WBB: Timberwolves offense sputters, UNBC falls to Thunderbirds in Vancouver
The UNBC Timberwolves tried and tried, but couldn’t get their offense humming, falling 80-58 to the UBC Thunderbirds on Sunday, November 13th, 2022 in Vancouver, BC.
The two teams came out trading baskets, each program looking to dictate the pace of play and gain an early advantage. In fact, through the first seven minutes, no player on either team had made more than one field goal. An Olivia Weekes jumper in the paint gave the Thunderbirds a 13-8 advantage late in the first quarter, as UBC crashed the offensive boards over and over, creating second-chance opportunities. UNBC’s offensive woes continued and they found themselves down 19-8 after ten minutes, in a quarter that saw the TWolves turn it over seven times and allow seven T-Birds offensive rebounds.
In the second quarter, Alina Shakirova came out assertive, making a triple and getting to the line early in the frame. Emily Martindale answered with her third trey of the game for the T-Birds, keeping the lead at ten. The UNBC captain continued to press the issue, burying another three-pointer to cut into the deficit, however Thunderbirds veteran Hailey Counsell settled her team with consecutive buckets, and the lead grew to 14 in favour of the UBC.
When the buzzer sounded for halftime, the Thunderbirds led 38-24, thanks to a 13-2 advantage in second chance points. Shakirova’s 11 points led for UNBC after 20 minutes, equalling the output of UBC’s veteran guard Martindale.
In the second half, Weekes continued to be a problem for UNBC, scoring four early buckets in the paint while UNBC forward Olivia Wilson watched from the bench with four fouls. With the UBC lead at 20 points, the UNBC bench showed character in battling the activity of the home T-Birds. Weekes would finish the frame with 12 points, and the Thunderbirds would hold a 60-40 lead with ten minutes to play.
Jenna Korolek was a bright spot for the Timberwolves, using her speed and grit to get to high-scoring areas and convert, as UNBC looked to chip away at the sizeable deficit. Amrit Manak made her presence felt, coming off the bench and making back-to-back treys, cutting the lead to 12 points with six minutes remaining. However, the T-Birds dug in defensively and looked to their star, Olivia Weekes, who responded with a tough and-one to kill the Timberwolves momentum.
Eventually UNBC ran out of time and came up on the losing end of an 80-58 result. The Timberwolves converted just four second chance points, 15 less than the Thunderbirds, who also enjoyed a 42-20 advantage in points in the paint.
Shakirova led the way for UNBC with a gutsy 19-poiint effort, to go along with four rebounds and three assists. Jenna Korolek was a perfect 6-for-6 in the best offensive game of her Canada West career.
Weekes drove the bus for the Thunderbirds, with 25 points and nine rebounds, while Emily Martindale went five-for-seven from beyond the arc, scoring 17 points in the victory. Veteran Hailey Counsell added 11 points and five rebounds as UBC improved to 2-0 on the season.
With the defeat, the Timberwolves fall to 0-4, and will look to earn their first win of the season next week on the road at the UFV Cascades.