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WBB | Comeback falls short as Wesmen season ends in Saskatoon

Lena Wenke drives to the hoop against the UBC Thunderbirds during Canada West playoff action Thursday, February 20, 2020. (Huskie Athletics/Getmyphoto.ca)
Lena Wenke drives to the hoop against the UBC Thunderbirds during Canada West playoff action Thursday, February 20, 2020. (Huskie Athletics/Getmyphoto.ca)

SASKATOON — The Winnipeg Wesmen put themselves in a hole and nearly managed to find their way out.

The Wesmen women's basketball team trimmed a 21-point deficit down to single digits late in the game, but its season came to an end in a 92-85 Canada West quarter-final loss to the UBC Thunderbirds Thursday at the University of Saskatchewan.

Fifth-year senior Lena Wenke had 14 points and four rebounds in her final game as a Wesmen. Anna Kernaghan, who earlier in the day was named to the conference's all-rookie team, led the Wesmen with 19 points five rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Mikayla Funk came off the bench and scored 13 points while grabbing 10 rebounds, her second straight double-double. 

The Wesmen led by as many as six in the first half, but watched as the Thunderbirds go on a 17-6 run to take a 38-33 lead with 4:43 to go before halftime and it was a lead UBC would not relinquish.

After Winnipeg got back to 40-39 down with 3:14 to play, the Thunderbirds closed the half on an 8-0 run and then extended their lead with an 11-0 over the first 2:54 of the third quarter to go up 59-39. The Wesmen were down by 21 as late as 3:04 to go in the third and went into the fourth down 75-58.

"We started well and competed with them," Wesmen head coach Tanya McKay said. "And then we kinda had this lull period where we just made a ton of mistakes and they took advantage of them. And then as the game was winding down we just battled. We're very young and we know we're very talented for the future. I hand it to UBC. Keylyn Filewich played awesome. She did her job. She got her scores, she went to the foul line, she rebounded. And we couldn't stop her."

Filewich, the all-star post for UBC, finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds to lead the T-Birds, who will go on to play Saskatchewan in a semifinal on Friday.

Robyn Boulanger also had 14 points plus eight assists for the Wesmen and Jessica Dyck added 12 points. 

Jessica Hanson chipped in 15 points for UBC and Hailey Counsell 14 off the bench.

The T-Birds went 9-for-23 from three while Winnipeg was 8-for-27. UBC also outrebounded Winnipeg 49-35.

The 92 points surrendered matched the most the Wesmen gave up in conference or post-season play in 2019-20 and the 85 points are the most the team has scored in a Canada West loss since putting up 80 in losing to Saskatchewan, Feb. 1, 2013. 

—#REPTHEW—