The Victoria Vikes held off a hard-charging Spartans side down the stretch to earn a 63-57 win over Trinity Western Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

Aleah Ashlee had a team-high 15 points to lead Victoria (12-7), while Ashlyn Day had 12 points and Katie Langdon had 10 points and eight rebounds.

TWU’s Nicole Fransson (Edmonton) continued her impressive pace this season with 14 points and 16 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season. Fransson, who entered the weekend averaging 15.9 points per game and 10.4 rebounds, is looking to become the first Spartan in program history to average a double-double throughout an entire season.

Kianna Wiens (Regina) had 12 points, while Julia Marshall (Langley) added 11 points for TWU (5-14).

TWU finished the night shooting 36.4 per cent (20-46), while the Vikes shot 35.4 per cent (23-65).

The Vikes out-rebounded the Spartans 45-40.

The first quarter saw the Vikes open a 17-10 lead, with the visitors shooting 33.3 per cent (7-21) compared to the Spartans, who shot 36.4 per cent (4-11).

In what was a defensive battle in the second quarter, the Spartans held Victoria to just 10 points in the frame, winning the quarter 14-10 to close the gap to three points, 27-24, at the break. The Vikes shot 21.4 (3-14) per cent in the second quarter, with TWU shooting 31.3 per cent (5-16). The competition on the glass had Victoria edging the Spartans 23-21 through 20 minutes.

The Vikes found their shooting rhythm in the third quarter, going eight for 18 from the field (44.4 per cent) to outscore the Spartans 19-13 and build a nine-point edge (46-37) going to the fourth quarter.

The Spartans didn’t go away in the final quarter, closing the gap to as little as four points after a Marshall lay-up with 35 seconds to play, but that was as close as the home side would get as Victoria held on for a key late-season victory.

Cheryl Jean-Paul – TWU Head Coach
“This is a frustrating loss. I thought we did a great job of finding three-minute stretches where we were scoring and defending at the same time, which is something we often talk about. But the start of the third quarter was really flat and trying to come back from that takes so much energy. It does come down to missed opportunities in the first half. We continue to learn hard lessons but these lessons are so valuable because this is what’s going to make us the team that we’re going to become over the next few seasons.”