LANGLEY, B.C. – It was an offensive improvement from the night earlier, but Trinity Western’s women’s basketball team once again fell to Alberta, losing 70-49 Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
Nicole Fransson (Edmonton) had a game-high 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Spartans (3-13), while Jayden Gill (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Julia Marshall (Langley) each added eight points for the home team.
Alberta (14-2) had steady contributions throughout its lineup, as Vanessa Wild and Jenna Harpe led the way with 15 and 13 points, respectively.
TWU shot 31% from the field (19-61) compared to Alberta’s 41% (26/63). The Pandas also held a 49-35 edge in rebounds.
The Spartans kept pace with the Pandas throughout the majority of the opening quarter, trailing just 16-10 after the opening 10 minutes. TWU collected four offensive rebounds as opposed to Alberta’s one, but were unable to capitalize without any second chance points. The Spartans shot 26% from the field (5-19), while the Pandas shot an even 50% (7-14).
The Pandas opened the second quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 21-10 lead, as the Spartans began struggling to contain Alberta’s offence. After the road team took a 34-17 lead late, jumpers from Kailey Reimer (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Simran Grewal (Surrey, B.C.) brought TWU to within 13 points heading into halftime. TWU’s shooting struggles continued in the second half, converting on just three of 15 attempts (20%).
Spartans forward Fransson hit her stride in the third quarter, scoring eight points to lead the Spartans offensively. The Pandas however began hitting their shots from range, and after hitting just two 3-pointers in the first half, Alberta went on to hit three in the third quarter alone to take a 52-32 lead heading into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter was a much more evenly matched affair, as the Spartans improved their shooting to 46% (6-13) for their best offensive quarter of the night (17 points). The Pandas bested TWU however to the tune of 18 fourth quarter points, closing out for the 70-49 road victory.
Cheryl Jean-Paul – TWU Head Coach
“We asked for a fight and that’s what we got, as tonight was a huge collective improvement from last night. We talked about wanting to build from yesterday’s second half defensively, and while there were some lapses and situations which we should have handled better, we battled really hard. It’s fun to watch a team battle and know that something positive is going to come out of it.
“Scoring is never going to be easy when we play one of the best defensive teams in the conference, but I thought we did a great job at creating opportunities to score and getting looks for everyone, and if we can continue this trend there’s going to be some really exciting things to watch for in the future.”
- The Pandas have now won ten games in a row.
- TWU won its previous two games against Alberta coming into the weekend, both coming at home during the 2017-18 Canada West quarterfinals (Feb. 15-16, 2018).
- Alberta held a 36-32 advantage for points in the paint.
The Spartans continue the regular season next week on the road in Brandon Friday (Jan. 31) and Saturday (Feb. 1) at the Healthy Living Centre. The Pandas meanwhile head back for a home-and-home series against Calgary Thursday (Jan. 30) at home and Saturday (Feb. 1) at Calgary’s Jack Simpson Gymnasium.