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CALGARY – The Trinity Western Spartans came up clutch in the late stages on Friday night, rallying to defeat the Mount Royal Cougars 87-82 at Kenyon Court.

Trailing by nine points with 3:41 to play, the Spartans (11-6) finished the match on a 17-2 run to pick up their fifth win in their last six games.

Jessie Brown (Langley, B.C.) and Kayla Gordon (Prince George, B.C.) were standouts for the Spartans. Brown finished with 29 points, including eight 3-pointers, while Gordon finished with a double-double, putting up 26 points and grabbing a career-high 14 rebounds.
Becky Nash continued her impressive fourth-year campaign with Mount Royal. She finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, while adding in a couple of assists.

The win ensures TWU will post a winning record in the regular season for the first time in program history. Their 11th win over the year also matches the Spartans program-high for wins in a season. In 2008-09, TWU posted an 11-12 record.

"Tonight was a battle," said Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. "We definitely scored enough, but our defensive effort lacked consistency. No game this season has been easy and we expected a tough opponent since every game matters to every team whether it's about making playoffs or hosting or getting as high in the rankings as possible. In the last few minutes, we definitely showed more maturity and composure. To be down by nine points with a few minutes left and come back and hit big shots, get the stops we needed and make our free throws says a lot about our development over the past few months and years. We look forward to a second battle tomorrow."

The Cougars set the tone early in Friday night's contest. Nash was having her way with the Spartan defenders in the post, providing MRU with six of their first eight points.

Mount Royal built a 12-point lead in the first quarter but it didn't last long. In the second, the Spartans took back momentum. A 10-0 Spartan run got Trinity Western right back in the game.

With just over four minutes left in the half, Brown caught fire, putting up 11 straight points in just over a two-minute span. Brown's solo run put the Spartans up seven before the half.

Fifth-year Cougar guard Angela Driscoll inspired her teammates at the start of the second half, which seemed to spark the rest of the team. Mount Royal clawed its way back in the third and found themselves heading in the final quarter with a two-point lead.

The Cougars continued to bring the pressure in the final quarter, building a nine-point lead with 3:41 left.

Each time Mount Royal built a large lead the Spartans came back with a run of their own.

Trinity Western's Gordon and Brown ignited the Spartan offence down the stretch as momentum shifted.
Brown and Gordon's baskets kicked off a 17-2 run for the Spartans to end the game.

Mount Royal's loss sees them fall to 3-14 on the year, while Trinity Western's improves their record to 11-6.
The Cougars and Spartans will do it all over again tomorrow afternoon on Kenyon Court. Tip-off is slated for 4:00pm MST.

The two teams will meet in the rematch Saturday at 6 p.m. at the LEC.

Game Notes: Gordon's previous career-high for rebounds was 12, which she collected last Friday against Victoria…including a post-Christmas exhibition game, TWU is 8-2 in its last 10 outings.