The Brandon University Bobcats had their best defensive performance of the Canada West men’s basketball season on Sunday when they limited the Northern British Columbia Timberwolves to 54 points.
The Bobcats (3-9) will need more efforts like that this weekend if they’re going to have any success against the second-ranked UBC Thunderbirds (10-2) and the Victoria Vikes (7-5) on the West Coast.
UBC has the second-most potent offence in the conference this season, averaging 84.2 points per game, and is one of the toughest teams to beat on their home court, sporting a 23-1 home conference record dating back to Oct. 24, 2010.
"It’s definitely tough and on their home court," said BU head coach Gil Cheung. "They’re a physical team, but I think we’re prepared. Guys had a good week of practice and we’ll go in there to give them a run at things."
Shutting down UBC on Friday will have to be done a little differently than how Brandon limited UNBC, which was the third-highest scoring team in Canada West going into last weekend. UNBC relied more on perimeter play, but Cheung expects UBC to try to bait Brandon into a track meet. The T-Birds also move the ball inside more, which puts a lot more pressure on the Bobcats’ big men. Still, Cheung believes in his guys.
"We need to limit their possessions and limit them on the offensive glass," he said. "The urgency was there on the defensive end Sunday afternoon and hopefully we can have that for 80 minutes this weekend."
BU wraps up the weekend against the Vikes, who are the stingiest team in Western Canada, allowing only 70.1 points per game. Cheung hopes to grind out the game against the Vikes and hopefully come out with a victory.
"If we get one Friday night, great," he said. "If we get one Saturday night or both it would be awesome. We’re not talking about wins and losses right now. I think we just have to come out to take care of the defensive end and the glass first and go from there."
Meanwhile, the BU women’s basketball team (0-12) will also be in B.C. to take on the fifth-ranked UBC Thunderbirds (9-3) and the ninth-ranked Victoria Vikes (8-4).
CAT SCRAPS: Bobcats guard Kenonte Ramsey is expected to play in at least one game this weekend for the men’s basketball team. Ramsey missed last week’s games after rolling his ankle in practice … Chloe Reimer, a left side with the BU women’s volleyball team, will miss this weekend’s matches against the Alberta Pandas because of an injured ankle that she rolled in practice on Tuesday.