November 11, 2012, PRINCE GEORGE, British Columbia (ISN) – In their first ever game against Canada West rookie Northern British Columbia, the Trinity Western women’s basketball team lost 74-67 to the Timberwolves Friday at the Northern Sport Centre.
In the last few minutes of the game, the Timberwolves, feeding off the energy of a home crowd of more than 1,000 spectators, went on an 8-0 run that proved to be the difference in what was a tight game. They then held off the Spartans late to earn their first win as part of the CIS.
The loss drops the Spartans to 0-3 while the win improves the Timberwolves to 1-2.
The Timberwolves played an aggressive game, out-rebounding the Spartans 30-18 in the first half despite trailing by four points at the break.
Mercedes VanKoughnett (Prince George, B.C.) was a threat all over the court as the fourth-year collected 13 points and pulled down 16 rebounds for the Timberwolves. Kady Dandeneau (Pender Island, B.C.) and Emily Kaehn (Hixon, B.C.) both added 17 points for UNBC.
The Spartans Holly Strom (Calgary) had a strong outing for TWU as she netted 24 points. Sarah Cleveland (Elizabeth, Colo.) added 12 points.
“We are continuously learning the hard way of how to play consistently, how to stick to the game plan and how to win close games,” said Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. “With a six-point lead going into the fourth quarter, we struggled to maintain intensity and we demonstrated some of the same critical errors we saw against UBC last weekend in the last eight minutes. But we are seeing this as a great opportunity to really tackle that last part of being a winning program: expecting to win and playing with confidence. I have to do a better job guiding our group through the fourth quarter. We have the right pieces, but we just need them to all move in the right direction at the same time.”
The Spartans started strong and possessed the lead at halftime, 36-32, after controlling much of the possession and capitalizing on the Timberwolves mistakes. Trinity Western was able to force 19 UNBC turnovers in the first half alone. In total the Spartans scored 27 points off of turnovers.
The teams went back and forth in the third quarter but going into the final frame, it was still Trinity Western with a six-point lead.
In the fourth quarter, UNBC tied it up 56-56 and from there the two sides traded points until just over three minutes to play. At that point, the Timberwolves went on an 8-0 run that put them ahead 68-60. The Spartans turned it up a notch and brought it back within three, but were unable to maintain their momentum as the Timberwolves closed the contest with a seven-point advantage.