They are now the second UNBC women's athletic program to win their first Canada West playoff game in program history this year.
The UNBC women's basketball team defeated the Trinity Western Spartans in a nailbiter, 80-78 in Langley last night (Feb. 8).
The Timberwolves came into the contest with an 11-9 regular season record which gave them the ninth seed in the conference while the Spartans finished just above UNBC in the eight seed with a 12-8 record.
The first quarter saw Maria Mongomo pace the Timberwolves with eight points while Tessa Ratzlaff lead the Spartans with six of her own. UNBC took the first quarter 22-19.
Four minutes into the second quarter, Timberwolves head coach Sergey Shchepotkin was forced to use a timeout after TWU came out on fire to start the second and took a seven-point lead. Mongomo and Abby Gibb would come up huge hitting back-to-back threes after the timeout.
Going into the break, UNBC had gone on a 13-4 run and took a 39-34 lead into the locker room.
The second half is where things got interesting as the Spartans come out with a vengeance.
TWU freshman hit big jump shots for the home side and the Spartans stormed back with a 58-54 lead heading into the fourth quarter with both teams knowing their seasons were on the line.
Trinity Western had an eight-point lead later in the game but the Timberwolves wouldn't say die. In the last seconds of the game, the Spartans had an open look but the ball rimmed out and Vasiliki Louka grabbed the rebound with the buzzer sounding and UNBC earning their first ever Canada West playoff victory in program history.
“The game is forty minutes, and whatever happened, we promised each other we would all keep doing our jobs,” says Shchepotkin in a release. “There were three or four times this game that we were down eight points. We asked each other not to give up. To play as a team. It worked today.”
Mongomo finished with a monster game for the Timberwolves with 29 points on 10 for 16 shooting from the field while Madison Landry also stepped up for UNBC with 17 points of her own.
Louka had another double-double with 12 points and 13 boards while Tessa Ratzlaff had 20 points and eight rebounds for TWU.
“This feels awesome. It took six years to get this far,” Shchepotkin adds in the release. “I am very happy it has happened with this group. I totally believe in all of them, and tonight, I felt like they all believed. I am proud of them.”
UNBC now advances to the Canada West quarterfinal next weekend against one of the Saskatchewan Huskies or Calgary Dinos.