The #1 ranked UBC Thunderbirds hung on to defeat the Winnipeg Wesmen 84-77 in the opening game of  the Canada West Final Four Championships
in Vancouver Friday night. Winnipeg dug themselves an early hole
falling behind 47-34 at halftime. Fifth year forward Kim Howe led UBC
with 21 points, including 11-of-14 from the free throw line to go along
with eight rebounds. Winnipeg was led by fifth guard and First Team
Canada West All-Star Uzo Asagwara's game high 33 points.

Second year forward Nicki Schutz had her best game of her career scoring 20 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Winnipeg carried the play in the first quarter jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead, hitting three of their first four shots. UBC fought back and took the lead for the first time with 57 seconds left in the first quarter. UBC held a slim 16-13 lead after the opening quarter. In the second quarter Cait Haggarty nailed three-three pointers to lead UBC to 31 second quarter points to take a 47-34 lead at halftime. After the break Winnipeg exploded going on a 9-2 run to begin the second half to cut the UBC lead to 49-43. The two teams exchanged baskets with Winnipeg keeping pace and staying within six points with over four minutes to play in the third quarter. UBC took control of the game once again scoring eight unanswered points on their way to a 67-54 lead after three quarters. The fourth quarter saw Winnipeg go on an 8-2 run to get to within four points at 72-68. Haggarty drained another three to expand the UBC lead to 75-68 with four minutes to play.

Asagwara scored seven points in the final three minutes, but the Wesmen attempted comeback fell just short. Winnipeg will take on the loser of the Alberta/Simon Fraser game in the bronze medal match Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. Wpg Time. The winner advances to the CIS Women's National Championships in St.John's, Nfld next week.

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