UNBC defeats Vancouver Island in defensive war to claim PacWest gold

As the VIU Mariners and UNBC Timberwolves stepped onto the hardwood inside Capilano University’s Sportsplex, all outside factors – rankings, statistics, experience and history – were abandoned at the front doors.

When stripped down to it’s rawest form, the men’s PacWest gold medal game on Saturday night was a gritty melee full of emotion; one that featured two elite teams looking to end the debate of who truly is B.C.’s best in 2012.

In a contest that had no buzzer beater finishes, no lead changes and no ties after the 0-0 tipoff, it was still as exciting as they come, with UNBC pulling out a 69-61 victory to capture gold and claim their spot in the CCAA National Championships.

“When you’re going to win championships, you got to play defence,” said Timberwolves head coach Todd Jordan. “We kept them from getting a lot of easy stuff, we followed the defensive game plan really really well, and now we’re champions and it feels pretty good.”

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UNBC ends Kwantlen’s playoff hopes

UNBC forward Dennis Stark maneuvers around Kwantlen’s Ali Bosir, attempting a tough finger roll. Stark had 14 on the night. – Brian Jones Photo

One team, a perennial provincial power, entered the year’s final regular season game with a daunting 12-3 record. They had won a double-overtime game the night before, cementing their second-place spot in the standings and securing an automatic bye for the first round of the approaching playoffs.

The other, a team who won just one league game the previous year, entered the match having won four of their last five. They had two options: win the game in upsetting fashion and clinch the league’s sixth and final playoff spot, or lose, and end their season prematurely.

In a convincing 92-72 victory, the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves reaffirmed their confidence heading into the postseason, while the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles were forced to exercise the undesirable second option.

Continue reading at North Pole Hoops.