BROWN, RATZLAFF LEAD SPARTANS TO FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN

LANGLEY, B.C. – Trinity Western's Jessie Brown (Langley) and Tessa Ratzlaff (Abbotsford, B.C.) combined for 42 points to lead the Spartans to their fourth straight win, beating Victoria 76-68 Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

Ratzlaff put together a double-double, dropping 20 points while collecting 11 rebounds, while Brown had a game-high 22 points.

The win for the Spartans (4-1) handed Victoria (4-1) its first loss of the season.

Victoria's Marissa Dheenshaw and Ashlyn Day each recorded a double-double, with Dheenshaw putting up 18 points and grabbing 12 boards, while Day tallied 15 points and 10 rebounds.

With the game tied 63-63 midway through the fourth quarter, the Spartans buried the Vikes with an 11-0 run that put TWU up 74-63 with just under a minute to play, all but sealing the win.

Both teams struggled form the field, with TWU shooting 39.2 per cent, while Victoria was held to just 33.8 per cent.

The Spartans Ashleigh Barnes (Oceanside, Calif.) and Kayla Gordon (Prince George, B.C.) each hit double-digits on the glass, with Barnes grabbing 12 rebounds and Gordon nabbing 11.

The Spartans scored the first nine points of the opening quarter before extending their lead to 16-4 at the midway point of the frame. However, the Vikes responded late in the quarter, closing the gap to seven points, 20-13, through 10 minutes.

Victoria continued to roll early in the second quarter, going on an 11-2 run, capped by an Aleah Ashlee lay-in, to put the visitors ahead 24-22. The Spartans battled back to retake the lead, 32-30, at halftime.

Brown had a team-high 15 points at the break for the Spartans, while Barnes had 10 first-half boards. The Vikes Dheenssaw led her team with nine points and six rebounds.

After shooting just 32.6 per cent in the first half, the Spartans found their rhythm in the third quarter, shooting 52.6 per cent, while outscoring the Vikes 22-18 to take a 54-48 lead into the final frame. Victoria was three for three from beyond the arc to keep within striking distance of the Spartans.

The Vikes clawed back into the game early in the third quarter, evening the score 63-63 after a Dheenshaw 3-pointer with five minutes to play. However, from there it was all Spartans as they held the Vikes off the scoreboard for a span of 4:26 to pull away for the win.

QUOTABLE
Head Coach Cheryl Jean-Paul
"That was a frantic battle to the end. That's what it felt like and that's how we played. But, there is value in understanding how to win a game even if it's not the prettiest. When it comes to playing the B.C. teams, it really doesn't matter who's the better team in the standings or how many points teams scored the weekend before, every weekend is going to be a battle. And, with three B.C. teams in a row, including last weekend (UNBC) and next weekend (UBC), we're just learning how to grind it out.

"Now that we know what this version of Victoria looks like and we're getting a better understanding of what we look like, we need to be ready to face another battle tomorrow. I'm happy that we're finding ways to finish the game, but I think we're making it very difficult on ourselves. I'm hoping we can show more maturity tomorrow night in handling the pressure and understanding the scoring looks we need to finish."

NOTABLE
• The Spartans had 51 rebounds to the Vikes 42.
• TWU shot 38.5 per cent (5-13) from 3-point range, while Victoria was shot 46.7 per cent (7-15) from beyond the arc.
• Since a loss to Alberta on opening night, TWU has earned four consecutive wins, beating the Pandas once, UNBC twice and the Vikes.

NEXT UP
The Spartans and Vikes meet again Saturday at 5 p.m. (PT) at the LEC.

-TW-

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