Men’s basketball starts the new year with overtime win

'Pack suffered a 10-point loss and secured a thrilling overtime win to kickstart 2019

(TRU Athletics/Brett Cullen)

TRU lost 90-81 to the UNBC Timberwolves on Jan. 4 in Prince George, B.C.

The WolfPack scored 13 points in the second quarter from Anton Bilous to keep a four-point lead going into the halftime break.

Derek Rhodes had a strong performance in the third quarter scoring 17. TRU led 65-69 at the end of the quarter.

The WolfPack bench outscored UNBC’s 25-19 with TRU scoring six points off rebounds.

TRU had 30 points in the paint compared to UNBC’s 22. UNBC out rebounded  TRU 35-33.

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

UNBC outscored TRU 31-16 in the final quarter to secure the result.

Rhodes was the top performer for TRU with 17 points, two defensive rebounds in 34 minutes. Joe Davis had 17 points and three defensive rebounds in 32 minutes.

“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,” said head coach Scott Clark to TRU Athletics.

TRU was able to turn things around on the following night on Jan. 5 in Prince George, winning the game 82-78.

The WolfPack had a 20-11 lead at the of the first quarter. UNBC made a big play just before half-time scoring a buzzer beater and taking the lead 37-35.

It was a very evenly contested game with UNBC leading 52-50 going into the final quarter. TRU had an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter and looked to be headed to victory.

Despite that, the UNBC Timberwolves still managed to make a last-minute shot to take the game to overtime at 70-70.

Tyus De Vries put TRU up four towards the end of overtime. They would eventually win the game 82-78.

“I was staying the course, playing within our system,” said Anton Bilous to TRU Athletics. “My teammates were able to get me some good looks and I was able to knock them down.”

Bilous was the top scorer in the game for the ‘Pack with 26 points, six defensive rebounds, two blocks and two assists. Enrico Nuno had 16 points, five defensive rebounds and one steal.

“It was a big win for us. We are 5-7 now and this keeps us in the playoff picture,” Clark said. “A really big team win. Everyone stepped up. A character win for us.”

TRU and all its fans will be hopeful that the team can secure another playoff win.