(By University of Regina Sports Information)
REGINA, Sask. - The Trinity Western Spartans scored the final 10 points of the game on Saturday night, pulling away from the No. 6-ranked Regina Cougars for a 56-47 victory at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.
The Cougars went up by one thanks to an Angela Bongomin free throw with just a bit over three minutes to go, but that turned out to be the U of R's final point of the game. Trinity Western took the lead for good soon after that on a Sarah Buckingham bucket, and the Spartans followed that up with field goals on their next three possessions to take a stranglehold on the contest.
"Tonight was a drawn-out battle and similar to last weekend in the second game where we didn't really find our tempo until the second half," Trinity Western head coach Cheryl Jean-Paul said. "It was nice to see the team fight through the adversity of our own mindset to rediscover our style of play. Going away from that doesn't get us the looks or the energy required to beat a team like Regina."
Trinity Western is now off to a 4-0 start and, along with Manitoba, UNBC, and Lethbridge, is one of four remaining undefeated Canada West teams after the first two weekends of conference play. The Spartans were led offensively in Saturday's win by Tessa Ratzlaff, who scored 17 points and also grabbed eight rebounds.
Buckingham finished with a double-double for TWU, scoring 14 points and collecting 11 rebounds while leading all players with 38 minutes played. Nicole Fransson scored eight points, four of which came on back-to-back buckets during Trinity Western's pivotal run late in the fourth.
Macaela Crone had her finest outing as a Cougar, finishing with a game-high 19 points and pulling down eight rebounds. Carolina Goncalves and Michaela Kleisinger both had eight points, while Christina McCusker had four points, tied Crone for the team lead with eight rebounds, and led all players with five blocks.
The Cougars drop to 2-2 on the season after suffering home losses on consecutive nights for just the fourth time since the program joined Canada West prior to the 2001-02 season. They'll try to regroup on the road next weekend against a Brandon team that is coming off a road sweep over UBC Okanagan this weekend
Trinity Western returns home next Friday and Saturday for a pair of games against Mount Royal (0-4).
NOTES: The two wins for Trinity Western this weekend were the first ever for the Spartans in Regina, as they'd lost all 15 games played at the U of R coming into Friday's affair ... the Cougars played without guard Kyanna Giles, who was injured early in Friday's game.