REGINA – The hot-shooting Trinity Western Spartans went on a late third-quarter run and pulled away from the No. 6-ranked Regina Cougars for a 74-63 road win on Friday night at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport. The win marks the first time TWU has ever beat the Cougars in Regina.
And it was Regina product Kianna Wiens that powered that 17-5 run for TWU in the last three and a half minutes of the third, which turned what had been a two-point lead for the Cougars into a 10-point TWU advantage heading into the fourth. Wiens hit a pair of triples and scored eight of her 13 points during that run, and the Cougars weren't able to get any closer than eight points in the game's final period.
Trinity Western remains unbeaten as the Spartans are off to a 3-0 start to conference play, while the defending Canada West champion Cougars drop to 2-1.
The win snaps TWU's 14-game losing streak, including the playoffs, against the Cougars. The last time the Spartans beat Regina was Jan. 2, 2009, when TWU beat a then No. 2-ranked Cougars side 83-56.
Jessie Brown (Langley, B.C.) led the charge for TWU, which shot 60 per cent from 3-point range as a team in the win. Brown was 5-for-10 from beyond the arc and finished with a game-high 19 points, while Tessa Ratzlaff (Abbotsford, B.C.) added 16 points and Nicole Fransson (Edmonton) joined Wiens – a Riffel graduate – with 13 points. Sarah Buckingham (Surrey, B.C.) also scored in double figures for the Spartans, finishing with 11 points while also collecting eight points and five assists.
The story for the Cougars was All-Canadian guard Kyanna Giles, who was injured early in the game and didn't return. While they only turned the ball over 10 times, Regina was just 3-for-17 from the field and 6-for-16 from the free throw line while shooting 35 per cent from the field overall. Carolina Goncalves had a team-high 12 points, Macaela Crone scored 11 and added eight rebounds, and Michaela Kleisinger registered 10 points and six assists. Christina McCusker had eight points to go along with her game-high 11 rebounds.
TWU Coach Cheryl Jean-Paul
"Tonight's game was a great progression from last weekend. We felt that there was a lot of mprovements defensively for us to be competitive this season and the work the team put in came to fruition. We have to work on boxing out, but our team play continues to be a strength. Unselfish play, taking great open looks and not trying to do what your opponent did to you was a great indication of this group's maturity. This is such a tough gym to play in and to come out with a win is so hard to do, so we will take it and keep growing from this experience."
• The Spartans opened the season with a pair of wins over UBC Okanagan.
• The last time TWU and Regina met was in the Canada West Quarter-Finals in 2016-17, when the Cougars swept the Spartans in a best-of-three series.
• The TWU win came on the same night the Cougars raised their Canada West championship banner from 2017-18.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday night at the CKHS. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m. (PT).
Recognized for quality, TWU has received seven consecutive A+ rankings for Quality of Teaching and Learning, holds three Canada Research Chairs, and wins national championships in CIS sports. More importantly, lives are changed at TWU through its whole-person, Christ-centred approach to education. With a wide array of undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree-completion programs, TWU equips leaders of character and competence to make a positive impact in the lives of others.
About Spartan Athletics
As official members of U SPORTS, the Spartans currently compete in 10 sports in the Canada West conference, including women's and men's soccer, volleyball, basketball, cross country and track & field. TWU also competes in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) in men's hockey. Since TWU entered U SPORTS in 1999, the Spartans have won 11 U SPORTS team championships and 25 Canada West team championships.