC coach Loralyn Murdoch. "They had 20 more possessions, and we're not going to win if they have 20 more possessions."
The Timberwolves were down 19-16 after the first quarter and 37-29 at the half. In the third quarter, the Vikes pretty much put the game away by outscoring the T-wolves 14-8 and moving into a 51-37 lead.
"They got some easy transition hoops [in the third quarter] and unfortunately we just couldn't match them in the transition game, in the fast-break game, and that got out of hand a little bit," Murdoch said. "If we stick to the half-court, we can compete. We don't have the legs to run with those girls for 40 minutes."
Fourth-year guard Jennifer Bruce scored a team-high 19 points for the Timberwolves but was also guilty of six turnovers. Fourth-year guard/forward Mercedes Van Koughnett added 13 points and seven rebounds.
The Vikes got 19 points from Debbie Yeboah and 15 from former Prince George resident and ex-Timberwolf Chelsea McMullen. Now a fifth-year player, McMullen scored 10 points in the first half before the T-wolves were able to tighten up on her.
"Chelsea always plays well," Murdoch said. "She did everything we scouted her to do and we didn't take it away in the first half."
The Vikes moved to 12-5 and the Timberwolves slipped to 6-11.
In the UNBC-UVic men's game, played later Friday night, the Vikes prevailed 89-80. Fifth-year guard/forward Sam Raphael scored 15 points for UNBC and fifth-year guard Francis Rowe knocked down 13.
The Timberwolves, who have now dropped seven in a row, saw their record fall to 5-12, while the Vikes improved to 12-5.
The teams will meet again tonight in Victoria.