WINNIPEG – The Trinity Western University Spartans started the Canada West season on a high note as TWU defeated the University of Manitoba Bisons 61-56 Friday night at the Investors Group Athletic Centre in Winnipeg.
“Tonight was a good way to start the season. It’s been a developing off-season with some key departures and additions to our roster and it’s exciting to see some great moments of what we’re becoming as a basketball program,” commented TWU head coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. “To find a way to win is not an easy thing to do and it hasn’t been easy for our program in the past, so we’re really happy with the result but know that we have a lot more to bring to the game. We accomplished quite a few of our goals and we’re looking forward to another chance to improve as a group tomorrow evening.”
Forward Kayla Gordon with 12 points and seven rebounds, forward Kristin Ford with 10 points and point guard Luca Schmidt with nine points, seven rebounds and five assists led the Spartans, while Sheree Carmona-Galdamez with 13 points and three rebounds led the Bisons.
The Spartans led the Bisons 26-21 at the end of the first half. Manitoba was impacted by five fouls in both the first and second quarter while Trinity Western ended the half with seven total fouls.
The second half saw the home team continue their trend of five fouls per quarter, making their attempt to catch up to the Spartans more difficult.
Trinity Western’s offence, led by Gordon, never let up the pressure making up for defensive cracks that appeared in the fourth. Manitoba looked to capitalize as they shrank their 12-point deficit, 56-44, to four points near the end of the game.
Performance at the line hurt the Bisons who sank three of eight while the visiting team scored a whopping 22 of 30 at the line.
Head coach Michele Hynes said the most important lesson her team will hear heading into tomorrow’s rematch is, “don’t take stupid fouls.”
The two teams will match up again tomorrow night, with tip-off set for 5 p.m. CST.
Game Notes: TWU finished with 14 turnovers to Manitoba’s 16…the Bisons had a total of 24 fouls, while the Spartans had 16… The Spartans dominated the boards with 49 rebounds, while the home team got 32 rebounds…TWU head coach Cheryl Jean-Paul is a Bison alum, who was a member of their CIS silver medal team in 1998….