Don't tell the Quest University Kermodes women they were only playing an exhibition basketball game Saturday against the UNBC Timberwolves.
For the first time in the history of the Squamish-based school they were able to defeat their former PACWEST rival, hanging on for a 63-59 win at the Northern Sport Centre in the final preseason game for both schools before they begin their respective regular seasons this weekend. For the Kermodes it was a milestone win and they had a joyful, but brief, celebration on the court, after the final buzzer sounded.
The loss snapped the T-wolves five-game win streak and left them with a 5-3 record in the preseason. Friday night the T-wolves beat the Kermodes 69-56.
Shayna Cameron and Katrin Sandbichler led the Kermodes to victory in the second game. Cameron put up 20 points, while Sandbichler had nine points and 19 rebounds. UNBC was led on the floor by fifth-year players Mercedes Van Koughnett and Emily Kaehn. Van Koughnett had the double-double with 15 points and 11 boards, while Kaehn had 10 rebounds and nine points. Jen Bruce also had 15 points for the T-wolves.
The T-wolves struggled contain the Kermodes' attack in the second and third quarters, while their offence also went silent. In the middle quarters the Kermodes out scored the home side 46-24.
T-wolves head coach Sergey Shchepotkin said he wasn't too worried about the loss as long as the team learned from it.
"We're still trying new systems and new players, unfortunately we couldn't do very well on defence today, but it's a good lesson for us and definitely a good experience before the season," said Shchepotkin.
The T-wolves stepped up the intensity of their game in the final 10 minutes out scoring the Kermodes 17-7, but it was too little, too late and Van Koughnett's last-second shot from beyond the half court bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.
The T-wolves open their second CIS season on the road Friday when they visit the Manitoba Bisons (4 p.m., Pacific) and then play Saturday against the Winnipeg Wesmen (4 p.m.).