(ISN) – LANGLEY, British Columbia – Trinity Western first-year guard Jessie Brown (Langley) had a career-high 27 points and third-year Luca Schmidt had a TWU record 10 assists, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Spartans lost 90-80 to Winnipeg Friday at the Langley Events Centre.
In a fast-paced contest, the Wesmen took a 10-point halftime lead and never trailed, holding off strong Spartans surges in both the third and fourth quarters, to improve to 11-6 on the season. The loss drops TWU to 4-13.
Brown’s 27-point effort saw her better her previous career-high of 16 points, which she had put up five different times this year. Schmidt’s (Langley) historic night had her enter the TWU record books by topping the previous assist mark of nine, which was held by Denise Page (Nov. 11, 1999 against Winnipeg) and Taylor Stuart (Oct. 23, 2004 against Saskatchewan).
Despite the Spartans shooting 48.5 per cent from the field, compared to the Wesmen’s 36.8 per cent, it was turnovers and offensive rebounds that were TWU’s undoing as the home side committed 25 turnovers to Winnipeg’s 12 while the Wesmen had a 25-12 edge on the offensive glass.
Brown was particularly sharp from beyond the arc as she was seven for 16 to lead TWU. After Brown, it was Laurissa Weigl (Stony Plain, Alta.) adding 15 points and seven rebounds. Kayla Gordon (Prince George, B.C.) added a team-high seven rebounds.
Winnipeg was led by the tandem of Samantha Donald and Megan Noonan, who had 25 points each. Skylar Boulanger added 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Stephanie Kleysen had a game-high five steals.
“We just gave them too many second chance opportunities,” said Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. “We have to be patient with the ball. I think we forced some passes. They obviously created some turnover situations as well, but if we take care of the ones that didn’t need to happen, suddenly it’s a different game.
“There were certain things that looked really good. We had good stretches. We found Jessie and she got herself some good looks. Luca created for her and, in certain stretches, they were patient with the ball. We just need to be able to extend those stretches and if we do that, I think we can have success.”
Playing at a break-neck pace, the first quarter was a back and forth battle that saw the Wesmen up 30-26 after 10 minutes. Despite the Spartans shooting 64.7 per cent from the field, Winnipeg, who shot 38.1 per cent, took advantage of 16 trips to the free throw line, scoring on 12 of them, to nab a four-point lead.
The Wesmen scored the first seven points of the second quarter to take an 11-point lead and from there the teams traded points until halftime. The Wesmen led 51-41 at the break, with Donald leading Winnipeg with 17 points and the Spartans Brown collecting a team-high 13 points.
In the third quarter the Spartans closed the gap to as little as two points, at 55-53. However, the Wesmen responded late and reestablished a nine-point lead by the end of the quarter, 68-59. Despite TWU holding Winnipeg to 25 per cent shooting, the Wesmen took advantage of 10 Spartans turnovers to maintain its lead. Brown had 14 of the Spartans 18 points in the quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Spartans clawed back again – this time within four points, at 77-73 and 79-75 – but Winnipeg responded with a late 8-0 run to pull away for the win.
The teams will be back in action Saturday for the rematch at 5 p.m. at the LEC.
Game Notes: Taylor Stuart holds the TWU record for points in a game with 35 against Regina on Nov. 4, 2005…the Spartans 80 points was their second highest total of the season…their season-high came in an 82-76 win over Lethbridge…on Saturday, TWU will honour graduating seniors Chantelle Martin (Surrey, B.C.) and Weigl in a post-game ceremony.