Tough weekend on court for Timberwolves
They carried a three-game winning streak into the weekend, keeping slim playoff hopes alive.
A pair of losses in Abbotsford and the UNBC Timberwolves are all but mathematically eliminated from the Canada West women’s basketball playoffs.
The host Fraser Valley Cascades outscored the visitors from Prince George by scores of 67-42 on Friday and 82-47 on Saturday. The weekend sweep improved the Pacific Division-leading Cascades to 13-3 on the season.
Four positions lower, the Timberwolves sport a record of 6-10. They’re five games behind the Victoria Vikes, who occupy the Pacific’s fourth and final playoff spot at 11-5.
The Vikes can clinch a playoff berth and eliminate UNBC from championship contention this weekend. The teams will hit the floor in Victoria for a doubleheader on Friday and Saturday.
The Kamloops-based TRU WolfPack (12-5) have also clinched a playoff spot, while the UBC Thunderbirds of Vancouver (12-4) need only a win or UNBC loss to punch their tickets to the postseason.
The Trinity Western Spartans of Langley (5-11), Mount Royal Cougars of Calgary (5-11) and UBC Okanagan Heat of Kelowna (5-12) round out the eight-team division.
In Saturday’s game, Jennifer Bruce led the Timberwovles with 13 points. She was the only UNBC player to reach double figures in points.
The Cascades’ Aieisha Luyken led all scorers with 21 points. Two other Fraser Valley players scored in double figures, Courtney Bartel (16) and Kayli Sartori (11).
Only six games remain on the UNBC 2012-13 regular-season schedule. After their visit to Victoria, the Timberwolves will return to Prince George for a season-ending four-game homestand. After hosting the Thunderbirds on Feb. 8 and 9, they’ll welcome the Cougars to the Northern Sport Centre on Feb. 15 and 16.
The UNBC Timberwolves’ struggles in 2013 continued on the weekend.
In a Canada West men’s basketball doubleheader, the Timberwolves lost to the Fraser Valley Cascades 86-65 on Friday and 88-70 on Saturday. The wins improved the Cascades record to 9-7, good for third in the Pacific Division.
Riding a six-game losing streak, the Timberwolves are winless this year. With a 2012-13 regular-season record of 5-11, they haven’t recorded a win since Dec. 1 at the Northern Sport Centre, their last contest before a break for fall semester exams and the holiday season. Their Dec. 1 victory was a 93-90 triumph over the visiting Saskatchewan Huskies.
In their latest contest, Saturday in Abbotsford, the Timberwolves fell behind early and were unable to recover. Fraser Valley outscored UNBC 30-18 in the first quarter.
Charles Barton led the Timberwolves on Saturday with 20 points. Francis Rowe (16) and Jose Araujo (15) also reached double figures in points.
The Cascades’ Sam Freeman recorded a game-high 28 points. Nathan Kendall collected 17 points for the home team.
The Timberwolves will see the Pacific’s top two teams over the next two weekends. They meet the second-place Victoria Vikes (11-5) in the provincial capital on Friday and Saturday, before returning home to host the division-leading UBC Thunderbirds (14-2) on Feb. 8 and 9. They close out their regular-season schedule Feb. 15 and 16 against the Mount Royal Cougars.
The Timberwolves sit sixth in the eight-team division, half a game behind the fifth-place TRU WolfPack (6-11). The Trinity Western Spartans (7-9) hold down the fourth and final playoff spot. The Cougars (3-13) sit in seventh, with the basement-dwelling UBC Okanagan Heat (2-15) rounding out the division.