By Katie Maryschuk, Trinity Western University
LANGLEY, B.C. – The Trinity Western Spartans completed a weekend sweep, winning 73-50 over the Mount Royal Cougars Saturday night. This win sees the Spartans improve to a perfect 6-0 record.
The Spartans were the better team from the outset, quickly building a strong lead into the first quarter. Their offence exploded in the second quarter, going into halftime with more than double the lead, 45-20. From there, TWU rolled to its most lopsided win of the season.
It was fifth-year Jessie Brown (Langley) that tallied 21 points before the halftime buzzer, sinking six out of seven 3-pointers. This set her up for her final game tally of 25 points. Kianna Wiens (Regina, Sask.) collected seven points before the half to add to the Spartans 87.5 3-point shooting percentage in the opening 20 minutes. TWU finished the night shooting 66.7 per cent (10-15) from long range.
Mount Royal shot just 7.7 per cent in the first half and 5.0 per cent overall (1-20) from 3-point range.
After Brown, Sarah Buckingham (Langley, BC) contributed a game total of 12 points.
Sydney Tabin and Maddison Hooper tied for points on the Cougar side, both finishing the game with eight. The loss drops MRU to 0-6 on the season.
The second half of the game saw the Spartans continue their lead, staying within a 16-point margin for the remainder of the game.
The Spartans opened the game's scoring and quickly opened a six-point lead within the first few minutes. They sunk four out of five 3-pointers, three of which came from Brown while Wiens went four for four from the line. It was also Wiens who sank a final buzzer beater to end the first quarter 24-13.
The second quarter got underway and the Spartan offence continued to accelerate, with Nicola Peters (Abbotsford, BC), Julia Marshall (Langley) and Nicole Fransson (Edmonton, Alta.) all finding the scoreboard. The two points the first-year Peters tallied were the first two of her TWU career.
By the end of the quarer, the Spartans stretched out the gap, ending the half 45-20.
The second half saw much of the same rhythm, and while the Cougars continued their defensive efforts and won the third quarter 19-16, it wasn't enough to put much of a dent in the Spartans lead.
In the final quarter, TWU outscored the Cougars 12-11 en route to a convincing win.
• TWU's season-long scoring leader Tessa Ratzlaff was forced out of the game for the second half due to an injury.
• The six-game winning streak to start the season marks the best-ever start to a season in women's basketball program history. TWU had never won more than two straight games to start the year.
• Peters finished with a career-high 17 minutes, while Breanna Cabuco (Port Moody, B.C.) came off the bench to play a season-high 18 minutes.
TWU Head Coach Cheryl Jean-Paul
"There were quite a few people who responded to having Tessa out and it was impressive how they stepped up. I thought that level of readiness was really nice to see. It showed people are ready for their opportunities. This morning, I talked about shot selection and how we have struggled with our shooting in the second games of weekends and then Jessie just goes off in the first half. We got to the rim and created off the rim and we got offensive rebounds. We just had so many people step into big roles and play well. I thought the statement we made in the first half carried us through."
The Spartans travel to Prince George next weekend to play the UNBC Timberwolves Friday and Saturday. MRU is back at home to host UBC Okanagan Nov. 16-17.