Written by Kristin Anton
LANGLEY, B.C. – Playing in its second last home game of their regular season, the No. 10-ranked Trinity Western's women's basketball team earned a 80-49 win over Thompson Rivers University Friday at the Langley Events Centre.
Kayla Gordon (Prince George, B.C.) officially became TWU's all-time career points leader as she earned the first two points of the game and finished the night with 14 points for a now program-leading 1,126 points. Gordon surpassed Spartan alum Holly Strom who had 1,112 career points.
The win increased TWU's record to 13-4 on the season, which is the best record the program has ever earned. TRU ends the night with a 7-10 record.
Tessa Ratzlaff (Abbotsford, B.C.) led the Spartans in scoring with 20 points, shooting 10 out of 11 from the field. Gordon followed with 14 points while Kianna Wiens (Regina, Sask.) and Ashleigh Barnes (Oceanside, Calif.) tied with 10 points each.
Michelle Bos (Surrey, B.C.) of the WolfPack led her team with 18 points, while Jordon Haggerty (Saskatoon) followed with nine points.
The Spartans dominated the first quarter shooting 71.4 per cent to the WolfPack's 17.6 per cent. Dominating from the outset, TWU built a 20-7 lead through 10 minutes.
TWU closed out the first half when Gordon scored the final basket of the second quarter, as the home side continued to control the contest, taking a 26-point lead, 44-18, into halftime.
The WolfPack pushed harder to close the gap on the Spartans in the third quarter and earned themselves 17 points but the Spartans still had a 31-point lead by the end of the frame. Ratzlaff led the Spartans with six points as TWU entered the fourth quarter up 63-32.
In a fast-paced final quarter, the Spartans finished what they started, maintaining a 31-point led at the final whistle.
TWU Head Coach Cheryl Jean-Paul
On the Game
"Our goal is to keep getting better every weekend. After two really tough weekends, there could be the fear of complacency or slowing down or taking your opponent lightly and that's not how we approached this last weekend of training. We know that TRU can shoot the ball, which they did towards the end. We wanted to make sure our statement was to ourselves and we wanted to set the tone and force our opponent to play our game.
"There are some things that we didn't do well against Saskatchewan last weekend that we really had to focus on and we definitely saw improvements. I thought this was a great defensive statement, but for us it's about getting a little bit deeper, making things a little bit easier, gaining efficiencies where we can and if we can do those things, we're going to be ready for anybody."
On Gordon becoming TWU's all-time leading scorer
"It's great for her to be able to get the recognition for some of the hard work she has put into this program. It's quite an accomplishment to pass someone else who has meant a lot to this program as well. We're seeing these generational cycles, where she's that next top scorer and who's going to be the next and who's going to be the one after those two? It's nice to see people grow from each other. Holly played a role in Kayla's life and for her to be able to break her record is pretty cool."
• The last time the teams went head to head in the regular season was in 2013-14, when they played to a weekend split.
• Over the most recent Christmas break, the played each other in an exhibition tilt, with TWU winning 77-56.
• Saturday night will be the last home game of the regular season for the Spartans, which means their seniors, Gordon and Ashleigh Barnes (Oceanside, Calif.), will be honoured for their time spent at TWU in a special post-game ceremony.
• The Spartans were hosting their Bell Let's Talk night, which is intended to help student-athletes continue their leadership role on campus in the fight to end the stigma around mental health.
• In addition, the staff of Trinity Western University were welcomed out to the game as a sign of appreciation for their efforts in the making of successful student-athletes.
The Spartans and the WolfPack will meet again Saturday at the LEC. Tip-off is at 5 p.m. (PT).