The battle to be crowned the top women’s basketball team in the Explorer Division proved to have yet another twist in its long and winding road this past weekend, as the WolfPack stormed into Edmonton and took both games against the current number one team, the Grant MacEwan Griffins.
These games were extremely important to the WolfPack for multiple reasons. Not only do the wins bring them to within one game of the division-leading Griffins, but these positive results also go a long way in helping the WolfPack forget what has been the most difficult weekend of their season so far. On Nov. 20 and 21, these very same Griffins came to Kamloops just one game back of TRU in the standings and staked their claim on first place with a pair of dominating wins, 85–56 and 75–50.
“We learned quite a bit from the games that we played them in last. They are an experienced team and run their systems very well. There is definitely some motivation coming from those losses; we’d like to get those games back. The games this weekend are very important,” said TRU’s leading point scorer Emma Piggin before this weekend’s action.
The ‘Pack used that motivation to great effect in the first game of the weekend double header, taking down MacEwan by a score of 69–55.
A well-rounded offensive effort saw four TRU players finish the game with double-digit point totals, with all nine players that saw over a minute of action in the game recording at least a basket.
It was a battle of defence in the Saturday night game, with TRU holding MacEwan to just 33 per cent shooting from the floor. Despite the fact that they were trailing for most of the game, TRU was able to keep it close and a three point shot from Michelle Bos with under 30 seconds left to go in the game gave TRU a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish, finishing the game with a 63–60 win.
One of the keys to victory for TRU was keeping in check one of the leading scorers in the conference, MacEwan’s Megan Wood.
“In our drill work and things like that, we are trying to make her take shots that she’s not used to making. Obviously she’s very a talented player and it’s easier said than done to have a game plan and go out against one of the better players and execute it,” said head coach of the ‘Pack Scott Reeves.
TRU was able to execute that game plan excellently, only allowing Wood, who is averaging 18 points a game, to score a total of 22 in the weekend games.
Unfortunately for TRU, if these two teams end up tied in the standings at the end of the year, it will be MacEwan that holds the tiebreaker of total points scored in the four games that they played each other by a score of 275–248.
TRU is next in action Jan. 22 and 23, when they take on the Mount Royal Cougars at the Tournament Capital Centre.