After a back and forth first half, the Thompson Rivers WolfPack exploded in the third quarter, outscoring the host Trinity Western University
Spartans 17-5 to open a 10-point lead en route to a 64-51 win in exhibition university womenâ€™s basketball action Dec. 30 at the Langley Events Centre.
Kassie Colonna led TRU with a game-high 14 points to help the WolfPack earn a convincing road win. Michelle Bos was the WolfPackâ€™s leader on the glass as she collected a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Spartans were led by Langleyâ€™s Jessie Brown, who had 11 points while Surrey native Chantelle Martin had 10 points. Langleyâ€™s Luca Schmidt pulled down a team-high seven rebounds for the Spartans.
TWU, which sits at 4-6 in the Pioneers Division, shot 50 per cent from the field in the first half but by the end of the game shot just 33.9 per cent (21-62).
TRU, which posted a 7-1 record in the first semester in the Explorers Division, shot 35.7 per cent (25-70).
The Spartans were 1-12 from three-point range while the WolfPack were good on six of their 21 three-point shots.
â€œThereâ€™s a reason why TRU is the top team in their division right now,â€ Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul said. â€œThey find ways to grind out wins and I think they out-worked us a few times. I think there were a few moments, especially in the third quarter, where we didnâ€™t execute and then turned over the ball and gave up easy scores. We canâ€™t make those types of mistakes on both ends of the floor over those stretches.
â€œOur execution early on was solid but when they tightened up defensively we struggled. We also have to protect the paint better. But I thought we saw some good things from some people who didnâ€™t get a lot of playing time in the first semester.â€
The Spartans got off to a quick start in the opening quarter and with TWU shooting 46.2 per cent from the field compared to TRUâ€™s 21.4 per cent, the home side took a 15-9 lead after 10 minutes.
TWU went up by as much as nine points early in the second quarter, 20-11, but TRU bounced back to take a brief 27-26 lead.
A fast-break layup from Schmidt reestablished a five-point TWU lead at 31-26. The WolfPackâ€™s Sarah Malate knocked down her second three-pointer of the quarter late to make it 31-29 at halftime.
The WolfPack opened the second half with a 6-0 run only to see TWU respond and even the score 35-35.
However, the visitors then went on their best run of the night, exploding for nine straight points and a 44-35 lead. The WolfPack was up 46-36 going to the final frame.
In the fourth quarter, TRU outscored TWU 18-15 as it cruised to the 13-point win.
The Spartans are back on the court this weekend (Jan. 2-3) when they will travel to play a pair of games against North Idaho.
TWU returns to Canada West action Jan. 9-10 when it hosts Regina at the LEC.
TRU resumes its regular season schedule Jan. 9-10 when it hosts UBC Okanagan.