LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western Spartans used a balanced scoring attack and strong rebounding to defeat the visiting UBC Okanagan Heat 79-57 in Canada West women's basketball action Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C. The win improves TWU to 2-0 on the season, while the loss drops UBC-O to 0-2.
Fourth year guard Sarah Buckingham with 22 points led the Spartans in scoring, while fifth year forward Tessa Ratzlaff (Abbotsford, B.C) and rookie forward Nicole Franson (Edmonton, Alta.) each had double-doubles. Ratzlaff finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Franson finish with 17 points and 11 rebounds. While Brianna Falk with 13 points, Jordan Korol with 12 points, and Ana Evans with 11 points led the Heat in scoring.
The two teams were evenly matched through the first quarter, with UBC Okanagan leading 16-15 after 10 minutes.
The second quarter continued with the same back-and-fourth play. With 7:30 remaining in the half the Heat's Vanessa Botteselle hit a three point basket to give UBC-O a 24-21 lead. It would be the last time the Heat would lead in the game. From there the Spartans defence and offence got into sync as TWU finished the half with a 19-6 run to lead 40-30 after the opening 20 minutes. TWU continued their strong play in the third quarter. The Spartans extended their lead to 61-43 at the end of 30 minutes and never looked back. TWU would finish of the final quarter with a 18-14 advantage to end the game.
TWU Head Coach Cheryl Jean-Paul
""Tonight's game was a great test to be able to put two wins together. We struggled to replace some of the looks we got yesterday based on the defensive adjustments made, but it was nice to see others step up and provide a catalyst in the second half especially. We have a list of things to work on after each game or series of games, so it was nice to have improved on the list we had from last week in regards to taking care of the ball and rebounding more consistently. That's the process we need to stick with while we keep learning more about who we'll be as a team this season. It's always great to see people reach new milestones and athletes score their first points and younger athletes surprise us with starting to realize their potential, so altogether it was a good start to defending our home court and getting the regular season going."
- The Spartans finished the game outrebounding the Heat 56-35 and outshot UBC-O 41.3 percent (31-75) to 33.8 percent (23-68).
- Buckingham's improved on her previous career-high for points was 19, which she set last night.
- With her 18 points Tessa Ratzlaff now has 1155 career points. She is now nine points from the TWU record held by Kayla Gordon ('18).
The Spartans will travel to Saskatchewan to face the University of Regina on November 2 and 3. Game times are scheduled for 5 p.m. CST in Regina, Sask. While the Heat will head home to host the Brandon Bobcats. Game times in Kelowna, BC are set for 6 p.m. and 5 p.m. PT.