TWU Spartans look to build momentum on home court

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by Mark Janzen

January 22, 2014, LANGLEY, British Columbia (ISN) – Following a win over UBC Okanagan last Saturday, the Trinity Western women’s basketball team will be aiming to keep its momentum rolling this weekend when it hosts Thompson Rivers Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m.

Both games will be streamed live at twu.canadawest.tv.

Last weekend the Spartans split with UBCO, losing 67-62 before responding with a 59-50 win. The WolfPack is hoping for a bounce back weekend after losing twice to now No. 9 Fraser Valley last weekend. 

TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS (3-11)
CIS ranking: NR
Pacific Division standings: 6th (tied)
Last weekend: UBCO 67-62 L, 59-50 W
Streak: 1 win

Canada West Stats

  • Scoring Offense: 60.3/game (12th)
  • Scoring Defense: 68.6/game (11th)
  • Field Goal Percentage: 37.0 (8th)
  • 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: 25.8 (11th)
  • Rebounds: 37.3/game (13th)
  • Steals: 9.8/game (8th)
  • Assists: 11.3/game (10th)
  • Blocked Shots: 2.1/game (10th)

PLAYOFF HOPES STILL ALIVE

While the Spartans 3-11 record has them still four wins out of a playoff spot with eight games to play, there’s still a glimmer of hope for TWU. With fourth place TRU being the team the Spartans would have to catch, a weekend sweep this Friday and Saturday is imperative if TWU is to keep any chance of a post-season berth alive. Two wins this weekend and the Spartans will only be four points out with six games left.

REMEMBER THE PRESEASON

If the Spartans can summon the energy and poise they played with in their preseason tilt against TRU – a game that TWU won 69-66 – this weekend could be edge of your seat stuff for Spartans fans. Prior to that early season contest, TWU had lost six straight against TRU and, most recently over the Christmas break, the Spartans lost to the WolfPack 73-52 in an exhibition game.

ON-COURT THIEVES

One of the most consistent aspects of the Spartans game this year has been their knack for steals. TWU is eighth in the conference with 9.8 steals per game. Over their last four games, the Spartans have averaged 12.5 steals per game and in Saturday’s game against UBCO, they matched their season high of 14.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kayla Gordon – The first-year from Prince George, B.C. has already become one of the Spartans go-to players. She is averaging 21.6 minutes per game, 6.3 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game. In TWU’s last game, she had a career-high 12 points in 24 minutes as well as six rebounds.

Janelle Traber – In her last season at the university level, Traber is averaging 11.4 points per game and is second in Canada West in free throw shooting percentage at 85.3 per cent.

Kristin Ford – The third-year Spartans is coming off a career-high 12-point game against the Heat. With Holly Strom out last Saturday, Ford played a critical role in TWU’s win.

THOMPSON RIVERS WOLFPACK (7-7)
CIS ranking: NR

Pacific Division standings: 4th

Last weekend: Fraser Valley 75-41 L, 75-67 L

Streak: 2 losses

Canada West Stats

  • Scoring Offense: 60.0/game (13th)
  • Scoring Defense: 69.2/game (13th)
  • Field Goal Percentage: 29.9 (16th)
  • 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: 24.4 (13th)
  • Rebounds: 45.9/game (2nd)
  • Steals: 9.6/game (10th)
  • Assists: 12.3/game (8th)
  • Blocked Shots: 2.4/game (7th)

CLEANING UP ON THE GLASS

The WolfPack may be the worst field goal shooting team in the conference, but its work on the glass has kept them afloat this year. TRU is second in Canada West in rebounds, averaging 45.9 per game. Earlier this year, TRU collected a season-high 63 rebounds against Mount Royal.

JEKYLL AND HYDE

Early in the season, TRU beat the currently No. 3 ranked Alberta Pandas 67-58. Then, the very next game, the WolfPack lost 73-53 to now four-win UNBC. Not long after that, it split with UBC but then, to start the second half of the season, it lost by 60 points, 99-39, to Regina. It’s been a roller coaster season for TRU, so it’ll be a wait and see game to find what which team arrives in Langley.

MISLEADING NUMBERS

A quick look at TRU’s scoring margin (-9.2 per game) and it’s hard to imagine one is looking at a .500 team. For the WolfPack, this season has been a tale of big losses and close wins. The WolfPack has lost by 18 or more points five times while it only has one victory by double digits.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Taiysa Worsfeld – The third-year forward leads TRU in scoring with 14.5 points per game and is also averaging a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game. She is coming off an 11-rebound effort against Fraser Valley last Saturday.

Kassie Colonna – The second-year transfer from the University of Lethbridge has averaged 12.6 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game. She has also led TRU in scoring in each of the past three games, collecting 16.7 points per game over that span. 

Jori Duxbury – Along with Worsfeld and Colonna, Duxbury has been the third prong of TRU’s three-headed monster. Duxbury is averaging 12.1 points per game and 6.4 boards per game.

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