Tale of two teams on the hardwood

Women rise while men fall against the Cougars in Friday matchups

Taylor Randall takes it to the rim for two of her 25 points on Friday night

The U of M Bisons basketball clubs welcomed the Mount Royal University Cougars to kick-off the home-opening weekend Friday.

The women dominated in a 103-80 win, while the men could not contain their opponents in a 96-82 defeat.


The women poach the Cougars

The women’s team opened the weekend with a dominant 103-80 win Friday night off the back of a solid 25-point performance from Taylor Randall.

“It felt really good just to play at home,” Randall said.

“I know these rims so it’s comfortable and I think as a team we played really good so my shots were easy.”

The herd started the game strong and Deidre Bartlett got her club ahead 2-0 on the first chance of the game. Manitoba moved the ball well to the outside, but shot better from the field, shooting 50 per cent in the opening 10 minutes.

By the five-minute mark, Manitoba had a seven-point lead, holding that margin to a 26-19 score after the first quarter.

Mount Royal responded with a strong second quarter and came within three points of tying the game on three separate occasions. The Bisons were neutralized under the bucket but went on a nine-point run and had a 50-38 lead at half-time.

Despite being outscored 28-26 in the third quarter, the Bisons squashed all Mount Royal momentum in the fourth frame to capture a 103-80 win.

Manitoba shot 47 per cent from the field, hitting eight three-pointers on 21 attempts. The club’s coach, however, was more concerned with what happened in her team’s half of the court.

“Our offence was rolling so I’m not really worried about it,” Bisons head coach Michele Sung said.

“We’ve got to find a way to stop, like, play some defence, clean that up, find […] a better way to match, defend some of their actions and I’d be even more happy.”


Bisons men outpaced by Mount Royal

In the second game of the night, the men fell behind early and trailed all the way to a 96-82 loss.

“I think the difference in the game was transition,” said Bisons head coach Kirby Schepp.

“They really hurt us in transition, getting up and down the floor. You know, we knew that could potentially be a problem and they really pushed the tempo — both off makes and misses — and were able to get those open looks.”

The Bisons tripped out of the gate, with the Cougars jumping to a 14-9 lead just over six minutes in. Malik Irwin made a layup to get the herd within three but Mount Royal went on a run to end the opening quarter 27-14.

Heading into the second quarter down by 13, Manitoba responded by playing with speed and driving to the rim. On the other side of the ball, however, the herd gave up multiple chances down low.

Mount Royal punished Manitoba with 50 per cent shooting from the field and 47 per cent from range, heading into half-time up 53-38.

The Bisons were two-for-six from beyond the arc and shot 40 per cent at field-goal range in the opening half.

The game opened up in the second half, as the Bisons continued to drive down low and the Cougars used speed in transition to open space for perimeter shots. Andre Arruda was a standout for the herd, drawing multiple defenders every time he touched the ball.

Mount Royal built its lead to 75-60 in the third quarter and cruised to a 96-82 win.

“I thought we got some decent looks offensively,” Schepp said.

“We didn’t make a lot of them. We got a lot of shots at the rim we didn’t make — it just kind of didn’t go down for us.”