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BELLINGHAM, Washington – Trinity Western's women's basketball team lost 84-56 in preseason action against Western Washington University (NCAA Div. II) Saturday.

Playing the GNAC (Great Northwest Athletic Conference) preseason favourite, the Spartans fell behind by 18 points after the first quarter, but put together a solid final three quarters, only getting outscored 54-44 the rest of way and hanging with the highly-touted Vikings.

Jessie Brown (Langley, B.C.) had a team-high 20 points, while Kayla Gordon (Prince George, B.C.) added 16 points and eight rebounds. Ashleigh Barnes (Oceanside, Calif.) had a game-high 12 rebounds.

"We played a very good program with some very good players that were able to exploit our areas of weaknesses," said Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. "But a game like this only makes us better in the long run as long as we take those lessons and work hard to collectively improve them in training. We started the game a little shell-shocked and didn't respond well to a very good individual player's ability to score, but after that we kept finding a way to compete and didn't back down.

"To be able to complete several defensive sequences in a 30-second shot clock game against a great opponent is definitely hard to do, but something we've been working towards. Playing without Tessa Ratzlaff (Abbotsford, B.C.) tonight really allowed some other players to gain valuable experience both on offence and defense and that's only going to make us deeper and more competitive.

"We've been working on creating better shots and being able to get some of those looks against a top GNAC team is a good sign of things to come. We still have room to grow, missing some easy looks and not finishing at the line but each week we are improving and responding to the challenges that we face for our program to continue moving forward."

TWU will play its final two preseason games next weekend when it takes on Lewis-Clark State Oct. 28-29.