EDMONTON – Vanessa Wild finished with a game-high 20 points on 7/11 shooting, leading the Alberta Pandas to a home-opening 64-49 win over the Winnipeg Wesmen, Friday night at Saville Community Sports Centre.
After trailing 13-11 after the opening quarter, the Pandas outgunned Winnipeg for the remainder of the game, outscoring the visitors 53-36.
Brooklyn Legault added 10 points and eight rebounds for Alberta on 4/7 shooting, while Megan Tywoniuk scored nine.
Deborah Nikiasi led Winnipeg with 11 points on just 3/11 shooting, while Srishti Suren was the only other Wesmen in double figures, scoring 10 off the bench.
The win is the second for Alberta this season, as they improve to 2-1 in conference play. Winnipeg drops their first game of the season, and now owns a matching 2-1 record through three games.
Boulanger was the difference in the opening quarter, scoring seven of her nine points in the first ten minutes.
Neither team shot overly well in the first, with the Pandas scoring 11 points on just 5/16 shooting from the floor. Winnipeg wasn’t much better, hitting six of their 14 shots, but held the 13-11 lead.
The Pandas heated up in the second, outscoring Winnipeg 20-5. Wild led the offensive charge with five points in the second, while forward Brooklyn Legault added another three points and five rebounds.
The Wesmen struggled mightily in the second, making just one of their 15 shots.
Wild continued to torch the Wesmen in the third quarter, as she hit a pair of late threes, extending her point lead to 15. The Pandas also finished the quarter on a 19-4 run, extending their lead to 21 after three (52-31).
Winnipeg improved their play in the fourth, but a late surge wasn’t enough to overcome their large deficit.
The two teams will finish their weekend series tomorrow night, with Game 2 scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. tipoff at Saville Community Sports Centre.