WINNIPEG – Trinity Western put together a dominant third quarter to spark the Spartans to an 80-66 win over Manitoba in women's basketball at Investors Group Athletic Centre on Friday.
Trailing 40-36 at halftime, the Spartans outscored the Bisons 29-9 in the third quarter alone to take a commanding lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Fifth-year Tessa Ratzlaff (Abbotsford, B.C.) led TWU with a double-double, putting up 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, while first-year Nicole Fransson (Edmonton) also had a double-double with 16 points and 15 boards.
The Spartans (9-6) snapped a three-game losing streak with Friday's win, while the Bisons (now 6-9) have lost the last two straight.
On Manitoba's side of the court, third-year forward Addison Martin led the way with 15 points, and third-year guard Taylor Randall contributed 14.
In the opening half, the Bisons zeroed in on the Spartans 3-point opportunities, forcing TWU, who entered the game with the best 3-point shooting percentage in the league (38.8%), to go just 2-12 from the beyond the arc. TWU
Also in the first half, the Bisons stepped up to the plate on offence. Throughout the season, the team has averaged 35.8 per cent shooting from the field. On Friday, the Herd landed an impressive 45.9 per cent before halftime.
The Spartans held a narrow 22-19 lead to finish the first quarter, but Bisons wiggled their way into the lead in the second. The Herd went on to close out the second with a four-point lead.
The game's momentum flipped on its head after halftime. The Spartans put up 14 unanswered points to kick off the third quarter. Nearly four minutes passed on the clock before the Bisons added to their side of the score. TWU outscored the Bisons 29-9 in the quarter, giving themselves a 65-49 lead going into the fourth.
Most notably, the Spartans sparked some momentum from the 3-point line, going four for five from outside.
The Spartans led the way on the glass. They had a total of 57 boards to Manitoba's 36.
Cheryl Jean-Paul – TWU Coach
"The theme for this week was fight for Friday and the team definitely made that statement in the third quarter. We went away from what works for us, in terms of style of play and tempo in the second, but it was great to see the response to be better in execution and team play to create great looks. When we are able to create looks for each other and give ourselves second and third chances, good things happen and it was important to see ourselves have success with multiple people contributing on the boards and finishing at the rim."
• TWU's 80 points marked the Spartans highest offensive output in 10 games, dating back to an 89-81 win over Mount Royal (Nov. 9).
• The last time these two teams met was in 2016-17, where TWU won a pair of games at home, 70-65 and 93-71.
• The last time the Spartans visited Manitoba was in 2014-15, where TWU won both games, 61-56 and 62-61.
• The win also saw TWU collect a program record 59 rebounds.
• The previous high was 56 against Winnipeg Jan. 18, 2019.
• Ratzlaff now has 623 career rebounds, which puts her nine shy off the TWU all-time mark of 632 set by Kayla Gordon.
The same teams play again on Saturday, Jan. 19 at Investors Group Athletic Centre. Tip-off is at 3 p.m. (PT).
Recognized for quality, TWU has received seven consecutive A+ rankings for Quality of Teaching and Learning, holds three Canada Research Chairs, and wins national championships in CIS sports. More importantly, lives are changed at TWU through its whole-person, Christ-centred approach to education. With a wide array of undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree-completion programs, TWU equips leaders of character and competence to make a positive impact in the lives of others.
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.