KELOWNA, B.C. – The Trinity Western University Spartans women’s basketball team bested the UBC Okanagan Heat tonight, capitalizing on their strong defense to take it to the Heat 73-69. While the Heat made a comeback run early in the 4th quarter, the Spartans brought the pressure offensively in the end, moving to 5-6 in conference play. The Heat now move to 2-7 in conference play.
“To start with, our defense was a little bit slow, but as the game went on we definitely picked it up,” reflected Heat head coach Heather Semeniuk. “We played them in exhibition and in this game they were a lot more physical. I thought they were really tenacious, lots of hands and grabbing. They were definitely more aggressive defensively than we were.”
The Spartans held the lead for most of the game, but not by much as the Heat kept close behind, creeping up behind them until the end of the fourth quarter. Guard Sarah Cleveland (3rd year, Elizabeth, CO) led her team in points tonight, sinking a total of 21. Close behind her were teammates Tiffany Olsen (5th year, Fanny Bay, BC) and Janelle Traber (3rd year, Abbotsford, BC), scoring 14 points each. Olsen led her team in rebounds, grabbing 10 of them with the help of teammate Holly Strom (3rd year, Calgary, AB), who grabbed 9 rebounds as well as sinking 11 points.
“My girls just play with heart. They get on the role of doing things right, its just those dips when things don’t go right,” comments Semeniuk. “The turnovers hurt us tonight and we weren’t getting those second chances. We were also settling for some shots and missing some free throws that we shouldn’t have. Overall, I think they did great.”
The Heat’s Roz Huber (4th year, Kelowna, BC) took to the court tonight after sitting out for one game due to a knock to the head last Friday against the Manitoba Bisons. Huber smashed out a team high total of 26 points, also grabbing the same number of rebounds as Madison Kaneda (4th year, Vernon, BC), each grabbing eight for the team lead. Kaneda and Angela White (2nd year, N. Vancouver, BC) were the only other Heat team members to score in the double digits, each notching 10 points. White sunk 100 per cent of her shots from the free throw line (5-5) as well as sinking her only three-point attempt.
Semeniuk also noted that they now know what they need to do to adjust for Saturday’s game. “We’ve played them, so we come out [Saturday] and know what they’re going to do. We will have to deal with that physicality factor, the grabbing and the hands. We’ll just need to take care of the ball better.”
The two teams face each other again tomorrow night at UBC’s Okanagan campus at 6 p.m. The game will be aired live at www.canadawest.tv.