Written by Katie Maryschuk
LANGLEY, B.C. – In the last home game of the regular season, the Spartan women's basketball team won 76-67 over Thompson Rivers Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre.
This win sees the Spartans to a 14-4 season and improves on last night's game as they continue to put together the best regular season in program history.
Continuing her streak from last night as TWU's all-time career points leader, graduating senior Kayla Gordon (Prince George, B.C) opened the game with the first two points and finished the night with 17 points. Gordon now has 1,143 career points. She also was just two assists shy of a triple-double, including 11 rebounds and eight assists.
Tonight's game celebrated graduating senior players Ashleigh Barnes (Oceanside, Calif.) and Gordon for their time spent playing at TWU.
Tessa Ratzlaff (Abbotsford, B.C.) led TWU in scoring with 28 points. Barnes added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Michelle Bos (Surrey, B.C.) led the Wolfpack with 16 points, and nine rebounds. Shenise Sigsworth (Kamloops, B.C.) followed close behind with 14 points and five rebounds. The WolfPack (7-11) saw a total of 24 attempted 3-pointers compared to the Spartans nine attempts over the four quarters.
The Spartans dominated the first quarter, with 24 points to TRU's 16. TWU led with a 59.5 per cent field goal shooting percentage to TRU's 37.5 per cent.
The second quarter picked up pace, seeing TRU catch up with 17 points to TWU's 22. The Wolfpack made three 3-pointers on 11 attempts compared to the Spartans drawing a blank on four 3-point attempts.
The Spartans ended the first half holding a 46-33. Ratzlaff led the team with 15 points and Gordon followed closely behind with 11 points going into the second half.
The WolfPack closed the gap, winning the third quarter 20-13 and bringing the score to 59-53. TWU called a timeout with eight minutes to play and promptly scored six straight points. TRU ended the third quarter with a 44.4 per cent shooting percentage to TWU's 37.5 per cent.
The fourth quarter was the deciding factor for the Spartans, holding on to the lead.
TWU Head Coach Cheryl Jean-Paul
On the Game
"Well, you know when we talked about going into this game this weekend, the second night is always going to be a different battle. What I said to the team before the game started was that you have to assume the second game is going to be a continuation of the last part of the game beforehand. We only won the second half yesterday by five points, so it's about trying to find ways to reinvent certain things with the opponent already knowing what you're going to do. I thought we responded well. We never gave up the lead, so that was a positive. They obviously hit some really big shots, which we knew they could do. Everyone is still fighting to see how they finish off the season. We had talked about this being a playoff game for most of our opponents in the last weekends, solely because everyone is still fighting for either standing or an actual spot in the playoffs. I thought that's how they played. We didn't necessarily respond to it in the third quarter, but I thought we found our way again and finished the game a little better."
On graduating seniors Gordon and Barnes
"It's really special to see more and more alumni that I've coached now coming back and returning and it just goes to show it's not just about one person's journey or two graduating athletes' journeys. It's really about the process they've been through with so many different people. All of the sudden you realize every one of your teammates has been an impact in your journey, both on and off the floor. I think for fifth-years it's a moment to reflect on how many people have impacted who you are becoming as a person. I think that's just a special experience. Most people don't get this kind of moment when they're able to step back and look at all the people that have thanked them. I think that's just something sport allows us to do."
• The last time TWU played TRU, they split the weekend in the 2013-2014 season.
• During a post-game ceremony, coaches and alum welcomed Gordon and Barnes as official Spartan alumni.
• There have only been four players in Canada West history to record triple-doubles.
The Spartans play MacEwan Griffins next weekend to wrap up the regular season.