Trinity Western's blowout win over Brandon was a 'great way to end the first half of the season,' according to head coach Cheryl Jean-Paul.
The Trinity Western University Spartans and Brandon University Bobcats closed out the first half of the Canada West women's basketball regular season with a one-sided affair.
The Spartans dominated, coming away with a 74-23 win Saturday night in Brandon.
"Tonight's game was a great indication of how hard we've been working this term and is a great way to end the first half of the season. Despite some of the factors that we had to deal with earlier in the day with travel and having played a really tough game against Regina, the team's response was about togetherness and playing for each other," TWU head coach Cheryl Jean-Paul said, following the game. "We look forward to a break but also for the chance to get back to the gym and work on some of the skills and game decisions that the teams we have played against us have revealed. I am proud of how we've fought through some of the adversity and look forward to continuing to move forward as a program."
The Bobcats struggled to find a groove on the offensive end, shooting 16 percent from the field as a team.
The Spartans were much the opposite, shooting at 51.6 percent as a team.
Emily Knauff finished one rebound shy of a double-double, leading all scorers as well (14 points, nine rebounds). Chelsey Olsen finished with 12 points, while Stephanie Carkner put up 10 points.
TWU forward Holly Strom finished the game with nine points and seven boards, but what was most notable were here five steals and five blocked shots. The five blocks ties the TWU record, which was set by Corina Reimer against St. F.X. on Oct. 12, 2007. The five by Strom is the most by a Spartan in a Canada West conference game.
Stephanie Haynes was the top Bobcat player with seven points.
Both teams will now enter the holiday break before resuming competition in the New Year.
The Spartans will welcome the University of Alberta Pandas on Jan. 11, 2013.
Regina Cougars 72, Spartans 63
TWU pushed the No. 3 University of Regina Cougars for the majority of the game Friday night, but fell short in the final frame to fall 72-63 at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport in Regina.
The loss drops the Spartans' record to 1-8.
"I was really proud of how the team approached playing the number three team in the country. We talked about being fearless and there were definite moments of that," Jean-Paul said. "Despite the slow scoring start by both teams in the first half, I thought we responded to their pushes and defended some of their regular looks really well.
Jean-Paul said the Spartans are looking forward to spending a lot of time during their Christmas break focusing on stronger finishes offensively and gaining confidence in how they approach the fourth quarters.
"We have been in a lot of close games this term and have learned a lot about what it takes to be in close games - it's this program's time to move forward in that and I have to make sure that the team continues to take strides forward," she said.
Strom led Trinity Western in points for the fifth consecutive game, hitting eight of her nine free throws and ending up scoring 18.
Knauff scored 15 points and added 10 rebounds to score a double-double, while Sarah Cleveland - playing in her first game since being injured in the UNBC series - scored 14 points in 30 minutes off the bench for the Spartans.