January 5th, 2017 - The UNBC Timberwolves opened up 2018 with a win, topping the visiting UBCO Heat 85-59, at the Charles Jago Northern Sports Centre on Friday, January 5th
With both teams looking to earn results in hopes of improving their Canada West playoff aspirations, it was a spirited first half. Jovan Leamy's 14 points off the bench was enough to propel the TWolves to a 34-25 lead after twenty minutes. Many of Leamy's opportunities came on transition plays.
"That's my guy. We have played together since Grade Four," said James Agyeman postgame. "I've seen him grow, and it's natural for us. I know when and where he wants the ball."
The third quarter saw UNBC start to dictate play and knock down a number of three-point opportunities. They stretched their lead with a 28-18 quarter. Agyeman said that was the result of executing on Coach Todd Jordan's scouting.
"We knew if we attacked their zone at the right time, we could get open shots. We found the gap, created proper opportunity, and made shots."
The Heat battled hard in the fourth quarter, with Aldrich Berrios pushing the pace and knocking down some tough jumpers en route to a team-high 17 points.
"A lot of our shots weren't falling, and a lot of their shots were falling," said Berrios. "We hustled, but they played an all-round good game."
However, the scoring-by-committee approach overwhelmed the visitors late, as the three-pointers continued to fall for the Timberwolves. They'd finish the game 13 for 28, while the Heat went just 4 for 24.
Leamy paced UNBC with 20 points, while Marcus MacKay and Volodymyr Pluzhnikov added 13, and Tyrell Laing pitched in with 11.
With the victory, the Timberwolves improve to 5-8, while the Heat see their record drop to 2-9. The teams will meet again on Saturday to complete the series, and Berrios hopes to see more of the same effort from his young Heat teammates.
"There are always positives to take away. It's tough after a loss. We owned the offensive boards, we communicated nicely, and got everybody on the board. It's all about learning and getting better day by day."