TWU Spartans Downed By Wolfpack

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Mark Janzen

LANGLEY, British Columbia – Despite a double-double from Trinity Western’s Tiffany Olsen in which she had 19 points and 11 rebounds, the Spartans women’s basketball team fell 66-61 to Thompson Rivers Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

The difference on this night proved to be shooting percentage as they WolfPack shot 53.3 per cent compared to the Spartans 28.6 per cent. Despite collecting 23 offensive rebounds, the Spartans couldn’t overcome the four-pronged attack of Thompson Rivers, who had four players with at least 13 points.

With a third quarter in which the WolfPack outscored the Spartans 20-11, the visitors took a lead that, despite a late surge from Trinity Western, they were able to take to the final horn.

The WolfPack were led by Jorri Duxbury, who finished the game with a game-high 18 points and a game-high five assists while Kaitlyn Widsten had 15 points and eight rebounds and Diane Schuetze had 13 points and eight rebounds. The dynamic Jen Ju added 13 points and a pair of steals.

For the Spartans, after Olsen, it was Laurelle Weigl with 11 points and six rebounds while Janelle Traber had 10 points and Emily Knauff had a team-high seven rebounds to go along with three points and four steals.

The loss drops Trinity Western to 8-8 on the season while Thompson Rivers improves to 6-9.

“It’s dissapointing to lose because I think there were plenty of opportunities for us to win that game,” said Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. “I think we gave away too many easy looks and our offensive responses weren’t necessarily the ones we wanted to take. We want this game to burn a little bit for us because we need to respond to this kind of game. I don’t think we played our style of play. We had a game plan going into this battle and we didn’t exactly execute that plan and it’s just unfornate it went this way.”

After the Spartans got off toa quick 5-0 lead in the opening quarter, Thompson Rivers got on its first quality run of the night as they caught fire, going on what would be an 18-4 run to open a nine-point edge with just over two minutes left in the first frame.

Trinity Western responded with a 7-0 run in the final two minutes, capped by a Sarah Cleveland 3-pointer with 13 seconds left to get the Spartans to within one point, 18-17 heading to the second quarter.

In the second quarter, with the score 24-20 in favour of the WolfPack, the Spartans went on an 11-1 run to retake the lead and establish a six-point lead at 31-25. But Thompson Rivers came right back as they closed the gap late and, with Duxbury earning the half’s final four points, the WolfPack went into the break up 35-34.

Midway through the third quarter, the game turned Thompson Rivers way. With the WoflPack leading 42-40 with just over five minutes left in the quarter, the WolfPack took off on a 13-5 run to end the quarter with a 55-45 lead.

In the fourth quarter, the WolfPack extended its lead to 61-47 before the Spartans started to push back. Trinity Western went on a 12-2 run, getting as close as four points at 63-59, but they couldn’t get any closer as Thompson Rivers held on for the five-point win.

Despite plenty of looks, the Spartans struggled from the 3-point line late, going one for seven in the fourth quarter.

The two teams will meet in a rematch Saturday at 5:00 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.The game will be streamed live on www.canadawest.tv.

Game Notes – Both teams struggled from the free throw line as the Spartans shot 51.6 per cent on 16 for 31 shooting and the WolfPack shot 46.9 per cent on 15 for 32 shooting…TWU had 40 rebounds to TRU’s 37…TRU had 23 turnovers to the Spartans 11…TWU finished with 13 steals to TRU’s seven.

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