TWU basketball: Hungy WolfPack take bite out of Spartans playoff hopes

Trinity Western
Trinity Western's Janelle Traber drives past Thompson Rivers WolfPack's Kaitlyn Widstein during Canada West women's basketball action at the Langley Events Centre.
— image credit: Scott Stewart/TWU Athletics

The Trinity Western Spartans women's basketball team's playoff hopes took a serious hit after they  dropped a pair of costly home games on the weekend.

The Spartans fell 66-61 on Friday night and 76-58 on Saturday to the visiting Thompson Rivers WolfPack at the Langley Events Centre.

The WolfPack improved to 7-9 while the Spartans dropped to 8-9. Both teams are chasing third-place Victoria (8-8) for the final playoff spot in the Pacific Division, as well as a Canada West wildcard berth.

"When you are fighting for a playoff spot, this is not the kind of performance you want to get from your team," said coach Cheryl Jean-Paul.

"They outplayed us; that is the reality of the sport."

"There was a purpose in how they played and they came out and got the wins."

A major problem in both games was the Spartans shooting a poor percentage from the field.

They hit just 28.6 per cent of their shots on Friday and 34.4 per cent on Saturday.

They also didn't help themselves from the free throw line, hitting just a combined 29-for-55 (52.7 per cent) from the charity stripe.

In Saturday's game, the teams were virtually even through three quarters, but the WolfPack dominated the second quarter 26-14.

Holly Strom led the home side with 18 points while Tiffany Olsen had 14. They  were the only two Spartans in double figures.

Friday's game was much closer although Trinity Western was still short in the end.

Tiffany Olsen had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead the team while Laurelle Weigl

had 11 and six.

Janelle Traber came off the bench to chip in 10 points.

The Spartans have their regular season finale on Thursday at the LEC against the Fraser Valley Cascades (11-6).

Jean-Paul said the team needs to put the weekend behind them and build on the positives of the season.

"Now is not the time to lose confidence," she said.

"I haven't lost confidence in my team or my program."

"Good teams can lose bad games," she added.

"We have to ask (ourselves) 'who are we, how will we rebound from this and how are we going to approach the next game?'"

Should they qualify for the playoffs, they would begin Feb. 23.

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