PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The offensive versatility proved to be the difference, as the UNBC Timberwolves prevailed 83-54 over the Trinity Western Spartans Saturday at the Charles Jago Northern Sports Centre.
UNBC's Maria Mongomo finished with a team-high 29 points, 11 rebounds, and five steals to lead the home side.
The Timberwolves (6-0) came out flying to start the first quarter, starting the game on an 18-3 run. Maria Mongomo led the way, going 5-7 from the field, for 13 points. Alina Shakirova also came off the bench for five points of her own, putting the Timberwolves up 24-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The Timberwolves continued their pressure in to the second quarter, once again led by Maria Mongomo, who finished the first half with 24 points, and five steals. Buckingham was at the forefront of the Spartan's pursuit as she went 3-4 from behind the three-point line for 12 first-half points of her own.
The Spartans fought hard throughout the second half, but the Timberwolves held strong. Veteran leadership from Vasiliki Louka helped the Timberwolves close out the game, as she finished with 17 points, and 11 rebounds leading the Timberwolves to a sweep of the Spartans in the final home games of the 2018 season.
• With one made 3-pointer on the night, TWU's Jessie Brown (Langley) moved into a tie for second overall in Canada West for career 3-pointers, equaling former Winnipeg Wesmen Megan Noonan at 241. Brown trails former Calgary Dino Ashley Hill, who had 279 career 3-pointers, for top spot.
• The Spartans back-to-back losses mark TWU's first two losses of the year after starting the season with six wins in a row.
• TWU was playing without injured star forward Tessa Ratzlaff (Abbotsford, B.C.) for the second game in a row.
Cheryl Jean-Paul - TWU Head Coach
"Tonight was a reminder of how hard it is to play back to back games against a good team in their own gym, and why last night's loss was really our opportunity to come away with a split. We started out slow defensively and we had to try to respond in the third quarter, but to come back from that type of deficit is tough to do. This weekend has provided a lot of insight into what we still need to focus on and develop over the next few weeks, and I'm looking forward to seeing a focused group coming into this next week of practices. We missed some opportunities that we need to be able to capture in second semester if we want to put ourselves in a place where we can compete and win."
Sarah Buckingham – TWU Guard
"We knew they were going to come out sharper today, and unfortunately we didn't do a good enough job preventing that. We're going to do everything we can next week to make up for this weekend."
The Spartans are back on the road next weekend when they travel to play Victoria Nov. 23-24 in TWU's final two games of the fall semester.