WolfPack men’s basketball fall short at UNBC

  Posted on: January 4, 2019

Joe Davis vs UNBC. He had 17 points (Brett Cullen photo)

The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s basketball team were outscored 31-16 in the final quarter and wound up losing their first game of 2019 in Canada West play.

Friday night (Jan 4) in Prince George, the host University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves dumped the Pack 90-81.
TRU falls to 4-7 on the year.

Thompson Rivers led by eight (29-21) after the first quarter and held a four point advantage (47-43)at the half. TRU got 17 points from Michael Rouault, Joe Davis and Derek Rhodes.

UNBC, who is now 7-4 on the campaign were led by Volva Pluzhnikov with 25 points. Jovan Leamy added 24 with Vaggelis Loukas adding 15.


The WolfPack got 13 points in the second period from Anton Bilous to hold that four point lead. Derek Rhodes scored 17 in the third quarter for Thompson Rivers who led 65-59 at three quarter time.

The Pack bench outscored UNBC’s 25-19 with TRU scoring six second chance points to the Timberwolves 3. Thompson Rivers had 30 points in the paint compared to UNBC’s 22. UNBC did score 21 points off turnovers comparison to 17 for the WolfPack.
TRU turned over the ball and couldn’t capitalize on their offense in the fourth quarter and that lead to the defeat. The Timbrwolves out rebounded the WolfPack 35-33.

“It’s hard for them to guard us inside, but they have really good guards,” said TRU’s Derek Rhodes. “We have to defend the ball screen better. When you have good guards, it’s tough.”

The Timberwolves opened the third quarter with back-to-back three’s from Vova Pluzhnikov and Vaggelis Loukas, closing the deficit to a single point. The WolfPack stayed calm, led by veterans Mike Rouault and Derek Rhodes, whose mid-range game helped the visitors lead 65-59 at the end of the quarter.

With the help of the lively Northern Sports Centre crowd, the Timberwolves began to mount their comeback. Halfway through the fourth quarter, three-pointers from Vova Pluzhnikov and Anthony Hokanson gave the Timberwolves a 76-72 lead with just 4:49 remaining. Both teams continued to trade baskets, but with just 42 seconds remaining, Jovan Leamy managed to sink a fading three-pointer with a hand in his face to give the Timberwolves a six-point lead, and ultimately ice the game. UNBC outscored the WolfPack 30-16 in the final stanza, which proved to be the difference.

“I feel like I can make any shot. Why take it if you don’t think you can make it,” said Leamy postgame. “Everyone’s confidence needs to be high, that is the only way we will be successful.”

“We gave them way too many points in the fourth,” said Rhodes postgame. “Our goal is to keep teams to 17 per quarter. We caved. Mainly the guards, and I was a big part of that. We let them get to the rim for too many easy buckets.”


Scores by Quarter:

TRU: 29 18 18 16 –81
UNBC: 21 22 16 31 –90


Derek Rhodes (5th year, forward, Antioch, CA):17 points, 2 def rebounds in 34 mins
Joe Davis (4th year forward, Kamloops,BC) : 17 points, 3 defensive rebounds 32 mins
Mike Rouault (4th year, guard, Vernon, BC): 17 points, 9 rebounds (7 def), 3 steals in 38 mins
Anton Bilous (4th year, guard, Cherkassy, Ukraine): 16 points, 5 defensive rebounds, 5 assists in 16 mins

Vova Pluzhnikov: 25 points, 6 rebounds (5 def), 5 assists in 38 mins
Jovan Leamy: 24 points, 6 assists, 5 steals, 7 rebounds (6 def) in 34 mins
Vaggelis Loukas: 15 points, 10 rebounds (7 def), 5 assists, 4 steals in 33 mins
Tyrell Lang: 12 points, 3 assists, 2 defensive rebounds in 24 mins


TRU: 4-7 UNBC: 7-4

THEY SAID IT! (post game quotes):

TRU head coach Scott Clark:

On the Contest: “ We led for the first 35 minutes. UNBC amped things up and we were unable to respond. The story was the fourth quarter. We gave up 31 points and defensively, we can’t do that.”


The WolfPack and Timberwolves will meet up again tomorrow (Sat Jan 5) at the Northern Sports Center. This will be game two of Thompson Rivers’ four game roadswing. Next weekend they will be in Winnipeg to take on the University of Winnipeg Wesmen. Their next home game isn’t until Friday, January 18th when they entertain the University of Regina Cougars at the Tournament Capital Centre.
All of the above games can been seen on a pay per view basis on www.CanadaWesttv.

(with help from UNBC Sports Information)


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