CALGARY — The TRU WolfPack men’s basketball team has qualified for the school’s first appearance at the CIS National championships. And at the same time, have the chance to play for the Canada West title.
The ‘Pack downed the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds 72-69 in the Canada West semifinals Friday (Mar 11). The game was played at the University of Calgary.
The WolfPack, who won their first regular season divisional title this season erased a 10 point first quarter deficit. (19-12).
TRU got some timely shooting from Reese Pribilsky (5th year, guard, Victoria, BC) and Luke Morris (3rd year, forward, Mission,BC) in the second quarter to cut the UBC lead to one at one point (24-23). The Thunderbirds did carry a four point advantage going into the break (45-41).
But in the third quarter, TRU continued to claw away. Pribilsky drained a shot with four seconds left in the quarter to go give the WolfPack their first lead of the game (54-52).
The score see sawed for most of the fourth quarter until with 38 seconds left, Josh Wolfram (5th year, forward, Kamloops, BC) took a pass from Pribilsky and drained a three pointer to give TRU a 70-66 lead.
The first team Canada West all-star wound up with a game high 23 points and 14 rebounds (12 on defense).
Pribilsky had 17 points while Volodymyr Iegorov (4th year, forward, Donetsk, Ukraine) wound up with 15 points.
UBC was led by Jordan Jensen-Whyte with 19 points. Former South Kamloops Secondary Titan David Wagner had 15 points with Conor Morgan chipped in with 14. Ex TRU WolfPack player Will Ondrik (5th year, Vernon, BC) wound up with seven.
With the win, the WolfPack will take on the winner of the other Canada West semifinal between the host Dinos and the University of Manitoba Bisons.
Since UBC is the host team for next week’s CIS Nationals and lost this game, both of the teams to play for the Canada West title on Saturday (Mar 12) night automatically get the league berths to the national championships.
The CIS championships begin March 17th in Vancouver, BC.
DOUBLE DRIBBLES: After the game, the Canada West presented its all-stars and major awards. Scott Clark of TRU was the coach of the year. Wolfram was named to the first all-star team. Pribilsky and Iegorov to the third team and Jeff Tubbs (guard, Kelowna, BC) was chosen to the all-rookie team.
The WolfPack were likely a little tired before this game after having to bus to Calgary on Thursday night (Mar 10). They were unable to fly because of high winds.
There was a large contingent of TRU supporters at the game including Athletics and Recreation director Ken Olynyk, many parents, alumni and current WolfPack athletes who are from Calgary.
Saturday’s Canada West championship final will be played at 8 pm PDT.
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