Spartans Defense Holds Down Heat

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ubc heat

Cary Mellon

Kelowna, B.C. – The Trinity Western University Spartans played a strong defensive game in holding the UBC Okanagan Heat to just 50 points, winning by 13, 63-50. With the victory the Spartans completed the weekend sweep of their inter-province foe.

With the two wins this weekend the Spartans are now 6-6 in conference play. The Heat have lost three in a row and move to 2-8.

“I think we were a little tired. We gave a lot of time out to our starters last night so they didn’t have that spunk and that energy that we needed,” reflected Heat head coach Heather Semeniuk. “I saw a step up in defense from Trinity as well. They basically put full court pressure on us the whole game and they’re tenacious. I don’t think we’ve played against a team so far this year that plays that tenaciously. They’re a good team.”

The Spartans took off with the lead early on and held off the Heat, maintaining a 10 point cushion for most of tonight’s game. Sarah Cleveland (3rd year, Elizabeth, CO) led her team in points again tonight with a total of 15, six less than last night. One basket short of Cleveland in scoring was teammate Janelle Traber (3rd year, Abbotsford, BC) who scored a total of 13 points tonight. 6′ 2″ post Tiffany Olsen (5th year, Fanny Bay, BC) led her team in rebounds for the second night in a row, grabbing 7 balls off the glass.

“We’re always looking at our defense and you can see the difference between the two teams; we really need to play better team defense,” continued Semeniuk. “Tonight our game plan was to get the ball inside more. Unfortunately, we were dribbling a little bit too much and it hurt our offense. They were double-teaming every time we put the ball on the floor and it really stagnates the offense so hopefully we learned from that tonight.”

The Heat lost some steam after last night’s battle and the Spartans tightened defense, shutting them down for most of tonight’s game. Guard Madison Kaneda (4th year, Vernon, BC) was the only member of the Heat to shoot in the double digits tonight, scoring 10 points and grabbing four rebounds. Teammate Roslyn Huber (4th year, Kelowna, BC) for the first time this season failed to score at least 10; Huber and teammate Audrey Siebert-Timmer (4th year, Calgary, AB) each scored eight points tonight. Krystal Schouten (2nd year, Winnipeg, MB) led her team in rebounds, hauling in seven.

“Saskatchewan will be a tough match-up, they’ve got some big kids. They’re a seasoned team and they know the business to expect in CIS so it’ll be a hard road trip there,” commented Semeniuk. “Roz Huber, Ashley Briker, and Madison Kaneda will lead us along the way. We’ll have a few good practices this week and hopefully get the ball lined up for the upcoming games.”

After the six game home stand the Heat will head on the road with two tough games in two different time zones. The travel will be tough but the opponents will be tougher as the Heat play No. 5 University of Saskatchewan Huskies Friday night (Jan. 20) in Saskatoon, the game set to start at 4:15 p.m. PST. On Saturday (Jan. 21) UBC Okanagan will head to Edmonton to play the No. 6 University of Alberta Pandas in the new Saville Community Centre. Tip off time is 5 p.m. PST.

The Spartans are again on the road as they head to Manitoba, visiting the Brandon University Bobcats; game time is 6 p.m. Both games will be aired live at www.canadawest.tv.

Heat Notes: Emily Kanester, Ashley Briker, Laura Campbell, and Mackenzie Carnes were all 2 for 2 from the free throw line…. Angela White clocked the most play time, 33 minutes…. Madison Kaneda stuck to her double digit standard scoring a total of 10 points…The Heat received 21 of their 50 points tonight from the bench…Trinity won the game with the turnover, they scored 17 points off of the Heat’s 18 turnovers.

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