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UNBC looking to continue upset streak against University of Alberta

In their first postseason appearance in two seasons, the University of Northern British Columbia have already started to shock people in the U Sports men’s basketball playoffs.

Last Thursday, the Timberwolves upset the University of Winnipeg Wesmen 71-68 to advance to the next round of the postseason. In fact, they were the only lower seed to win their playoff games of all eight played last week, men’s or women’s.

In that game, UNBC went on a 13-4 run to close out the quarter, while not allowing Winnipeg any points in the final 5:27 of the game.

(UNBC Athletics / Brett Cullen)

But now their task gets even tougher, as they now have to face the number one ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears on the road. Head coach Todd Jordan knows that his team will be in tough, but insists they will be up for the challenge.

“Alberta is a talented and deep team who have been extremely tough defensively this year” said Jordan to BC Sports Hub. “If we are going to have success against them on the road it is going to take great competitiveness on the defensive end of the floor and a willingness to play together to find quality shots on the offensive end of the floor.”

“We are clearly the underdogs going on the road to face a team that won Canada West last year and went 19-1 this season. Our goal is simply to be playing our best basketball of the year going into this weekend.”

Indeed the Golden Bears look like a force to be reckoned with these U Sports playoffs. They have the 2nd best defence in the country, allowing just 66.7 points on average. They also have the 9th best offence, scoring just over 85 points a game.

But this year’s UNBC team is different. After a two year down tick, the Timberwolves finished with a 10-10 record, good enough to qualify for the playoffs.

“I think the addition of a couple new players have made a big difference, along with increased experience of our returning guys” sid Jordan on what’s sparked the turnaround.

“We have also dealt with a lot of injury issues the two seasons prior to this year which have really made it hard for us to be competitive [and] we have had a bit more luck on that front this season. Our guys have also put a lot of off-season work in over the past couple of years and we are also starting to see the results of that training paying off now.”

It will be a tough task, but the Timberwolves have shown just last week that when they’re backs are against the wall, they can scratch and bite their way to victory. Their first game in the best of three against the Golden Bears is this Saturday at 2:00 pm PST.

(UNBC Athletics / Brett Cullen)

Written By: Nick Bondi

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