Bisons open basketball season with weekend sweep of Heat

Bisons men and women both pick up pair on the hardwood

Manitoba Bisons forward Isaac Miller-Jose against the UBC Okanagan Heat at Investors Group Athletic Centre on Friday, November 1, 2019

The IG Athletic Centre janitorial staff had an easy job over the weekend, as the U of M Bisons basketball teams did all the sweeping for them. The men’s and women’s sides both doubled up on the visiting University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat to open the season.

Men’s basketball

There is dominance, and then there is what the Bisons men’s basketball team did on the weekend. Manitoba iced out the Heat in two games, both in lopsided fashion.

Game one of the weekend started slow, with both sides trading buckets in the first quarter. Manitoba held a 16-15 lead with 3:36 to go in the opening frame before they broke open a 12-point run to end the first up 28-15.

The second quarter is where the herd took over the game, allowing just eight points by the Heat while putting up 20 of its own to take a 48-23 lead into halftime. UBC Okanagan fared a little better coming out of the break, with 15 points in the third quarter, but Manitoba added to its lead with 24 points to build a massive 72-38 lead with a quarter left to play.

The fourth quarter was Manitoba’s worst, being outscored 20-14 by the Heat. The Bisons shot at 27.78 per cent from the field and 20 per cent from beyond the arc, but still claimed the 86-58 win.

Manitoba’s dominance carried over into game two of the weekend, with a strong 91-66 drubbing of UBC Okanagan.

Manitoba brought the heat early, firing efficiently from the field to build a 43-26 lead heading into halftime. UBC Okanagan mustered some offence of its own in the third quarter, actually outscoring Manitoba 22-21, but the herd again dominated its West Coast foe with a 27-18 fourth quarter to take the 91-66 finish.

Women’s basketball

Like its male counterpart, the Bisons women’s basketball team took the Heat to task on the weekend. The herd crushed UBC Okanagan in game one, but in game two the Heat gave Manitoba a bit of a scare.

Game one was over almost immediately for the Heat. The opening quarter was close until the final four minutes where UBC Okanagan stopped scoring, and Manitoba kept on going.

The herd had a 21-8 lead coming out of the first quarter, but in the second the Heat dialed it up, keeping pace with Manitoba for a 46-30 Bisons lead at halftime. The Heat gave it all in the second half but could not catch the Bisons, as Manitoba opened the season with an 82-69 win.

In the second game of the weekend, UBC Okanagan came back with fire and fury, but the herd survived a final charge to hold on to a 60-59 win.

The game started close, both sides trading buckets in the opening quarter with Manitoba coming out of it with an 18-17 edge. The Bisons heavily outscored the Heat in the second quarter, though, to build a 10-point lead — 38-28 — at halftime.

UBC Okanagan battled back in the second half, outscoring the Bisons 13-12 in the third quarter, before closing the gap in the fourth.

An Emma Thompson layup gave Manitoba a nine-point lead at 57-48 with 6:35 to go, but the Heat was not done. The club got back to within three, an Addison Martin layup gave Manitoba some breathing room, then Kelsey Falk struck twice for UBC Okanagan to get the Heat within one.

Alessia Brutto missed a game-winning jumper with two seconds left, and Manitoba escaped with a 60-59 win and the weekend sweep.


Both clubs will be back in action Nov. 15 and 16 in Lethbridge, Alta., to take on the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns.