T-wolves score major upset in Edmonton

Since he began his university basketball career Tyrell Laing has had to bide his time as the UNBC Timberwolves part-time point guard.
Saturday night at the Butterdome in Edmonton, home of the high-and-mighty Alberta Golden Bears, Laing’s role as the T-wolves’ quarterback was upgraded from second-fiddle bench reserve to prime-time starter and he used the opportunity to steal the show.
The third-year Prince George Secondary School grad hit seven of his 11 attempts from three-point territory while racking up a career-high 25 points in an 81-70 victory that ended the T-wolves’ four-game losing streak.
“Tyrell Laing was real good for them tonight – he gave them confidence to shoot the ball and they ran with it,” Bears head coach Barnaby Craddock told canadawest.org. “They did a great job. They made things difficult on us, and we didn’t have the confidence to knock shots down. We have to admit they were better than us tonight and try to learn from it.”
It was the first loss in more than two months for the Golden Bears (12-4), who had won nine straight and were ranked No. 6 in the U Sports national poll.
“I’m real proud of the guys,” said Timberwolves head coach Todd Jordan. “When you make threes, the three can be the X-factor in the game and making a bunch of those really helped us pull the momentum away.”
The teams were tied 39-39 at the half. In the third quarter, the T-wolves hit six triples for a 62-52 lead. In the fourth quarter they crept to within 68-65 but Laing ended the suspense when he hit another long shot.
“There was a stretch where we were really rattled,” said Jordan. “We found a way to stay composed. You have to be tough and mentally tough down the stretch and the guys found a way to do that.”
UNBC (8-8) lost 76-68 to the Bears on Friday.
The T-wolves shot 41.7 per cent from the field (25-for-60) and hit 41.2 per cent (14-for-34) of their triples. James Agyeman had 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Vova Pluzhnikov hit for 14 points. Ivan Ikomi (14 points) and Brody Clarke (12 points, 10 rebounds) led the Bears.
In the women’s game, the Alberta Pandas (14-2) won their 12th straight game, handing the T-wolves a 85-75 loss.
Emma Kary put up 29 points for Alberta and Jenna Harpe and Vanessa Wild each shot 16 points. For the T-wolves (9-7), Vasiliki Louka collected 23 points and nine rebounds, Madison Landry had 17 points and Maria Mongomo finished with 14.
Trailing most of the game, the T-wolves went on a 20-9 run to tie the Pandas 57-57 by the midway mark of the third quarter, but that’s as close as it got. Harpe and Wild each hit treys to close out the quarter to touch off a 9-0 run for a 66-59 lead.
“Their runs are hard to play against,” said T-wolves assistant coach Mark Johnson. “They’re so skilled top through bottom. If one girl has a quiet night, the next night she steps up and score.
“They have so many weapons; they can go on those runs because you focus your attention on their key players and someone else comes up big. Their depth is hard to prepare for.”
The Alberta women posted an 86-72 win over UNBC on Friday.
Both T-wolves teams are on the road again this weekend in Vancouver against the UBC Thunderbirds. They close out the regular season at home at the Northern Sport Centre Feb. 1-2 against Lethbridge.

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