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November 23, 2012, LANGLEY, B.C. (ISN) – The Winnipeg Wesmen held the Trinity Western women’s basketball team in check Friday night as they earned their third win a row with a 68-44 victory over the Spartans at the Langley Events Centre.

The loss sees the Spartans remain winless on the season, at 0-7, while the win improves Winnipeg’s record to 3-4.

The Wesmen were led by Lauren Anderson, who was dominant down low in earning a team-high 13 points and two blocks, while Yael Kaplan added 12 points and two steals. Tia Coulter had a team high nine rebounds to go along with three steals and nine points. Katie Waring was three for four from beyond the arc to lead Winnipeg’s long ball attack.

For the Spartans, it was Holly Strom (Calgary) with a game-high 14 points to go with five rebounds, while both Emily Knauff (Maple Ridge, B.C.) and Chelsey Olsen (Fanny Bay, B.C.) each had 10 points. Olsen also had a team-high six rebounds.

“I thought turnovers really hurt us in the first half,” said Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul “The amount of turnovers we had at half is typically what we have for a full game. We made a lot of critical errors in the first half that caused us to be down by 12 points at halftime.

“But I thought we responded well in the third quarter. Our young players came in and I thought Nat (Carkner, Port Coquitlam, B.C.) and Luca (Schmidt, Langley) especially, did some really good things and we were able to fight back to get it to within six. I thought that was the momentum push we needed to keep going, but then a few threes by them and few costly errors by us turned the game back in their favour. We’re still a team learning lessons the hard way.”

Trinity Western got off to a quick start as they opened a 9-5 lead early in the first quarter. But Winnipeg followed that with a 13-2 run, capped by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Stephanie Kleysen that gave the Wesmen an 18-11 advantage after the opening frame.

Like the first quarter, the Spartans started the second with a surge, closing to within two points after a Chelsey Olsen 3-pointer made it 18-16. But, again, similar to the first frame, the Wesmen were dominant in the latter stages. After an Olsen free throw got TWU again back to within two points, at 25-23, Winnipeg went on a 10-0 run, thanks largely to a pair of 3-pointers from Kathleen Waring, to end the half up 35-23. Winnipeg’s Tia Coulter sunk a lay-up at the buzzer that gave the Wesmen their biggest lead of the game to that point.

The teams played back-and-forth basketball early in the third quarter, but with Winnipeg up 43-30, TWU started to claw back. The Spartans earned seven straight points to close the gap to six points, at 43-37. However, the Wesmen stole some momentum back at the buzzer when Alyssa Grant knocked down a long jumper to give the visitors a 45-37 edge going into the final quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Wesmen proved too strong for the Spartans. They came out fast and put the game away early as they continued to dictate the play and outscored TWU 22-7 over the final 10 minutes.

The Spartans are back in action Saturday at 5 p.m. when they host Manitoba, while the Wesmen will travel to play No. 2 Fraser Valley, also Saturday at 5 p.m.

Game Notes: Winnipeg had a 13-10 advantage in steals…Winnipeg out-rebounded TWU 36-26…TWU shot 27.6 per cent from the field to Winnipeg’s 43.5 per cent.