TRU basketball opens the season at the TCC

Men split and women lose both in games against UBCO and UNBC

Brendan Sullivan helps Wolfpack to their first win of the season against UBCO with a career-high 30-point performance. (TRU Athletics)

It was an action-packed Saturday at the Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops, as TRU Men’s and Women’s basketball hosted the UNBC Timberwolves and the UBCO Heat in a battle of the interior University programs.

In front of the loyal Wolfpack fan base, the ‘Pack hosted their home opener and played in front of a packed crowd for the first time in over a year.

The men’s team suffered a heartbreaking loss to the UNBC Timberwolves during their home opener in a game that came right down to the wire. In the final seconds with the game on the line, the Wolfpack seemed to score a game-winning basket, but it was quickly called off by the referee due to a shot-clock violation.

The controversial ending saw the game finish 69-67 in favour of the Timberwolves.

However, the team rallied the next day and squeezed out a victory against UBCO, winning by a score of 77-72.

Brendan Sullivan had a thrilling night, scoring a career-high 30 points while grabbing 9 rebounds and 1 assist. Asher Mayan (15 points) and Brad King (10 points) lent Sullivan a helping hand with the scoring. 

“It was a lot of fun to be back in front of our fans, competing at a high level. It is something we’ve missed for a long time and getting to experience that again was great.  I’m proud of our team in the way we bounced back against UBCO and I think that toughness says something about what kind of team we are and hopefully, that will translate throughout the rest of the season,” Sullivan stated. The third-year guard remarked on his 30-point night.

“I think that I am at my best when I am aggressive on the offensive end, and I think that’s what worked well for me against UBCO. I’ll need to score a bit more this year as opposed to my second year, but I also think that we have a lot of other talented offensive players who are capable of putting up big numbers,” Sullivan said.

The women’s team lost their first game to the Timberwolves 80-71 with a scoring lead by Elana Sireni with 15 points and 13 rebounds. In the second game against the Heat, the ladies again fell short by a score of 87-68. Maggie Fehr, Kyla Smith, and Elana Sireni all poured in with 12 points each, but it was not enough to beat UBCO.

The women will look to rebound on Nov. 5 and search for their first win of the season as they face off again against UNBC for a pair of games in Prince George. The men’s team will also make their way up North for the weekend to face off against the Timberwolves in what should be another tightly matched showdown.