DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
The Winnipeg Wesmen might live to regret Saturday night.
The Thompson Rivers Wolfpack wiped out a 12-point first-half deficit and kept the Wesmen women's basketball team cold the rest of the way and won their first road game of the season, dropping the Wesmen 65-61 at the Duckworth Centre.
Thompson Rivers moved to 4-10 on the season in winning for the first time in eight contests away from home. Winnipeg, meanwhile, fell to 6-10 and was dealt a potentially lethal blow in its quest to get into the conference post-season.
Faith Hezekiah had 12 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Wesmen, but was 4 of 18 from the field and fouled out in the final minute. It was a rare 'off' night for Hezekiah, who recorded her 10th double-double of the season and leads the conference in scoring at better than 24 points per game.
"Sometimes even great players have an off night and I don't know it was so much us doing anything different as she just had an off night. That happens," TRU head coach Scott Reeves said.
"We want to keep scores in the 60s and all that means, as I've said, is it's going to give us a chance. It doesn't mean you're going to win, but it's going to give you a chance and tonight we were able to do it."
Jessica Dyck and Farrah Castillo both had 10 points for the Wesmen, who were 4-for-24 from three and, scored just 39 points over the final three quarters, including eight in the third.
Winnipeg managed one last bluster in the fourth quarter that fell short. Trailing by eight with 1:05 to go, the Wesmen got threes from Robyn Boulanger and Deborah Nkiasi to cut the lead to 63-61 with 15 seconds left. TRU, however, got two free throws from Megan Rouault and sealed the win.
The Wesmen have two games at home to Regina in two weeks and then a season-closing home-and-home with Manitoba. The Wesmen sit four points up on the likes of TRU and MacEwan for the final playoff spot, but those teams hold two games in hand.
"It's tough to (let the loss go) this late in the season when you've only got four games left and you're trying to make playoffs," Wesmen head coach Tanya McKay said. "The games that we should have taken care of are going to come back and bite us. It's going to come down to possibly the last two games against Manitoba, so the team that has the courage to move forward will."
Emily Vilac and Michelle Bos had 18 points apiece to lead the Wolfpack, who also got 11 from Leilani Carney.
Photo: Shanlee McLennan/Wesmen Athletics