WolfPack cages Timberwolves

The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack continued their dominance on the basketball court against the UNBC Timberwolves on the weekend.

TRU's men's basketball squad defeated the Timberwolves 85-79 Saturday night to go along with a 94-89 victory Friday at the Northern Sport Centre in the season-openers for both teams.

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The WolfPack who improved to 2-0, while the Timberwolves fell to 0-2, have now won eight of 10 all-time contests between the two sides.

"If you look at both games really, we had chances and we had slow starts as well," said UNBC head coach Todd Jordan. "We just made a lot of mental mistakes on the defensive end down the stretch. We'd get ourselves within two points, four points and within a couple possessions and we have a letdown defensively."

The first quarter got off to a slow start, but it was the WolfPack who wound up with a 19-11 lead after the first 10 minutes.

In the second, UNBC chipped away at the lead, and thanks to fourth-year guard Rhys Elliott scoring eight points as UNBC narrowed TRU's advantage to 40-33 after 20 minutes.

Early in the third quarter, Elliott forced a pair of consecutive turnovers in the WolfPack's offensive zone and he converted them into points to cut TRU's lead to three points.

At times, UNBC couldn't contain fifth-year forwards Josh Wolfram (a six-foot-10 Canada West all-star) and Volodymyr Iegorov (six-foot-seven) who combined for 14 of the team's 19 points in the third quarter. Wolfram finished the game with a double-double - 27 points and 15 points, while Iegorov collected 23 points.

UNBC only trailed by nine - 59-50 - after the third quarter and didn't give up.

Elliott hit four three-pointers to bring the T-wolves to within four points with 18 seconds left in the game.

But the clock wound down and UNBC could not pull off the win.

Elliott led all scorers with 30 points and seven rebounds, while fourth-year guard Elliott Rowe collected 13 points and three rebounds.

"We're concerned, but we're not in panic mode," said Jordan. "There are things we have to address and have a good week of practice this week."

Meanwhile in women's play, the WolfPack improved to 2-0 after earning an 85-55 victory over the Timberwolves.

Second-year post Vasiliki Louka led the 0-2 Timberwolves with 18 points, while Maria Mongoma pulled down nine rebounds to go along with 11 points.

The WolfPack were led by second-year guard Emma Piggin with 23 points and nine rebounds.

The two teams were tied 22-22 after the first quarter, but the WolfPack pulled ahead for good in the second thanks to an 18-6 run. UNBC trailed TRU 43-32 at half-time.

Both UNBC squads are on the road next weekend when they travel to Kelowna to battle the UBCO Heat. UBCO's women's squad is 1-1, while the men are 0-2 in the Explorer Division.

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