Victoria edges Spartans with fourth quarter run

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November 29, 2013, LANGLEY, British Columbia (ISN) – The Trinity Western women’s basketball team hung with Victoria for much of Friday’s contest, but a 9-0 mid-fourth quarter run from the Vikes proved to be the difference as the Spartans lost 73-66 at the Langley Events Centre.

With just over five minutes left in the final frame, the Vikes turned a 53-52 lead into a 62-52 advantage in less than two minutes and from there TWU never got closer than five points. Victoria’s Jenna Bugiardini dropped a 3-pointer to make it 56-52 and then added an in-tight put back to spark the game-deciding run.

The loss drops TWU to 1-8 while the win improves the Vikes to 5-3.

The Spartans Holly Strom (Calgary) tied her career-high in points with 31, but it wasn’t quite enough as TWU was unable keep up with the Vikes down the stretch. Strom previously had a 31-point night against Victoria Nov. 17, 2012. Strom also had a team-high seven rebounds.

“I thought Holly was very focused today,” said Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. “But when she’s shooting better than 50 per cent, I still think she could have had more than the 25 shots she took. That’s maturity that we need to gain from other players on the floor to realize how the game is going.”

The Spartans Janelle Traber (Abbotsford, B.C.) added 10 points while Luca Schmidt (Langley) had nine points and was two for two from beyond the arc.

For Victoria, Bugiardini had a team-high 25 points while Jessica Renfrew added 12 points. Sarah Semeniuk had a game-high 13 rebounds.

The Spartans trailed by 11 points after the first quarter, but made it a game with a second quarter in which they outscored Victoria 18-8 in what was TWU’s best defensive quarter of the season.

The teams will play the rematch Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at LEC.

“In some ways that was a great basketball game,” said Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. “Obviously it would have been better if we had come out on top, but it was good to see the fight that we showed to battle back and there were some stretches where we showed a lot of maturity and we hit some good shots. There was some good team plays, but we need some of our players to step up a bit more than they are right now.

“I thought there were some critical errors on our part and some runs we gave up, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. I just think there were a few performances that we were missing that we have to have to beat a team like Victoria.”

The Vikes got out to a quick start in the first quarter and a jumper from Bugiardini made it 10-4 for the visitors. The Spartans got back to within one point after a Strom jumper of her own made it 12-11, but Victoria finished the quarter on a 12-2 run and possessed a 24-13 lead after 10 minutes.

Victoria maintained its double-digit lead early in the second quarter and led 29-19. But then, TWU caught fire. With Strom leading the way with nine points in the quarter, the Spartans went on an 11-2 run. With a Schmidt 3-pointer, TWU went up 31-30 with five second left in the quarter. However a buzzer-beating runner by Victoria’s Shaylyn Crisp made it 32-31 for the visitors at the break.

The third quarter saw the teams see-saw back and forth throughout with neither side taking more than a four-point edge. After a Traber jumper, TWU went up 39-38, but the Vikes managed to build a 52-48 lead by the end of the quarter after a Bugiardini lay-in.

In the fourth quarter, Strom got TWU within one point at 53-52 early inside the first three minutes. The score remained the same for nearly two minutes before a Bugiardini trey sparked a Victoria run. Bugiardini added two more on a put back and the Vikes went on to put together a 9-0 run that gave Victoria a 62-52 lead.

The Spartans battled down the stretch but were unable to get any closer than five points. A Schmidt 3-pointer made it 71-66, but that was as close at the Spartans would get.

Game Notes: Victoria was 37.7 per cent from the field while TWU shot 36.8 per cent…Victoria out-rebounded TWU 47-41.

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