Columbia athletics

T-Birds claim victory over TRU

VANCOUVER — The UBC Thunderbirds opened their 2022 schedule with an impressive 80-45 win over the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack at War Memorial Gym to improve to 4-7 in the regular season.

Emily Martindale had a team-high 20 points for UBC, and Hailey Counsell had 15 points with five interceptions as the ‘Birds capitalized on TRU’s 26 turnovers – all while dominating the paint. Fourth year forward Madison Legault had seven points in his first game back from injury for the T-Birds and Olivia Weekes had 13 points with nine rebounds and three steals in the victory.

Hailey Counsell

“We are all so excited to finally be able to play again,” said the UBC head coach. Erin McAleenan after the first game of the Canada West “Birds” since December 4and. “We’ve had to go through a lot over the past few weeks, so I’m proud that their hard work has paid off. The ball was dropping today, and with our zone defense we’re trying to turn things around a bit more .and focus on three straight saves.In the second quarter we really opened things up and at the start of the third quarter we started with nine straight saves so our defense got us to win this move forward and have a little more space.”

Megan Rouault led the WolfPack with 11 points and six rebounds, while Priyanca Sundher had nine points with three boards as TRU fell to 1-11 in the regular season.


The Thunderbirds took an early lead as Weekes scored two buckets in the first two minutes and kate johnson put the ‘Birds up 8-2 with a steal and a layup. TRU tied him down midway through the frame, but Martindale drained a short jumper to reclaim the lead and Dina Strujic put the T-Birds up 18-10 to end the first quarter.

UBC’s defense came through in the second quarter – limiting the WolfPack to just six points in the period, and Counsell dropped three triples to solidify a 33-16 halftime lead.

Martindale opened the third quarter with another jumper and Strujic stole and scored for a 37-16 cushion as UBC’s strength on the defensive end continued to shine. TRU got on the board with a pair of free throws from Elana Sireni with just under five minutes left in the third at 46-18′ Birds, but the home team took a 56-20 lead in the last frame.

Sundher scored a three to open the fourth for the WolfPack and made a layup moments later as the Surrey, B.C. freshman guard scored all nine points in the final quarter.

Olivia Weekes vs. UFV, November 5, 2021

“You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” McAleenan added. “TRU will come back with some tweaks and a big thing for us is to build on what we did today. I would also like to see us finish better on the inside. I think we left some points on the board. at the rim – whether on offensive rebounds or post-ups – so I think we can do a better job tomorrow and ideally the ball goes in as much as it did today.”

The two teams will face off at War Memorial Gym on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. PT with a focus on the U SPORTS Shoot for Cure women’s basketball breast cancer fundraising initiative in support of the Canadian Cancer Society. Tickets are available for free online, while the match will also be broadcast live on Canada West TV.