Thunderbirds soar past Spartans in Langley

The Trinity Western University’s Spartans lost in a rout, 83-50 to the UBC Thunderbirds in Canada West women’s basketball action Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.


The Thunderbirds, who raced out to a 21-9 lead in the first quarter and never trailed the rest of the way, were led by Kris Young, who had 15 points and eight rebounds, and Harleen Sidhu, who had 14 points and a game-high of 10 rebounds.


Despite the loss, Spartans first-year Tessa Ratzlaff had career-high night with 18 points and nine rebounds while going a perfect 4-4 effort from the free-throw line.


Fellow first-year Jessie Brown also went 4-4 from the charity stripe while tallying 13 points.


UBC led in field goal shooting, hitting on 43.0 percent of their shots compared to TWU, which shot 31.7 percent from the field.


However, the two teams were neck and neck on the glass – UBC out-boarded TWU 43-42 – and at the free throw line, with UBC making 92.3 percent of their shots and TWU just behind at 91.7 percent.


UBC took a 48-15 lead into halftime but the Spartans, with largely their second unit on the floor, hung with the T-Birds over the final 20 minutes, equaling UBC 35-35 in the second half.


“Today, in the second half, we definitely had some players step up,” TWU coach Cheryl Jean-Paul said, following the win. “I’m very proud of the effort that second line gave. I think there are some exciting things about that second half. Tessa found her groove and Jessie was making things happen.”


She added, “It comes down to consistency. I think we were a little lackadaisical at the start, but that second group for us proved that defence gets you good looks. They played well together and they played without fear and it wasn’t as if they were playing against UBC’s second string players. So, that’s the exciting part about how this game ended.”


Shooting 40.9 percent from the field in the first quarter, UBC was led by Sidhu with eight points.


The T-Birds were up by 12 points after 10 minutes.


The Thunderbirds’ momentum kept on rolling into the second quarter. They held TWU off the scoreboard for almost six minutes before the Spartans sunk consecutive free throws to make it 36-11.


Both teams did well on the free throw line, with TWU going 7-8 and UBC making a perfect 9-9. Young had a team-leading 13 points in the half while Sidhu had 10 points.


Brown sunk the Spartans first and only three-pointer of the night two minutes into the third quarter, narrowing her team’s deficit to 55-20.


The Spartans bettered the Thunderbirds in field goals during the quarter, shooting 76.9 percent compared to UBC, who hit 52.9 percent of their shots.


Despite the Spartans’ effort, the Thunderbirds still led 70-36 with one quarter left in the game.


The Spartans outscored the Thunderbirds 14-13 in the fourth quarter, but the small success wasn’t enough to rally as UBC earned the 33-point win.


TWU will travel to Saskatchewan to play the Huskies Jan. 30-31 while UBC will host Calgary.


GAME NOTES: Ratzlaff and Brown led TWU with 33 and 30 minutes respectively. TWU had 21 turnovers while UBC had 10.


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