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November 25, 2012, LANGLEY, BC., (ISN) – The Trinity Western women’s basketball team picked up its first win of the 2012-13 season as it led from start to finish en route to a 63-54 victory over visiting Manitoba Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.

The Spartans possessed just a four-point lead going into the second half but with an 11-1 run to start the third quarter, the home side put the game out of reach and Manitoba was unable to get back into it down the stretch. In the fourth quarter, the Bisons made a late push, outscoring TWU 14-8 over the final 10 minutes, but it wasn’t enough as the Spartans held on for what would be a nine-point victory.

The win improves the Spartans to 1-7 on the season while the loss drops Manitoba to 2-6.

The Spartans were led by Holly Strom (Calgary), who had 23 points and four rebounds, and Emily Knauff (Maple Ridge, B.C.), who had a regular season-high 18 points to go along with five boards and three steals. Chelsey Olsen (Fanny Bay, B.C.) led TWU with a game-high 13 rebounds as well as picking up eight points.

For Manitoba, Sheree Carmona-Galdamez led the Bisons with a game-high 27 points while Robyn Eyer had 15 points and Samantha Pyke had a team-high seven rebounds.

“I thought we played a lot better in terms of basic team-play for the first three quarters,” said Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. “I still think we have a lot of things to fix in terms of how we approach the fourth quarter but we were able to fight through and get the win.  I hope this was a good character-building experience for us. It wasn’t pretty but it was effective.

“I’m proud of the girls for fighting hard and they wanted this. I think Emily came in a hit some critical shots in the fourth quarter and we were able to maintain our composure just long enough to win the game.”

After the teams traded points early in the first quarter, the Spartans started to take control in the middles stages and by the end of the opening 10 minutes possessed a 16-11 lead.

With momentum on their side, TWU pushed its lead to 21-11 early in the second frame. However, the Bisons fought their way back and, after a Karina Patterson lay-up, the visitors closed to within one point at 33-32. Then, with TWU still possessing a one-point lead, at 35-34, the Spartans Olsen knocked down a 3-pointer late in the quarter to give the Spartans a 38-34 haftime lead.

Despite the Bisons shooting 48.1 per cent from the field compared to TWU’s 43.2 per cent, it was the Spartans, who out-rebounded Manitoba 15-10 in the first half, with the lead after 20 minutes.

Early in the third quarter, the Spartans turned a four-point game into a 14-point game with an 11-1 run to start the second half. With Strom collecting nine points in the third quarter alone, TWU outscored Manitoba 17-6 to build a 55-40 advantage heading into the final frame.

In the fourth quarter, Manitoba made a push but was only able to get to within nine points as the Spartans hung for the win.

Trinity Western is back in action next weekend when it travels to Regina Nov. 30 and Brandon Dec. 1. Manitoba returns home to take on UBC Okanagan Dec. 1 and Thompson Rivers Dec. 2.

Game Notes: TWU shot 38.5 per cent from the field while Manitoba shot 35.0 per cent…TWU finished with a 34-28 rebounding advantage…Manitoba was 5 for 10 from 3-point range while TWU was 2 for 4.