Bison briefs

Test

In case you haven’t heard, starting Jan. 7 at the Bison basketball games and running until Feb. 26, Bison Sports will be holding a “Term 2 Tuition Giveaway” at every remaining Bison hockey, basketball and volleyball home game of the 2010-11 regular season. A student number will be drawn at every Bison home game and if your number is drawn, you get your second term tuition paid for, a prize of up to $2,500. You must be in attendance to win, so if you’ve never been out to a Bison home game, now is the time, 34 chances to win remain!

Basketball

On Jan. 7-8, the Bison men’s and women’s basketball teams played their first Canada West conference games of 2011. The men’s team played in the 44th Annual Wesmen Classic, a non-conference tournament from Dec. 28-30, and went 2-1. On Friday, the Bisons were looking to start the second half of the regular season with a win against the number two ranked UBC Thunderbirds. The Bisons got off to a good start and were only three points down at the end of the first half. Unfortunately, in the second half the Thunderbirds pulled away as the men lost 106-91. Guard Eric Garcia was the most productive Bison, scoring 21 points in the losing cause.

The men’s team had an opportunity to exact some revenge the next night, and came within one point of taking the lead early in the fourth quarter before the Thunderbirds put the game away. Guard Kevin Oliver earned a double-double and forward Sean Maxwell was fantastic beyond the arc, sinking seven of eight three-point attempts as he led the Bisons with 25 points. Despite these standout performances, Manitoba lost the game 87-72.

With the two losses the Bison men’s team record sits at 7-5, fourth in the CIS Canada West conference. The next couple weeks are going to feature some very important match ups; Bisons host third place Saskatchewan Huskies for two key games on Jan. 14-15, and then travel to Edmonton to play two games against the fifth place Golden Bears. If Manitoba can come away with a couple wins, they can help secure a top seeded playoff spot down the final stretch.

During the winter break, the Bison women’s team played in three non-conference games, losing to McGill, Memorial and Bishop’s. Returning to regular season play this past weekend, the Bisons failed to make up any ground in the conference as they dropped both games against the Thunderbirds.

In the first game on Friday, the Bisons kept it close in the first quarter, but UBC never let the lead go as they coasted to a dominating 73-37 win. Almost everything seemed to go wrong for the Bison women, as they only made 15 of 53 shots from the field.

The following day the Thunderbirds stormed out of the gate early, going on a 10-0 run to start the game. The Bisons only scored their first points with just over six minutes remaining in the first quarter and were forced to play catch up the entire rest of the game. While Manitoba would keep it much closer than the Friday game, they would ultimately come up short, losing 66-55.

With the two losses, the Bison women basketball team sits in tenth place in the Canada West conference with a 3-9 record. Two places out of a playoff spot, the Bisons are going to need to start winning right away, which will be a tough task given their upcoming opponents. The Bisons host the third place Saskatchewan Huskies on Jan. 14-15, and then travel to face off against the first place Alberta Pandas on Jan. 21-22.

Hockey

Conference play for both the Bison men’s and women’s hockey teams resumes on Jan. 14-15. The men’s team is out of town, while the women’s team hosts the Saskatchewan Huskies on Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m..

The women’s team travels to Lethbridge the following weekend, Jan. 21-22, while the men’s team hosts Lethbridge on Friday and Saturday of the same dates, 7:00 p.m.. Both teams are near the top of the standings and have been playing some great hockey all season long.

Volleyball

The Bison men’s and women’s volleyball teams are back in action this weekend, as they are both in Saskatoon to play against Saskatchewan on Jan. 14-15. They return home to host Alberta on Jan. 21-22 before their conference bye the following week.

The Bison men’s volleyball team currently sits in first place in the Canada West conference, while the Bison women are currently in third. Both teams will be looking to play strong down the stretch to prepare for a deep playoff run.