After falling 67-72 to the Alberta Pandas in the first game of the season, UBC women’s basketball dropped the second game 54-69.
“Alberta is a strong team ... I think that they’re further along in their development of some of their returning players,” said Deb Huband, UBC's head coach.
Although the Thunderbirds ultimately lost the game by 15 points, they were initially neck-in-neck with the Pandas. Strong defense on both sides of the court kept the score fairly even throughout the first quarter. UBC had a 17-15 lead by the end of the first.
Forward Adrienne Parkin was the main driving force for the T-Birds during the first quarter. Parkin alone scored eight points to nearly match the remaining nine points of her teammates.
Despite the Thunderbirds’ early lead in the second quarter, the Pandas quickly gained the upper hand and erased UBC’s lead. The Thunderbirds did not score a point in the second quarter until forward Kara Spotton produced a pair of free throws midway through.
After Spotton’s free throws, the Thunderbirds’ managed to regain some momentum and leverage. With continually strong defence by UBC and Alberta, neither team produced many points in the remainder of the second. The Pandas held a 26-23 lead by halftime.
While neither team scored many points during the second quarter, the third quarter saw noticeably better scoring performances by both the T-Birds and Pandas. The score by the end of the third quarter was 45-38 in favour of Alberta.
In the beginning of the third quarter, the Thunderbirds failed to catch up to their opponent. The gap continued to widen during the fourth quarter as Alberta managed to gain a double-digit lead for the first time. The Pandas won by a final score of 69-54.
Alberta’s Megan Wickstrom was among the players who powered the Pandas’ offence during the final half. She finished the game with 20 points to become the leading scorer during the game.
“[Wickstrom] hit big shots in the key time of the game in the fourth quarter and that’s when they separated from us…. They had very strong offensive production in the fourth quarter,” said Huband.
Despite the loss, Huband believes that the team had shown improvement compared to the preseason.
“This was a positive step for us. Even though the result wasn’t what we wanted, our team was better now than it was a week ago,” said Huband.
UBC currently has a 0-2 record into the regular season. They will play their next game against the Trinity Western University Spartans on November 13.