DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
Mike Raimbault knows there's still work to be done, but at the very least the Winnipeg Wesmen will go into the Canada West conference season on a winning note.
Adam Benrabah led five Wesmen players in double figures with 20 points and the UWinnipeg men's basketball team scored a 94-81 non-conference win over the Brandon Bobcats to wrap up the Lea Marc Invitational on Saturday night.
The Wesmen, who will open Canada West play Friday at home against the Fraser Valley Cascades, finished their pre-season slate with five wins against one loss and will enter the regular season on a run of four straight wins.
"There's obviously a lot of learning still," Raimbault, the Wesmen head coach, said. "As we head into conference play, we're well aware of the fact that we need to be playing better a week from now than we are currently."
Haashim Wallace's 18 points led the Bobcats, who also got 16 from Anthony Tsegakele, 13 from Shun Williams and Jaleel Webb and 10 from Han Befus.
The Wesmen hit 12 of 35 from three and finished shooting 49.3 per cent from the floor. Brandon was 12-for-30 and 43.1 per cent from the floor.
Winnipeg won the rebounding battle 45-35, led by Will Sesay, who had 13 — the third time in four games he's posted double-digit boards.
The Wesmen led by as many as 19 in the second half, but the Bobcats managed to trim that lead to six in the fourth quarter
"I think Brandon did a really good job of changing some things up and making sure that we had to execute, and they never quit," Raimbault said. "They kept some plays alive on the glass and put us in a situation where we had to execute down the stretch. That being said, we were able to make enough plays on both ends of the floor to hold on to a semi-comfortable lead."