WBB: Timberwolves roll over the WolfPack 87-63 on Senior Night

Women's Basketball
February 4, 2023

Fueled by the emotions of Senior Night and the support of a loud Northern Sport Centre crowd, the UNBC Timberwolves took care of business against TRU, beating the WolfPack 87-63 on Saturday, February 4th, 2023 in Prince George, BC.

In the first quarter, UNBC came out more assertive, with Alina Shakirova getting and early and-one to drop and the Timberwolves hopping out to an early 6-0 lead. However, the pesky WolfPack said not so fast, scoring the next 11 points, using buckets from Kelsey Cruz, Elana Sireni, and Makeba Taylor to gain momentum and the lead.

The Timberwolves would settle down, despite falling into some foul trouble, with point guard Sarah Kuklisin getting a late bucket to make it a 16-15 game in favour of the Pack after ten minutes.

Playing in the final home game of her career, veteran post Olivia Wilson played inspired in the second frame, crashing the offensive glass and earning tough second-chance points for the TWolves. TRU continued to keep pace, however, with Cruz and Taylor each splashing from long range, and reserve Jaya Saroya giving them five valuable points off the bench. When the buzzer sounded, the TWolves held a 36-28 advantage.

In the third quarter, the Timberwolves offense woke up. More specifically, Sveta Boykova got going. The Russian forward made three triples, while Rebecca Landry, Jenna Korolek, and Shakirova each got tough buckets in the paint to go, as the WolfPack had little answer for the UNBC barrage. The TWolves won the quarter 31-19 thanks to 15 points from Boykova, and held a 67-47 lead with one quarter to play.

Protecting a 20-point lead in the final frame, UNBC looked to escape the NSC with a victory on senior night. Every time the Pack would get a bucket from Megan Rouault or Maggie Fehr, UNBC would respond with a run of points from Shakirova, Laura Garmendia Garcia, or Kuklisin.

Eventually, the clock would run out on the visitors from Kamloops, as UNBC secured an 87-63 victory to earn the weekend split and improve their Canada West playoff hopes.

Shakirova, in her final game on home court scored 22 points to go along with seven rebounds and two steals. Boykova was tremendous with 20 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists. Landry added 13 points, Kuklisin had 10 points and six assists, and Wilson, also in her final game, had 10 points and 10 boards. Korolek, in the final game of her career at her hometown program, chipped in with five points.

Rouault, the ultra-tough senior guard for TRU, paced the Pack with 13 points, equalizing Cruz’s offensive output. Taylor had nine points and seven boards, while Saroya had nine points off the bench.

With the victory, UNBC improves to 7-11, with a pair of games against the Brandon Bobcats next weekend in the final games of the CW season.