Spartans Fall to Thompson Rivers on the Road

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February 2, 2013, Kamloops, BC (ISN) – For the second time in as many nights, the third quarter was the Trinity Western women’s basketball team’s undoing as a one-point halftime difference turned Thompson Rivers’ way early in the second half.

The Spartans fell 72-60 Friday at the Tournament Capital Centre.

Trailing 33-32 at halftime, the Spartans allowed TRU – a team battling for top spot in the Pacific Division – to pull away through the third quarter, outscoring TWU 22-15 and opening a 55-47 lead. The Spartans closed the gap to seven points in the fourth quarter, but were unable to get any closer.

Trinity Western falls to 5-13 while TRU improves to 14-5.

It was Holly Strom (Calgary) igniting the Spartans offence as she collected 24 points and 12 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season and fifth in her last six games. Janelle Traber (Abbotsford, B.C.) added 15 points to go with six rebounds while Emily Knauff (Maple Ridge, B.C.) had 13 points, five rebounds and five assists.

For TRU, Diane Schuetze collected a team-high 23 points as well as 13 boards while Jen Ju had 20 points and five assists.

“Tonight we were in a close battle right from the start and were able to respond to what they were doing for the first part of the game,” said Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. “The challenge was that we struggled to find the scores we needed in the second half to be able to maintain pressure. Our struggles from the perimeter really allowed them to clog the lanes defensively and made it tough to get some of the looks that have been working for us.

“With TRU fighting for playoff positioning, we knew they were going to be tough, but I was really proud of how we didn’t back down. We played hard and everyone contributed to make it as tough for them as possible. For us to learn what it takes to make a playoff push will be important for the future of this program and every weekend has had valuable lessons to help us move towards that.”

After a tight first quarter that was back and forth throughout, the Spartans opened a three-point lead going into the second quarter, 16-13, after a pair of late free throws made by Knauff.

In the second quarter, TWU jumped out to a 21-13 lead and pushed its edge to as much as 10 points after a Strom jumper made it 31-21. However, the WolfPack finished the half on a 12-1 run that saw Ju’s jumper with 1:26 left in the half give the home side a 33-32 lead at the break.

In the third quarter TRU pushed its lead to as much as 11 but late in the quarter, a Chelsey Olsen (Fanny Bay, B.C.) jumper made it an eight-point game, 55-47, going to the fourth quarter.

Like Thursday’s game, TRU kept TWU at a safe distance over the final 10 minutes, out-scoring the Spartans 17-13 in the fourth quarter, to secure a 12-point win.

Both teams are back on the court Feb. 8-9, with TWU hosting UBC Okanagan and the WolfPack visiting Fraser Valley.

Game Notes: TWU was 0 for 11 from 3-point range while TRU was 5 for 19…TWU shot 82.4 per cent from the free throw line while TRU shot 55.0 per cent…TRU shot 41.2 per cent from the field and TWU shot 35.4 per cent.