TWU Spartans get split over Heat

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by Scott Stewart

January 18, 2014, KELOWNA, British Columbia (ISN) – Pressure defence and contested shots proved to be the difference Saturday night as the Trinity Western Spartans earned a weekend split with the UBC Okanagan Heat via a solid 59-50 win in Kelowna.

The Spartans would hold the Heat to 27 percent shooting, 17-63, from the field and 9.1 percent, 1-11, from the three point line, while TWU was shooting an effective 41.5 percent, 22-53, from the field and 40 percent, 2-5, from the three point line.

The Heat are now 3-11 for the season, and still in search for a back-to-back wins on the 2013-14 campaign, while the Spartans improve to 3-11 on the year and 2-2 in January.

“We were disappointed in the result from last night so going into tonight’s game we really focussed on playing the full 40 minutes that we needed to in order to get a win,” commented TWU head coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. “Without Holly there was an opportunity for other players to step up and show that we can have success as a team and that our success doesn’t hinge on one person’s performance. We trusted each other with taking good shoot and the right shots dropped and the right time for us. We are very excited about this win, especially with playing without Holly.”

“I thought that our younger players came up huge for us tonight. Kristen Ford had probably the game of her career. She was doing all the little things really well and demonstrated that she is coming into her own as a third year player,” added Jean-Paul.

Fifth-year forward Holly Strom (Calgary), the Spartans’ leading scorer, did not play in tonight’s game, but her void was more than filled with the performance of fifth year guard Janelle Traber (Abbotsford, B.C.), who scored a game-high 18 points while also recording eight rebounds and three assists. Rookie forward Kayla Gordon (Prince George, B.C.) chipped in with a Canada West personal career high of 12 points and six rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. Forward Kristen Ford (Okotoks, Alta.) had a solid 20 minutes finishing with 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals

UBC Okanagan second-year Kayla McFadden (Pitt Meadows, BC) had a solid night, scoring 10 points and grabbing a team-high six rebounds. Ahead of her was third-year guard Emily Kanester (Vernon, BC) with a team-high 15 points on 6-9 shooting, the only Heat player seemingly able to find her touch consistently across the night.

The Spartans started well and were leading 13-8 at end of the first quarter and 25-24 at the half-time break.

In the third quarter UBC-O took a brief 33-31 lead before TWU regained control with a 9-0 run to take a 40-35 lead into the final 10 minutes. The Spartans extended their lead to 10 point, 53-43, with just under three minutes to play after a Natalie Carkner 3-point basket. The Heat scrambled to within three points, 53-50, after a late charge, but the Spartans would make their foul shots down the stretch to earn the nine point win.

The Heat hit the road to the Fraser Valley next weekend to square off against the Cascades. Tip-off Friday night is 6 p.m. at the Envision Athletic Centre. While the Spartans will now head home to host the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack. Game times at the Langley Events Centre on January 24 and January 25 are set for 6 p.m. on Friday and 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Game Notes: Next weekend’s games will be the first of home games of the second semester for the Spartans…TWU finished with 25 turnovers, while UBC-O had 21…the Spartans had a 33-29 edge in rebounding, but the Heat had a 12-9 edge in offensive boards…Strom finished Friday’s game, but was unable to play tonight…