For about a quarter and a half Friday, the TRU WolfPack women's basketball team looked unstoppable.
It was enough for a victory, but barely enough to make head coach Scott Reeves overly happy.
The WolfPack defeated the UNBC Timberwolves 78-61 in both teams' Canada West openers at the Tourament Capital Centre on Friday. The teams will play a rematch today, 5 p.m.
For a team coming off a playoff season and with high hopes in 2012-13, the WolfPack was inconsistent. And for a team making the jump from the college ranks to the CIS, UNBC looked solid.
"The score (made it) seem convincing, but we only beat them by four in the second half," Reeves said. "It took us a little bit to get going . . . but we had our veterans steps up."
UNBC's effort kept the game close early, before the WolfPack went on a big run to end the second quarter. What had been a 20-20 game was 38-25 at the half and 55-31 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Aside from that stretch - it lasted about 15 minutes - the WolfPack wasn't any better than UNBC, which isn't exactly expected to be a powerhouse in its first Canada West season.
Perhaps the biggest difference last night was depth.
Although the WolfPack got 28 points and 17 rebounds in another exceptional effort from Diane Schuetze, and 15 points from Jen Ju, TRU's bench set it apart from that of UNBC.
Rookie Becky Fernandez had eight points in 10 minutes off the bench for the WolfPack, while Dana Clarkson, who redshirted with a knee injury last season, had 13 rebounds. The WolfPack also got nice contributions from second-year guard Sarah Malate, who scored seven points, and rookie guard Jenna Quinton, who had only four points but also had three rebounds and four steals in an effort that made the Energizer Bunny look tired and lazy.
Their contributions allowed Reeves to make plenty of substitutions and keep things fresh.
"We were fortunate that the score dictated that we could do that, because we're playing back-to-back games," Reeves said.
Mercedes VanKoughnett led the Timberwolves with 15 points and five assists. Emily Kaehn, who had the unenviable task of guarding Schuetze, played well, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
But it was a tough shooting night for the Timberwolves, who were 22-for-73 from the field, and only 3-for-19 from three-point land. Interestingly, UNBC players went 14-for-14 from the free-throw line.
Reeves expects a tough rematch.
"I don't expect them to go away," he said. "(Loralyn Murdoch) has been coaching basketball at that school for 15 years. She's going to have those kids ready to compete."
he WolfPack men's basketball team lost a defensive battle, 69-67 to the visiting Timberwolves on Friday.
The teams will play today, 7 p.m., at the TCC.
Will Ondrik had 14 points to lead the WolfPack, and Blaz Bozinovic and Kevin Pribilsky each scored 10. Bozinovic also had 16 rebounds, and his twin brother, Ivan, had nine points and eight rebounds.
Jose Araujo had 15 points for UNBC, which also got 14 points from Sam Raphael, 13 from Francis Rowe and 11 from Joel Rybachuk.
he WolfPack men's volleyball team lost for the first time this Canada West season on Friday.
TRU fell in four sets (26-24, 25-17, 19-25, 25-19) to the host Brandon Bobcats. The WolfPack (2-1) and Brandon (3-0) will play again tonight.
Hardy Wooldridge had 12 kills for TRU, and Brad Gunter ended with 11 and nine digs. Sam Tuivai and Roy Ching each had 13 kills to lead Brandon.
RU's women are 0-3 after losing in three sets (25-9, 25-10, 25-19) to host Brandon on Friday.
The WolfPack, which has yet to win a set this season, is scheduled to play in Brandon again tonight. The Bobcats are 2-1.
Carly Nelson and Kristen Giesbrecht each had six kills for the WolfPack, and Katarina Osadchuk had five kills.
Meaghan Robertson, with eight kills, and Chloe Reimer, with seven, were Brandon's leading attackers.
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