The Bisons basketball season tipped off last Thursday with back-to-back games against the Brandon University Bobcats at Investors Group Athletic Centre.
The women’s team played first, with Emily Johnson scoring the game and herd’s first points. Minutes later, Lauren Bartlett scored the first three-point shot for the Bisons.
With intelligent play, the herd took a 46-31 lead into halftime over the Bobcats.
The women’s team did not look back, dominating the second half and winning the game 92-67.
The Bisons top scorers in the first match were Johnson, who had a double-double on the night with 20 points and 11 rebounds, Emily Mandamin with 17 points and Autumn Agar with 15.
Mar Tomas Arbos had seven rebounds on the night, while Bartlett, Agar and Emerson Martin recorded six each.
Friday night’s game for the women was a much closer contest. While the Bisons began to pull away from the Bobcats at the end of the first quarter, Brandon stayed in the game, tying the score back up with 8:13 left in the first half.
The Bobcats took the lead late in the second quarter, racking up the baskets by capitalizing on Bison turnovers and taking a narrow 38-35 lead into halftime.
Both teams came out hot after halftime, exchanging the lead throughout the third quarter. The Bisons struggled throughout the night with free throws, only making 10 points off 21 tries from the line.
However, the herd took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter and opened the quarter on an impressive 7-2 run. While the Bobcats managed to get Manitoba’s lead down to one possession late in the fourth, the Bisons dominated the final minutes of the game, pulling off the 77-66 win and first sweep of the season.
Bartlett led the team in game two with 20 points, while Johnson came in at a close second with 19 points and three steals on the night. Martin registered 11 points and Agar pulled in 10 rebounds, showcasing the all-around team effort in the win.
The men’s first game followed the women’s on Thursday night, with Simon Hildebrandt opening the scoring on a three-point basket. The Bisons dominated the game from the start, leading 26-12 at the end of the first quarter.
While the Bobcats pushed back in the fourth quarter, chipping away the Bisons’ lead to eight points, the herd came out on top, winning the first match of the weekend 86-74.
Mason Kraus led the Bisons’ offence in Thursday’s contest, recording a double-double on the night with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Teammates Hildebrandt, Tito Obasoto and Cieran O’Hara also had impressive performances, with Hildebrandt putting up 15 points and six rebounds, Obasoto recording 13 points and O’Hara registering 11 points.
Friday night’s game flipped the script for the two teams. While Hildebrandt once again opened the scoring, this time with a point from the free-throw line, the Bobcats dominated the entire contest.
Down 28 points at the start of the third quarter, the herd was not able to sink a three-point shot until late in the third. The Bobcats’ largest lead of the night was 34, also in the third quarter.
While the Bisons won the fourth quarter, they ultimately lost the game 94-68, draining only five of the 26 three-points shots they put up on the night.
Daren Watts led the team in points with 14, while Hildebrandt and Andre Gray II recorded 11 points each. O’Hara led in rebounds with six.
The Bisons women’s and men’s teams play back-to-back series Nov. 10 and 11, hosted by the University of Calgary Dinos before continuing their Calgary road trip from Nov. 17 to 18 to take on the Mount Royal University Cougars.