Four points was all that separated a win from a loss for UNBC's men's basketball team on the weekend.
Unfortunately for the Timberwolves, they were on the losing side, suffering a nailbiting 85-81defeat to the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack Saturday night in Kamloops.
Combined with TRU's 84-80 win Friday, UNBC finds itself with an 0-2 record to start the 2014-15 season in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Canada West Explorers Division.
The WolfPack improve to 2-0 and are in a two-way tie for first place with the University of Fraser Valley Cascades.
"Friday night we controlled the game in the first half and then they went to a team zone defence which got us out of our rhythm," said Timberwolves head coach Todd Jordan. "In both games, with the lead changes it could've gone either way. It's really unfortunate we couldn't come away with a win."
Saturday night, the WolfPack had a narrow 49-42 lead at half-time, but the T-wolves outscored their opponents 28-16 for a 70-65 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Both sides didn't give up and the game was tied at 80-80 with two minutes left in the game, but TRU made three free-throws and a layup to secure the win.
"When it comes down to it, it's how are we going to defend," said Jordan. "Offensively we're putting enough numbers on the board and should be able to score enough points to win."
A pair of veteran forwards led UNBC in scoring as Devin McMurtry earned a double-double - 12 rebounds and 10 points, while Franco Kouagnia pulled down seven rebounds and collected 17 points.
The Timberwolves tip off against another tough team Nov. 14 and 15 - the UFV Cascades in Abbotsford.
The Cascades swept UBC Okanagan on the weekend with a pair of wins 82-76, 81-73.
"They're the favourite out of our division and we've got to regroup," said Jordan. "They have six or seven guys who are very talented with some size up front and that's our strength as well."
Meanwhile on the women's side, TRU WolfPack scored 29 points off of UNBC turnovers and went on to crush the Timberwolves 82-39 Saturday night.
The loss in Kamloops was the second-straight for UNBC's women's basketball squad as they fall to 0-2 to start their 2014-15 season in the CIS Canada West Explorers Division. After an 85-55 loss to the WolfPack Friday, they sit last in the division.
The WolfPack improve to 2-0 and sit tied for first with MacEwan University and UFV.
"Friday was the very first game for most of our girls [in the CIS]," said UNBC head coach Sergey Shchepotkin. "TRU is a very good team and it took time for the girls to understand how they have to play. Friday night in the second half we played very good basketball."
The T-wolves put up only 14 points in the first half, thanks to shooting only 20.7 per cent from the floor.
TRU held a 38-14 lead after the first half and continued its dominance in the final 30 minutes.
UNBC also committed 31 turnovers which TRU took advantage off.
Fourth-year forward Sarah Robin had a team-high 11 points, followed by rookie centre Vasilila Louka with 10 points who also had 14 rebounds off the glass.
TRU was led by rookie forward Emily Vilac with 13 points. Rookie forward Michelle Bos was dominant on the glass with 17 rebounds and 11 points.
UNBC also faces the Cascades this weekend in Abbotsford. UFV is 2-0 after a pair of wins against UBC Okanagan, 82-75, 78-58.
"They will be very difficult games," said Shchepotkin. "It's going to be tough. But I can't complain about the girls' attitudes - they're pretty positive and need to be positive and they're working hard."