On the road this past weekend in Vancouver, the Bisons basketball teams were swept by the University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds.
Going into Friday’s match, the UBC women’s team had only lost to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies back in November, and was a formidable squad right out of the gate.
In fact, the only time the Bisons women’s squad pulled ahead was at the beginning of the first quarter — and only by a single point — before the T-birds took over and dominated the rest of the game, taking a commanding 46-27 lead into halftime and toppling the Bisons with a final score of 67-52.
There were notable highlights for the herd despite the hard loss. Emily Johnson recorded her fifth double-double of the season, leading the team in points, rebounds and steals with 13, 11 and three, respectively.
Emerson Martin netted 12 points, and Lauren Bartlett and Emily Mandamin tied for nine points apiece.
In the second game of the weekend the Bisons fared no better.
The T-birds once again pulled away early in the first quarter, the herd netting a single-digit first frame and managing only 19 points in the first half compared to UBC’s 34.
The best quarter for the herd was the third, the team scoring 16 points. However, the Bisons ultimately lost the game 69-46.
It was the second double-digit night for Johnson in points, tying Mandamin with a team-leading 11 each. Johnson also led in rebounds, this time with nine, while Mandamin led in steals with two.
The men’s team also fell to UBC in both games. Though more evenly paired, the Thunderbirds only two wins back from the Bisons, the herd recorded three straight quarters of 16 points and never really had control of the game compared to its opponent.
The Bisons best quarter came in the fourth, when they netted 28 points over the T-birds’ 16. However, the herd fell short of the comeback, the final score 85-76 in favour of UBC.
Simon Hildebrandt led the team in points with 23, while Daren Watts put up 19. Wyatt Tait scored 10 while leading the team in rebounds with 9, and Mason Kraus led the team in steals with three.
The second match of the weekend was much closer and was a solid team effort for the herd despite the loss.
Manitoba won the first quarter, taking over mid-way through the first frame and putting up 26 points. UBC bounced back with 27 points of its own in the second quarter, but the herd took a slim 49-46 lead into halftime.
Screeching out of the gates in the third quarter, the T-birds put up 23 points and pulled ahead by two going into the final quarter of the game. What ensued was a shootout that went down to the wire, with UBC holding onto a narrow lead and capturing the second win of the weekend with a final score of 93-90.
In the second game, five Bisons had a double-digit night in points. Tito Obasoto and Kraus led the team with 18 points, while Obasoto led in rebounds with eight and Kraus once again led in steals with three. Cieran O’Hara put up 13 points, while Watts and Hildebrandt put up double-digit nights as well, netting 17 and 10, respectively.
Bisons basketball is back at home next weekend as the herd plays host to the University of Victoria Vikes Jan. 19 and 20.