VANCOUVER – Trinity Western beat UBC for the first time since 2008, knocking off the Thunderbirds 75-71 in an overtime thriller Saturday night at War Memorial Gym.
Tessa Ratzlaff (Abbotsford, B.C.) scored four of her team-high 22 points in the extra frame including making both free throws to secure the four-point victory for the visitors.
The last time TWU beat the T-Birds was Nov. 1, 2008 when the Spartans earned a 54-48 win on the road.
With the win, the Spartans improve to 6-2. The Thunderbirds record falls to 4-4.
Ratzlaff finished the game with an impressive double-double as she also had a game-high 15 rebounds. Kayla Gordon (Prince George, B.C.) added 20 points and eight boards, while Sarah Buckingham (Surrey, B.C.) had 14 points and a game-high five assists.
UBC's Maddison Penn had 29 points and eight rebounds.
It was a back and forth battle that saw TWU enjoy a much better start than the previous night, jumping out to a 24-15 first quarter advantage with Gordon leading the way, scoring nine points.
The Spartans continued their strong play in the second quarter and went into halftime with a 39-31 lead, which marked a stark contrast from Friday, when TWU trailed UBC 40-21 at the break.
The Thunderbirds came out with sharper execution in the third quarter, erasing the deficit by outscoring the Spartans 20-12 in the third quarter. T-Birds second-year forward Keylyn Filewich did most of the damage for the hosts scoring nine of her 10 points in the frame.
With TWU holding a two-point lead late in the fourth quarter, Penn hit a pair of free throws with eight seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 63-63. A buzzer-beating attempt from TWU's Jessie Brown (Langley, B.C.) spun around the rim but didn't drop.
The Spartans outscored the Thunderbirds 12-8 in the extra period to earn the historic victory.
With the score tied 71-71, TWU's Kianna Wiens (Regina) sunk a pair of free throws to give the Spartans the lead. After a steal by Ratzlaff, the Spartans leading scorer was immediately fouled and went to the free throw line with 15 seconds to play. She hit both of her shots to seal the win.
Head Coach Cheryl Jean-Paul
"That was a great statement to ourselves about the type of team we are becoming this season. Our first quarter was a great response to yesterday's game and then we had some big moments in the last stretches of regulation and overtime. It was a great battle. We had some timely contributions from several players and pushed back when we needed to. This is a great way to head into the last stretch of the first half of our season – with some momentum and a better sense of what we can accomplish."
Fourth-Year Forward Tessa Ratzlaff
"We played right to the end and we fought so hard today. We got team looks and didn't stop fighting together. We got defensive stops, we kept rebounding like we had to do and we were able to shut them down on defence toward the end, which was key."
• Prior to Saturday, TWU had lost 17 straight games against UBC.
• TWU lost to the T-Birds 69-58 on Friday, which snapped a five-game Spartans winning streak.
• Since entering Canada West and U SPORTS in 1999, the Spartans are 4-45 all-time against UBC.
TWU has a bye this week before finishing the fall semester by hosting Brandon Dec. 1-2 at the Spartans on-campus David E. Enarson Gym.