January 13, 2013, Langley, BC (ISN) – After struggling early in the first quarter, the Saskatchewan Huskies turned up their game late in the opening frame and then, having found its stride, had its run of the court for the better part of the contest, earning a 66-51 win over the Trinity Western women’s basketball team Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
After the Spartans (2-10) possessed an 8-4 lead in the latter stages of the first quarter, an 11-0 run from Saskatchewan (6-6) to end the frame, including back-to-back 3-pointers from Riley Humbert (Saskatoon, Sask.), gave the visitors a 13-8 lead. The Huskies led the rest of the way.
Saskatchewan had four players hit double-digits and were led by Kelsey Trulsrud (Saskatoon), who had a double-double, collecting 12 points and 15 rebounds. Dalyce Emmerson (Prince Albert, Sask.) and Kiera Lyons (Ryley, Alta.) each finished with 14 points while Humbert added 10 points.
For TWU, Holly Strom (Calgary) finished with a team-high 11 points and nine rebounds while Chelsey Olsen (Fanny Bay, B.C.) added 10 points and six boards. Sarah Cleveland (Elizabeth, Colo.) added nine points.
“I think the effort was definitely there and the right attitude was there, but there were just times where there were little breakdowns that hurt us,” said Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. “I thought we had the ability to come back in that game in the third quarter, but there were some missed opportunities. We had good shot selection and good team play, but sometimes the ball doesn’t drop and then we gave up some easy ones on the other side. That’s how those swings happened.”
Taking advantage of a cold-shooting Huskies side early on – Saskatchewan started the game two for 14 from the field – TWU staked itself to an 8-4 lead midway through the first quarter. The Spartans maintained their lead until the final minute of the quarter. But inside the last 40 seconds, Humbert knocked down a pair of 3-pointers, the latter of which came at the buzzer, to give the Huskies a 13-8 lead after 10 minutes.
In the second quarter, Saskatchewan outscored the Spartans 18-13 as it opened up a 10-point cushion going into halftime. The Huskies Emmerson had seven points in the quarter while Trulsrud had five rebounds to lead Saskatchewan.
With TWU shooting just 28.1 per cent in the first half, the Spartans were unable to keep up with a Huskies side that shot 31.0 per cent from the field and 36.4 per cent from 3-point range. Saskatchewan was four for 11 from beyond the arc, while TWU was zero for eight. Sarah Cleveland led TWU with six points in the first half.
In the third quarter, the Huskies methodically continued to build their lead as they opened up a 17-point gap by the end of the frame. Outscoring the Spartans 19-12 in the quarter, the Huskies were up 50-33 after 30 minutes. Saskatchewan’s Lyons had a quarter-high seven points while TWU’s Olsen added six for the Spartans.
In the fourth quarter, the Spartans put together a strong effort as their depth players helped TWU outscore the Huskies 18-16 over the final 10 minutes. However, a strong Saskatchewan side never allowed the Spartans any sustained runs as the Huskies cruised to a 15-point win.
“We won the fourth quarter and some of the younger players demonstrated what we’re excited about in terms of the future of this program,” Jean-Paul said. “I thought the group that finished the game worked really hard. I think getting this kind of experience for our depth players is going to help us down the road. Today was a great opportunity for some of those players to gain some confidence.”
The Spartans are on the road next weekend as they will travel to play Lethbridge Jan. 18 and Calgary Jan. 19. The Huskies will return home to host UBC Okanagan Jan. 18 and Thompson Rivers Jan. 19.
Game Notes: The Spartans were just 1 for 12 from 3-point range while Saskatchewan was 5 for 15…TWU shot 26.9 per cent from the field compared to Saskatchewan’s 37.7 per cent…Saskatchewan out-rebounded TWU 47-37, but it was TWU with the edge on the offensive glass, 20-17.