LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western women’s basketball team opened its Canada West home schedule against No. 3 Alberta Friday, but it was the Pandas taking the game 89-55.
After scoring the first three points of the game, the Spartans relinquished control to Alberta and never regained momentum. The Pandas led in scoring in all four quarters and shot an impressive 56.3 per cent from 3-point range to improve to 3-0 on the season. The Spartans dropped to 2-1.
“That’s what it looks like playing a top five team in the country,” said TWU coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. “Alberta plays with a sense of purpose and they know what they’re moving towards and they’re not wasting any time getting there. I think for us, this is a great opportunity to play against a team and learn from what they do well.”
Luca Schmidt (Langley) led the Spartans with 16 points and three rebounds. Chantelle Martin (Surrey, B.C.) added 13 points. Laurissa Weigl (Stony Plain, Alta.) was the Spartans lead rebounder, with six boards along with six points.
It was Saskia Van Ginhoven that led Alberta with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Renee Byrne added 15 points while Jessilyn Fairbanks had 12 points.
TWU shot 36.9 per cent from the field throughout the game, while Alberta hit 47.1 per cent. Alberta had a 50-29 edge in rebounds.
“I thought we progressively played them better in every quarter, that’s something we want to take away from this,” Jean-Paul said. “We did play fearlessly, I thought there were some great drives and some great kicks, and it’s just an opportunity for us to learn what we have to do to get better. I think you only learn play by playing great teams, and Alberta is a great team.”
The first quarter began with TWU sinking the first few points, however it wasn’t long before Alberta came back and took over, taking a 15-5 lead. Alberta pushed its lead to 14 points by the end of the quarter, finishing up 25-11.
Through the second quarter the Pandas kept the Spartans at bay, driving up the score and further distancing themselves from TWU, ending the first half at 49-27.
The third quarter looked much like the last, as the Pandas continued to dominate in scoring, gaining a large 30-point lead, 71-41. Alberta outscored TWU 26-14 over the course of the quarter.
The Spartans were able to get a bit of their groove back in the fourth quarter, closing the Pandas lead down to 24 points. Despite the effort put in by TWU and the dead even scoring by the two teams in the final frame, 14-14, Alberta was able to maintain its lead and take the game 89-55.
The Spartans and the Pandas will meet in a rematch Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.
Game Notes: The Spartans came up shy of making program history with a third win in a row to start the season…the Pandas went to the free throw line 17 times compared to TWU’s six…TWU has only won one game against Alberta since joining the CIS in 1999.