TWU basketball: Spartans tops at Manitoba tourney
Laurelle Weigl is already making her presence felt on the basketball court for the Trinity Western Spartans.
The transfer from Simon Fraser University had an MVP performance as the Spartans women's basketball team won the University of Manitoba's Shoot for the Cure Invitational tournament in Winnipeg over the weekend.
Proceeds from the tournament went to breast cancer research.
Weigl finished the three games with 42 points, 25 rebounds, 10 assists, five steals and four blocks.
She is a three-time CIS national champion — including a CIS MVP — and Canadian national team member.
"She is getting comfortable with the team as she is recovering from an injury and brings a calmness (to the team)," said Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul.
"(She) understands how to win and is a great basketball who wants to change our culture."
The Spartans won the final game 74-61 over the Winnipeg Wesmen.
"The word of the weekend was control and understanding our talent and how to control the game," said Jean-Paul.
"We showed lots of composure and made lots of good shot decision during the weekend."
Trinity Western turned a tight, two-point game into a 13-point victory thanks to a 21-10 advantage in the game's final 10 minutes.
"(This) game was a great reflection of who we're trying to become," Jean-Paul said.
"It was fun to watch the fruits of all the hard work the athletes have been putting into their on-court development and into believing in themselves and our program."
In the victory over Winnipeg, Holly Strom led the team with 18 points while Emily Knauff had a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Janelle Traber added 10 points.
The Spartans are coming off a 3-21 season.
“For the Spartans women's basketball team to win a tournament and give themselves tangible proof that they have the ability to succeed is monumental for our continued progress into the regular season. We are happy with the results but know that for us to be successful we still have a lot of work to do and a lot of growing together. But these are the steps in the right direction that we want to take,” commented Jean-Paul on the teams tournament experience.
In the team's earlier two games, they defeated the Manitoba Bisons 66-58 and the Lakehead Timberwolves 72-57.
Strom led the team in scoring all three games, finishing with an average of 18.3 points per game.
The Spartans begin the Canada West season on Nov. 4.