KAMLOOPS, BC---The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s basketball team opened up their final weekend before Christmas with a victory. Playing at home on the Warner Rentals court on a Friday night (Dec 1), the ‘Pack won their second in a row as they dumped the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves. The score was 86-80.
TRU led it 49-41 at the half. Both teams record is 4 and 7 after this contest. TRU’s top scorer was Mike Rouault with 22 points, Luke Morris chipped in with 11. UNBC’s top gunner was Jovan Leamy with 29.
After giving up the first 10 points,the WolfPack erased an early deficit in the first quarter to one (12-11) with four minutes left and held a 23-18 advantage by the end of the quarter led by eight points from Morris .He had 15 by the half which was the most of any player. Morris was also the only player who had an offensive rebound on either team in half. Morris wound up with 21 in the game.
Both teams cranked up their offense in the second quarter with TRU outscoring UNBC 26-23 to hold an eight point lead (49-41) at the half. Michael Rouault had 11 points in that second quarter and went 4 for 6 from field goal range in the first half. UNBC’s top scorer at the half was Jovan Leamy with 14 points.
In the third quarter, TRU’s lead stretched to as much as five but by the end of it, UNBC had whittled the deficit to only a pair as they outscored the home team 21-15. Anthony Hokanson notching seven points for the Timberwolves in that period.
TRU went on a 13-0 run to start the fourth quarter though and opened up a 14 point lead with just over five minutes to go. UNBC wound up reducing the final deficit to six.
Scores by quarter:
TRU 23 26 15 22 -- 86
UNBC 18 23 21 18 -- 80
Thompson Rivers :
Luke Morris (5th year, forward, Mission, BC): 21 points, 10 rebounds (9 def), 2 assists, 2 steals: 38 mins
Mike Rouault (3rd year, guard, Vernon, BC):22 points, 9 rebounds (7 def), 4 assists, 2 steals: 40 mins
Anton Bilous (3rd year, guard, Cherkassy, Ukraine):15points, 5 rebounds (all def), 3 assists, 1 steal: 24 mins
Jovan Leamy (4th year, guard, Toronto, ON):29 points, 8 rebounds (6 def), 3 steals, 1 assist: 29 mins
Volodymyr Pluzhnikov (2nd year, guard, Kharkiv, UKR):15 points, 7 rebounds (6 def), 2 assists,1 steal: 35 mins
Anthony Hokanson (3rd year, guard, Vancouver, BC):10 points, 1 def rebound, 2 steals, 1 assist: 26 mins
Marcus Mackay (5th year, guard, Terrace, BC): 10 points, 2 def rebounds, 2 assists: 30 mins
UNBC: 9 TRU: 14
UNBC: 5 (none in first half) TRU: 4 (three in second half)
UNBC: 4-7 TRU: 4-7
TRU Head Coach Scott Clark:
On the Contest: “ I thought at times we did some nice things. I was pleased with it. At other times we batted it around a little bit. This is a long season. At this time of year, traditionally, you are not going to see pretty basketball. This will be the ugliest basketball of the season. Exams are coming up. There is fatigue. It’s been a long go. I am really proud and pleased that the guys demonstrated some toughness. I am happy for them.”
On the team battling back from two deficits (1st and 3rd quarters): “ I thought we were sleepy when you spot them 10 points. We have to have a better start tomorrow. This is a difficult time for a student athlete to be playing. To get a result I am pleased and proud.”
UNBC Head coach Todd Jordan (8th year):
On the difference in the game: “ We let it get away from us a little bit. We had stretches where we didn’t execute defensively. They beat us up in post a little bit. We had to chase from behind for most of it.”
On the lack of offensive rebounds: “ Probably because neither of us are super big. We talked about trying to get to the O glass at the half. We never really got there the way we wanted to. That could be a big factor tomorrow if one of us does.”
The WolfPack and Timberwolves will play again on Saturday night (Dec 2) on the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Centre. Tip off will be 7 pm. It will be the final game before the Christmas break for both teams in Canada West play.
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