Zachary Worden, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY, Alta – The University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves made their way to Kenyon Court to tip-off the 2018/19 basketball season against the Mount Royal University Cougars.
The Timberwolves were able to open the season with a 95-80 victory. The team was led by Jovan Leamy who scored 23 points, hit five threes, grabbed five rebound and finished with five steals. James Agyeman also made his presence felt with 19 points.
The Cougars had five double-digit scorers but were led by Glen Yang who had 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Yang got to the free-throw line at will and made nine of his 10 shots from the line. Matthew Guinto also made nine free-throws and chipped in 15 points for the Cougars.
The two teams came out of the gate trading buckets. The Cougars early attack was highlighted by an alley-oop slam from LJ Hegwood. While Leamy came out for the Timberwolves with 11 points in the first four minutes.
The hot three-point shooting of the Timberwolves helped them take an early lead, as they sunk 60% of their shots behind the arc in the first quarter. After the first five minutes of the quarter were tightly contested, the Timberwolves were able to build a lead and led 33-19 heading into the second quarter.
The Cougars came out in the second quarter looking to cut into the Timberwolves' lead, but each basket they scored seemed to be matched by a bucket from the visitors.
The Timberwolves were able to hold off the Cougars' comeback efforts for most of the second. Until Yang went on a huge solo run in the final two minutes, scoring nine points and helping the Cougars cut the lead to 10 going into halftime.
At half the Timberwolves were led in scoring by Leamy who had 17 and 5 who managed to get 11 points through the first 20 minutes of action. They were able to knock down seven threes and got six steals on the defensive end in the half helping them build their lead.
The Cougars let Yang carry the load in the first half as he scored 20 points by driving to the basket and getting to the free throw line. Six of his first-half points came from the charity stripe where he took advantage of each opportunity from the line. As a team, the Cougars shot 50% from the field in the first half taking advantage of their open looks.
The Cougars came into the second half outscoring the Timberwolves but got in foul trouble early and gave back some of the points they scored at the free-throw line.
Despite the early foul trouble, the Cougars offense kept grinding and eventually were able to cut the lead to five with four minutes left in the third.
After Guinto was fouled shooting a three with less than one second remaining, he proceeded to make all three free-throws, cutting the Timberwolf lead to three heading into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter started with both teams looking to take control of the action. The Cougars kept cutting the lead to one or two but couldn't overtake the Timberwolves through the first four minutes of the final quarter.
After the two teams battled for control, the Timberwolves were able to get a couple stops on the defensive end which helped them build traction on the offensive end and rebuild their lead to 10 heading into the f final stretch of the game.
After they built their lead, the Timberwolves didn't let up and held on until the final buzzer coming away with the 15-point victory.
The second game of the series goes Saturday night at 6 p.m. MDT at Kenyon Court and can be streamed live on www.canadawest.tv.