LETHBRIDGE, Alberta – The Trinity Western Spartans dropped their opening game of the weekend 80-73 to the Lethbridge Pronghorns in Canada West women's basketball action Friday night in Lethbridge, Alta. The loss drops the Spartans to 10-7, while the win improves the Pronghorns to 10-7.
The two teams had a balanced attack with the Spartans having five players in double digits in scoring, while the Horns had four. Rookie forward Nicole Franson (Edmonton) with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds, fifth year guard Jessie Brown (Langley, B.C.) with 17 points and six assists, and fourth year guard Sarah Buckingham (Langley, B.C.) and second year guard Kianna Wiens (Regina, Sask.) with 13 points paced the Spartans. While Kacie Bosch with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists, Amy Mazutinec with 17 points and six rebounds, and Kathryn Hankins with 13 points and seven rebounds led the Pronghorns attack. Katie Keith led the Pronghorns with 10 rebounds.
The Pronghorns used strong rebounding and solid defense to defeat the Spartans. Lethbridge outrebounded the Spartans 45-37, including a 20-10 edge in offensive rebounds, and had a 20-7 edge in second chance points. The Horns would finish the night with 12 more shot attempts then the Spartans.
The Spartans, who trailed by 14 points halfway through the third quarter, rallied to take a one point, 66-65, lead with 4:43 remaining in the game. But TWU was unable to hang on as Lethbridge outscored the Spartans 15-4 down the stretch to claim the seven point win.
Lethbridge started the game well and led 19-14 after the first quarter. The Pronghorns would continue to outpace the Spartans in the first half as Lethbridge finished the opening half with a nine point, 39-30, lead.
The Pronghorns continued to use there rebounding advantage in the third quarter to start the quarter with a 12-8 run to extend their lead to 13 points, 51-38, with five minutes remaining. TWU would start to find their range in the late stages of the quarter as the Spartans cut the Horns lead to five points, 58-53, after a Jesse Brown three-point basket just before the buzzer to end the third quarter. The Spartans would outscore the Pronghorns 23-19 in the third quarter.
TWU continued to close the gap to start the fourth quarter as Sarah Buckingham hit a jumper 2:30 into the quarter to cut the Lethbridge lead to two points, 63-61. Jessie Brown tied the game, 64-64, with a made basket and a follow up free throw at 6:36 of the final frame. The Spartans took their first lead since leading 2-0 to start the game, after Marshall converting two free throws to put TWU up 66-65 with 4:43 remaining in the game. The final minutes of the game belonged to Lethbridge as the Pronghorns outscored the Spartans 15-7 to win 80-73.
TWU Head Coach Cheryl Jean-Paul
"Tonight's game was a tough battle. Lethbridge has so many offensive threats we really needed to make sure not to get into a situation where we were trading baskets or giving up big runs. Unfortunately we did both of those throughout the first half but I was happy with our fight to push back in the 3rd quarter and to take a lead after having been down - that was the statement we needed to make. It wasn't the finish we were hoping for but we look forward to another opportunity tomorrow."
- Lethbridge had 14 points of TWU turnovers, while the Spartans had six points off of the Horns' turnovers.
- The Spartans shot 37.5 per cent from the field, 27-72, while the Horns shot 41.7 per cent, 25-60. TWU finished shooting 5-19 from the three-point line, while Lethbridge finished at 7-23.
- The Spartans had their best shooting percentage of the season finishing at 94.7 per cent going 18-19. The Pronghorns finished shooting 70.4 per cent, 19-27.
- TWU's previous high was 78.6 per cent 11-14 in a 79-57 win over UBC Okanagan.
- It is the best FT percentage game in 15 years for the Spartans. TWU went a program best 10-10 on January 23, 2004 against the Victoria Vikes.
- The 20 offensive rebounds is the most that the Spartans have given up this season. TWU gave up 19 offensive rebounds in 74-63 win at Regina Nov. 2.
Trinity Western and Lethbridge will match up again tomorrow night at 5 p.m. MST in Lethbridge. You can catch all these match-ups live online at CanadaWest.TV.