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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS TO VISITING PRONGHORNS

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Women’s Basketball

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS TO VISITING PRONGHORNS

LANGLEY, British Columbia – With Lethbridge’s Kim Veldman leading the visiting Pronghorns with 26 points, Trinity Western women’s basketball team lost 67-55 Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

The Pronghorns had a 3-point lead after the third quarter, but outscored the Spartans 20-11 over the final 10 minutes to earn a 12-point win.

Despite the Spartans (2-3) having three players hit double-digits in points, the Pronghorns (3-2) duo of Veldman and Allexia Barros combined for 46 points to turn the game in the visitors’ favour.

TWU was led by first-year Jessie Brown (Langley), who collected 16 points in 26 minutes, while second-year Kayla Gordon (Prince George, B.C.) and third-year Luca Schmidt (Langley) each collected 12 points. Schmidt also had a team-high 11 rebounds.

Beyond her 26 points, Lethbridge’s Veldman also had a game-high 13 rebounds to post an impressive double-double.

The Spartans shot just 32.2 per cent compared to Lethbridge, who shot 36.8 per cent. Using their size advantage, which was largely provided by Veldman, Lethbridge out-rebounded the Spartans 48-38.

“That was a tough one,” said Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. “Even though they had two kids who went off on us a little bit, holding teams in the mid to low sixties is a defensive target for us. But we have to be able to respond with offence of our own. We went long stretches without scoring and our defence can only hold on for so long. Lethbridge hit some critical shots at critical moments and we didn’t respond offensively.

“Veldman is a very good fifth-year athlete. I thought Tessa (Ratzlaff, Abbotsford, B.C.) worked as hard as she could against a very skilled and experienced post player. But the challenge is when things aren’t working for us, we need players to step up and lead and we needed more of that tonight.”

The Pronghorns scored the first six points of the night and then built an 11-5 lead midway through the quarter. However, TWU responded late and took a 14-13 lead by the end of the frame. The Spartans had six different scorers in the first quarter while Lethbridge was led by Veldman, who had six points.

In the second quarter, the visitors outscored TWU 18-9 and, with an 8-1 run to end the quarter, Lethbridge went into the break leading 31-23. Brown led TWU with eight points at halftime while Veldman continued to lead the Pronghorns with 10 points after 20 minutes.

The Pronghorns came out of the break with a 10-2 run that gave Lethbridge a 41-25 lead. But the Spartans clawed back once again. Thanks to a few fast break points and capitalizing on turnover TWU climbed within three points. With a late 3-pointer from Schmidt, TWU finished the quarter with a 19-6 run and trailed 47-44 going to the final frame.

However, in the fourth quarter, the Pronghorns took over. With Veldman collecting another eight points, Lethbridge pulled away down the stretch and earned the win to snap a two-game losing streak.

The Spartans are now 0-3 at home this season.

The teams will be back in action Saturday for the rematch at 5 p.m. at the LEC.

Game Notes: The Spartans top four players in minutes were all in either first, second or third-year players…Schmidt played 38 minutes, while Gordon played 34, Ratzlaff played 32 and Brown played 26…since winning their first two games of the year, the Spartans have lost three in a row.

-TW-