EDMONTON — Head coach Scott Edwards knew he'd need a complete team effort from his University of Alberta Pandas against the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves and they came through for their head coach with an 86-72 victory, Friday night at the Saville Community Sports Centre.
Fourth-year power forward Maria Mongomo led UNBC with 23 points and 12 rebounds, while third-year small forward Madison Landry had 22 points. The Pandas held Canada West leading scorer Vasiliki Louka to 14 points and 10 rebounds on a tough shooting night (3-for-12) for the senior center.
“They have three absolute world-class players. We knew we’d have to (score) by committee more than they do to be successful,” said Edwards.
Alberta led 41-34 at halftime, but was getting dominated on the glass while their usually dependable three-point shooting was ice cold. Yet in the third quarter, the Pandas went to work on the glass and made it tough on Mongomo and Louka to generate their dominance in the paint.
The Pandas went on a 10-0 run to start the second half, and they simply didn’t look back as they held UNBC to just 27.8% shooting in the third quarter. The Timberwolves only made nine shots from the field in the second half and 18 of their 38 second-half points came off free throws.
“We had a seven-point lead at the half, but we knew we had to find a way to stop them in the paint and make it tougher on them.”
“We couldn’t score in that third quarter. They’re a good team and they really shut us down,” said Timberwolves head coach Sergey Shchepotkin.
The Pandas and Timberwolves will finish their two-game weekend series Saturday night. Tip-off is at 5 p.m. MT.