A couple of convincing wins this past weekend set the UBC men’s basketball team off on the right foot to start the regular season, giving the CIS No. 5 ranked team a 2-0 record to begin the year.
On Friday night they opened up the season with a strong 91-55 win over the Brandon University Bobcats (1-3) at War Memorial Gym. On Saturday they soundly defeated the University of Regina Cougars (0-3) 100-71.
The wins left UBC head coach Kevin Hanson happy with how his team opened up the regular season.
“I thought this was the first weekend that we played two good basketball games,” said Hanson after Saturday night’s game. “I’m real pleased.”
UBC proved to be too much for an overmatched Regina team on Saturday, forcing them into 29 turnovers and leading them in every statistical category. They built up a comfortable 30-13 lead after the first quarter and never looked back.
Fifth-year point guard Nathan Yu stole the show with an impressive 34 point and 8 assist effort on Saturday, controlling the offence and leading a potent fast break. He shot an impressive 11-19 from the field and 6-11 from beyond the arc. It is his first year playing point guard, but he showed no signs of inexperience.
“The ball is in his hands a lot and he’s also putting up some points for us, so he’s really turning into a complete player because that’s sort of the role that we need him to fill,” said Hanson.
While Yu may have had the big numbers of the weekend, his teammates also made significant contributions to the wins. Nine players chipped in points against Regina.
True freshman Malcolm Williams showed off his long-range display all weekend, shooting 5-10 from beyond the arc on Saturday. Second-year Tommy Nixon played significant minutes and took advantage of it, scoring 19 points and swiping 5 steals against Regina.
“The young guys and freshmen got a lot of minutes, and we had some really good performances by some of the veteran guys,” said Hanson. “We’re seeing some growth.”
With many key players graduating after last season and several new players joining this year’s roster, Hanson expressed some hesitation on how his team would define themselves this season. But after this weekend he is starting to get a better idea of how the team might come together.
“We still weren’t exactly sure of where we were going to be this year and what our identity was going to be, and I thought we saw some real good signs [of what kind of team we'll be].”
Sterling Nostedt led Regina with 16 points, who moves to 0-3 following the loss.
The T-Birds will attempt to move to 4-0 next weekend as they renew their rivalry with Trinity Western (2-2). Both games will be at War Memorial Gym, 8pm Thursday night and 7pm Saturday night.