In the last home matches before the Christmas break, the TRU WolfPack basketball teams hosted the Lethbridge Pronghorns this past weekend at the Tournament Capital Center (TCC).
Friday night saw the ‘Pack men’s team fall in a 68-65 squeaker that they had leads in right up until the final two minutes of the match.
“I thought [Lethbridge] did a good job of executing down the stretch and we didn’t,” WolfPack head coach Scott Clark said after the loss.
“We showed at times some inexperience as we had a younger lineup out there. That hurt us. That is the bottom line. We didn’t execute offensively or defensively down the stretch.”
The loss moved the ‘Pack to a 1-8 record on the season heading into the rematch on Saturday—a game in which the team again managed to keep close, but still fell by four points. The final score was 85-81.
Clark pointed to an unacceptable defensive performance as the reason for Saturday’s loss.
“When you put up 81 points on the board, you should win,” he said.
“The problem is giving up 85. You can’t feel very good about that. I don’t feel very good about that.”
“TRU Bookstore Leader of the Pack” player of the game Greg Stewart echoed those sentiments.
“Overall, we lacked in our defensive game,” he said.
“Everyone in general, myself included.
“It is a team effort out there and when you don’t get those boards and close out and put the pressure on the ball, you don’t succeed.”
Stewart, usually a force under the basket on both ends of the court, but who has struggled somewhat this season, had 29 points and 15 rebounds in the loss Saturday. He was one of five WolfPack players to score double-digits.
Brett Rouault had 17 points and Chas Kok had 14, while Brett Parker added 11 points and Kevin Pribilsky chipped in with 10.
They now travel to the University of Fraser Valley (UFV) on Nov. 26 and 27 as they attempt to go into the Christmas break on a strong note against a UFV team also struggling so far this season.
The WolfPack women’s team fared much better in their games, coming away from the weekend with two more wins taking their record to 7-3, good enough for sixth in the Canada West Division of the CIS.
Despite only shooting 28 per cent in the first half on Friday night, the ‘Pack finished strong, outscoring the Pronghorns 20-6 in the final quarter to take the 60-44 win.
“This wasn’t a game where we got up 20 and had some breathing room,” head coach Scott Reeves said after the win.
“I am so proud of our defense tonight.
“It will always give us a chance even if we don’t shoot the ball well.”
It was a different game on Saturday, but with a similar result.
The ‘Pack came out strong in the rematch and took a 47-29 lead into half-time on their way to a 74-57 win.
Clark said that defense again was the key to coming away with the win.
“We have always prided ourselves on defense,” he said.
“It has taken some time to learn a system, rotations and increase our foot speed.
“Kids have really bought into the defensive side of things. I have always said that it will give us a chance to be in any game. I’m proud of that.”
TRU was led on Saturday by veterans Kaitlyn Widsten and Kayla Forsyth who both had 15 points. Forsyth, who played only 17 minutes was named the “TRU Bookstore
‘Leader of the Pack’ player of the game.”
The women’s team now head into the last weekend before the Christmas break on a three-game winning streak as they travel to UFV next weekend.