LANGLEY, B.C. – Playing in their final regular season game on home court, graduating seniors Jessie Brown (Langley), Sarah Buckingham (Surrey, B.C.) and Tessa Ratzlaff (Abbotsford, B.C.) all hit double digits in points to lead Trinity Western to a 75-57 win over Fraser Valley Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
Brown led TWU with 25 points, while Buckingham had 19 points and Ratzlaff had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
With the win, the Spartans completed a weekend sweep of the Cascades, finishing the season with a 12-8 record and eighth in the Canada West standings.
TWU will begin the playoffs Feb. 8 at the Langley Events Centre against UNBC in a single-game elimination play-in series. Tip-off will be at 7 p.m. (PT).
The Cascades end the year at 10-10.
The Cascades Taylor Claggett had a double-double to help lead UFV, with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Amanda Thompson had 18 points and Kate Head had 16 points.
After UFV raced out to a 17-5 lead in the first quarter, the Spartans turned the tides in the second quarter, outscoring the Cascades 20-9 to spark a final 30 minutes in which TWU outscored UFV 70-40.
Saturday's game capped the storied careers for the aforementioned trio, along with fellow senior Tessa Needham (Port Moody, B.C.), who knocked down a jumper late in the game to ensure all four seniors got in on the scoring.
Ratzlaff finishes her career with 1,380 career regular season points, putting her 26th all-time in Canada West history. Brown finishes her career with 1,333 points, which puts her 32nd all-time in conference history.
Brown was six for 10 from 3-point range to finish her career second all-time in Canada West history, with 272 made 3-pointers.
The first quarter was all UFV, as the visitors opened a 17-5 lead after 10 minutes thanks to a 13-3 edge in points off turnovers and a 12-2 margin in points in the paint. The Cascades shot 50 per cent (7-14) from the field in the first quarter, while holding UFV to 18.2 per cent (2-11).
The Spartans found their game in the second quarter, outscoring UFV 20-9 to pull within one point after a late basket from Ratzlaff. After committing eight turnovers in the first quarter, TWU didn't give up a single turnover in the second quarter. Conversely, UFV gave up five turnovers in the second frame as they held on to a one-point lead, 26-25, at halftime.
The third quarter saw the game continue to tilt the Spartans way, with TWU taking a 49-42 lead by the end of the frame. TWU was up by as many as 11 points, 42-31, after a three-point play from Ratzlaff, but UFV got within seven points going to the fourth quarter.
TWU opened the final frame with a 6-0 run, capped by a cutting lay-up from Brown that gave the Spartans their biggest lead of the game to that point, at 55-42. From there, TWU rolled to a 18-point win, outscoring the Cascades 26-15 in the final quarter.
Cheryl Jean-Paul – TWU Head Coach
"The start didn't surprise me. We've just been so tentative over the last several weeks at the start of games. It's almost like everyone is looking at each other to see who is going to take over and we did that through an entire quarter. But I was really happy to see the pushback. The last few weekends, we've seen that in the second half when the game's already over. So, it was really nice to see them fight. If you want to host a playoff game, you have to protect your home gym. I thought that's what the seniors did and that's what our team did. It was really nice to see all our seniors make contributions and to see our whole team come together."
• Including regular season and playoffs, Ratzlaff is averaging a TWU-leading 14.4 points per game over her career. Brown is second with 13.0 points per game.
• Including regular season and playoffs, Ratzlaff has the TWU record for career rebounds with 660.
• After committing eight turnovers in the first quarter, TWU had just six the rest of the way.
• TWU had a 12-2 edge in second chance points and a 10-5 advantage in points from the bench.
• TWU swept UFV in their season series last year, winning 66-57 and 65-50.
• The Spartans have now won five straight regular season games against the Cascades.
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.