Bison Briefs

Men’s basketball
The Bisons hosted the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Bisons, as the two “herds” played a non-conference exhibition game at the Investors Group Athletic Centre. U of M lost the game 97-56, but head coach Kirby Schepp said just playing NDSU was good for the team:

“It was a good experience to play a veteran, physical and composed team like they are. It was good learning experience for the players, and it was good for the coaching staff. We got a chance to evaluate some of our new guys in different situations.”

Bisons basketball season tips off on Nov. 4.

The Bisons football team hosted the U of Calgary Dinos on Sept. 3, as both teams kicked off the 2011 CIS football regular season. The game marked the final home opener at the university stadium before the Bisons move into the new stadium currently under construction. Calgary also came into the game as the three-time defending conference champions, providing the herd with a difficult test to start the season.

The Bisons were certainly up to the task, as the two teams slugged it out in the first half, heading into halftime with the score 17-16 for the Dinos. In the third quarter, the Bisons appeared to be running away with the game, scoring 15 unanswered points. But the defending champs would capitalize on several costly fumbles in the fourth quarter, scoring the game-winning TD with 22 seconds remaining to win 35-31.

Fourth-year Bison QB Khaleal Williams threw for 303 yards with one TD and one lost fumble, while RB Anthony Coombs was the most productive Bison, gaining 167 yards through the air and the ground with two TDs but also lost two costly fumbles. Manitoba’s next game is on Saturday, Sept. 10 in Edmonton.

Men’s hockey
Since leaving for Europe on August 24, the Bisons men hockey team has been finding success playing across the pond, having recently won the two-day Tomeo Kick-off Tournament in Ritten, Italy. In the opening game of the tournament, the Bisons found themselves in a 4-1 hole against the Rosenheim Starbulls, but manage to tie the game in the third period and ultimately win the game in a shootout.

That game would prove to be the only tight game the Bisons would play in the tournament. The Bisons would win their next game against Ritten Sport of Italy in the semi final 6-3, following it up with another solid win in the finals, where they beat the Bremerhaven Fischtown Pinguins 7-4 in the final.

The Bisons also played the Graz 99ers and Landshut Cannibals in exhibition games to round out what should be considered a great showing by the Bison men and a wonderful experience for the players.

2011 Summer Universiade
Three Bison athletes and one coach took part in the 2011 Summer Universiade, which ran from August 12-23 in Shenzhen, China. Middle hitter Tricia Mayba and left side hitter Kristi Hunter represented the Bisons on the Canadian women volleyball team, while left side hitter Chris Voth represented the Bisons on the men’s volleyball team. The men’s team settled for fourth after losing to Brazil in the bronze medal game. The women finished in 11th place.

Team Canada and U of M Bison track and field head coach Claude Berube led Canada’s track and field athletes, who could not manage to reach the podium at the games. The best finish a Canuck athlete could muster was fifth, coming from Segun Makinde of Ottawa, Ont. in the men’s 200-metre event and Heather Steacy of Lethbridge, Alta. in the women’s hammer throw.