On Saturday, the University of Manitoba women’s basketball team were defeated by the number nine University of Winnipeg Wesmen, by a score of 79-71 in the 26th annual Duckworth Challenge. With the loss, the herd fall to 1-9, while the Wesmen improve to 10-0, and stay undefeated in Canada West division play.
The Bisons lost the women’s basketball portion of the Duckworth Challenge, but the game always has a different type of energy to it.
“Every year it’s always a fun thing to come into,” Bisons guard Tiara Licsi said. “It’s a fun environment, so we definitely go out and try and give all the energy we got.”
Manitoba was led by Emma Thompson with 16 points, while Rebecca Potter netted another 12 and led the herd with six rebounds. Kerri Kuzbyt led Winnipeg with 24 points, including six three-pointers, and Antoinette Miller put up a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds.
The first quarter featured a lot of strong defensive play from both sides. The Bisons went on a 9-0 run, giving them an 11-6 lead midway through the frame. Despite the poor shooting from the Wesmen, they were able to claw back within two points to end the quarter. Manitoba came out strong early in the second to take a six-point lead. But the Wesmen did not go away, as they went on a 13-0 run, led by Kuzbyt, who hit three three-pointers during the run.
Both teams shot lights out in the third quarter, as Manitoba shot 61.5 per cent from the field, while Winnipeg shot 53.3 per cent. The teams exchanged shots the whole quarter, with Winnipeg keeping their seven-point lead as they entered the final frame. The Bisons kept pace in the fourth quarter, but the Wesmen pulled away late to win 79-71.
Manitoba has now completed the first half of their season, and will be back in action after on Jan. 13 as they travel to Regina to take on the Cougars.