By Larry Read
TRU Sports Information
KAMLOOPS, BC---It wasn't the weekend the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack were hoping for as they opened the home portion of their 2018 Canada West women's basketball season.
The WolfPack were swept on the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Centre. The University of Fraser Valley Cascades beat TRU for the second straight night. On Saturday (Jan 13), the score was 76-67.
The Cascades big three of Sara Simovic, Shayna Litman and Taylor Claggett accounted for 88 per cent of their teams scoring.
The WolfPack are now 7-9 and have lost their last four outings. Fraser Valley has won two in a row and moves to 6-10.
The teams were tied at 20 after the first quarter and TRU was up 46-39 at the half as both teams had trouble scoring and not turning over the ball.
The deciding quarter was the third where the Cascades outgunned the Pack 23-7.
Simovic (5th year, guard, Nanaimo, BC) wound up with 24 points, Litman (5th year, forward, Coquitlam, BC) had 23 while Claggett (3rd year, forward, Mission, BC) had 17.
TRU had three players in double figures led by Makayla Hoey (1st year, guard, Parksville, BC) and Emma Piggin (4th year, guard, Kamloops, BC) with 13. Megan Rouault (1st year, guard, Vernon, BC) added 11.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
UFV 20 14 23 19 -76
TRU 20 16 7 24 -67
Thompson Rivers :
Emma Piggin: 13 points, 8 rebounds (4 each side) 1 block, 1 steal,1 assist: 25 mins
Makayla Hoey: 13 points, 3 defensive rebounds: 15 mins
Megan Rouault: 11 points, 2 steals: 18 minutes
Sara Simovic: 24 points, 7 rebounds (5 def), 5 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks: 36 mins
Shayna Litman: 23 points, 11 rebounds (7 def), 1 assist, 2 steals: 33 mins
Taylor Claggett: 17 points, 9 rebounds (8 def), 1 assist: 30 mins
TRU: 15 UFV: 19
TRU: 35 (18 defensively) UFV: 43 (33 defensively)
TRU: 7-9 UFV: 6-10
TRU Assistant Coach Chuck Ferguson::
On lack of emotion: " It's been the story all weekend. For some reason we were disconnected. I don't know if it were the post-Christmas blues or what. We need to figure this out so we can get back on the run we were on before Christmas.
On Simovic, Litman and Claggett: "They were the difference. I thought in places we guarded them well. I thought Taylor Claggett was very good this weekend. She was forcing herself inside on the inside and was successful doing it. We aren't a big team and we struggle against teams that are big. They have three really good bigs. It is a struggle for us matchup wise. That is no reason for us to pack your tent. In some ways, near the end of the game, we looked lost. We need to use the bye week to get together as a team and move forward."
On Mikayla Hoey coming off bench to score 13 points. " That is part of the season. We are investing time in these rookies. They are going to make mistakes. Mack had a great game. I thought Jordy (Haggerty) pushed the ball well. Megan (Rouault) gave us some great minutes. The rookies are doing what they can. They are very young. They are learning as they go. In their case, it is an investment in the future to get them in there."
Video of post game interview: click here
Opponent head coach Al Tuchscherer (16th season):
On sweep "It was nice to see us play some team basketball this weekend. We had a few people involved. Our execution was solid. We looked for good shots. To me that was the most important thing right now. We are just playing better basketball. We put ourselves in a very difficult position for the playoffs. To be honest, I am not sure where we are with that. It is going to be pretty tough for us to sneak in. But if we put together a couple of good weekends together, who knows."
On the big three: "Those three have put up some big numbers for us this year. They have led us statistically. That isn't a surprise. All three of those kids can score. For us, it's the next level scoring. We got that last night. That was exciting. I am not as excited that they are scoring. I am glad they are but we need others to contribute too."
Video of post game interview: click here
Both teams will be on the road next time they play (Jan 25-26). Both have next week off. The Cascades will visit the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves in Prince George, BC. The 'Pack will bus to Langley, BC for a pair of games against the Trinity Western University Spartans. The Spartans and WolfPack played a pair of exhibition games less than two weeks ago (Dec 29-30).
Next home game for Thompson Rivers will be Friday February, 2nd when they play host to the Brandon University Bobcats. Tip off will be 6 pm on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre.
The above games will be shown on a pay per view basis on www.Canadawesttv.com.
"TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack" Player of the game was Piggin.