VANCOUVER — The Winnipeg Wesmen were done in by a slow start Friday in a loss to one of the top teams in the country.
Narcisse Ambanza had a season-high 28 points and the Wesmen men's basketball team dropped a 97-85 decision to the No. 11-ranked UBC Thunderbirds in a Canada West conference contest at War Memorial Gymnasium.
A 28-16 first quarter put the Wesmen in an early hole, one that they couldn't dig out of despite playing even with the Thunderbirds the rest of the way.
The Wesmen trailed by as many as 20 in the first half but got the lead down to 10 on a DJ Dixon three 28 seconds into the third quarter. The Thunderbirds, however, responded with a 12-3 run after that.
Ambanza added eight rebounds and five assists for the Wesmen (10-9), who will play their final conference game Saturday and are likely in need of a win in order to host a first-round series.
The Wesmen are battling Regina for the final hosting spot in the post-season based on RPI.
Winnipeg's bench outscored UBC's 31-13.
The Wesmen were 9-for-30 from three and shot 40.8 per cent from the field.
Jadon Cohee led five UBC starters in double figures with 25 points. Grant Shephard added 19, Manroop Clair 16 and Grant Audu and Brian Wallack added 12 each.