Exhibition: UBC T-Birds go 3-0 in round robin at Kainan Tournament
Photo credit UBC Athletics / Tommy Nixon played a big role in two of UBC's round robin victories.
VANCOUVER - The UBC Thunderbirds posted a 3-0 mark in the round robin portion of the 2011 Kainan Basketball Tournament in Taiwan and will play for the tournament championship on Thursday.
"The trip so far has been a great experience for the guys," said UBC head coach Kevin Hanson, whose UBC roster comprises most of his 2010-11 CIS bronze medal winning squad. "The tournament has been run extremely well. There have been huge crowds at all three of our games and we are expecting another one on Thursday as it looks like we will be playing the home team from Kainan University."
UBC began the tournament with a contest against Wesleyan University, an NCAA Division III school located in Middletown, Connecticut. It was all T-Birds early as they outscored the Cardinal 30-15 in the first quarter before leading 51-32 at the break. They held their opponents to just eight points in the third quarter, extending their lead to 28 through 30 minutes en route to the 84-61 win.
First-year Tommy Nixon led UBC with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Balraj Bains also notched a double-double with 10 points and 13 boards while Alex Murphy had 15 points, eight assists, and four rebounds running the point.
"We jumped out of the gates. We defended well and rebounded well which allowed us to break out in transition and build an early lead. Everybody contributed and it was a fun game playing in front of a packed house right after the opening ceremonies," said Hanson.
In their second game, it was the UBC defence that once again made the difference as they defeated National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) 97-51.
Nixon put up a team-best 21 points and 13 rebounds as his T-Birds forced NCTU into a number of turnovers which lead to baskets in transition. Doug Plumb poured in 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Melvyn Mayott had 18 points, six rebounds, and six assists. Bains notched his second double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
"We played some very tough defence and over powered them with our rebounding. It was another huge crowd but they cheer for both sides. Fans here just appreciate nice basketball plays and cheer really loud for dunks and three-point shots," noted Hanson.
For their final round robin performance, UBC took down National Taiwan University 94-37, holding their opponents to 10 points or less in every quarter.
"We had a huge size difference this game. We started out by playing very aggressive defensively and this allowed us easy hoops and several dunks early in the game," observed Hanson.
Plumb was the 'Birds leading scorer in the win with 23 points to go along with six rebounds. Brent Malish added 17 points and six boards to help pace the UBC attack.
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