The third quarter proved to be the Achilles heel of the Brandon University Bobcats men’s basketball team on Saturday night in Winnipeg.
Coming off its first win of the Canada West conference season Friday night, the Bobcats were within five points of the Manitoba Bisons at the half. However, they turned the ball over nine times and were outscored 18-8 in the third quarter and couldn’t recover, eventually falling 81-63.
Having one bad quarter is not a new problem for the Bobcats and they’ve struggled to play a full 40 minutes since the pre-season.
However, it’s an issue that BU head coach Gil Cheung finds frustrating.
“I thought we played well enough to win (Saturday) night, but about a four-minute stretch in the third quarter cost us the game,” he said. “Hopefully we learn from it and we have to learn to value the basketball a little bit more and get back at it Thursday night.”
Ali-Mounir Benabdelhak recorded a double-double for the Bobcats (1-3) with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Michael (Reggie) Smith added 16 and Jordan Reaves chipped in with 11 boards. Manitoba improved to 2-2 on the season.
Meanwhile, the BU women’s basketball team got off to a slow start again on Saturday night, but this time they couldn’t come back in a 62-53 loss to the host Bisons, who edged the Bobcats in overtime in Friday’s weekend opener.
Manitoba (2-2) held the Bobcats to one field goal and forced seven turnovers in the first 3:44 of the game as they jumped out to a 9-2 advantage. That lead increased to 42-20 at halftime.
Brandon (0-4) did outscore Manitoba in both of the final two quarters, but the deficit was too much.
Jaynell Gillett led the Bobcats’ attack with 18 points, while Elsa Langill added 13 points and nine rebounds.
Both Bobcat basketball teams play a home-and-home series with the Winnipeg Wesmen this week, with games Thursday in Winnipeg and Saturday in Brandon.