Contrary to ranking, women’s basketball shows up big
Adam Williams, Sports Editor Ω
The WolfPack women’s basketball team proved that it can run with any competition Canada West has to offer this past weekend, stunning the University of Alberta Pandas 67-58 in a Nov. 2 game at the Tournament Capital Centre.
TRU, which had lost to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies 76-54 on Nov. 1, was thought to be the heavy underdog heading into its match against the Pandas. The University of Alberta squad was ranked No. 1 in Canada West by the league’s coaches in the annual poll conducted prior to the start of the season. In that same poll, TRU was ranked ninth.
The victory is the WolfPack’s second against the Pandas in the last six games between the squads. TRU also defeated the Pandas last season, though with a much stronger team, 72-69 in overtime.
“I liked our defense,” said WolfPack head coach Scott Reeves in a press release. “That is a pretty good team. Holding them to 58 points is pretty outstanding. I think when they were using their size and doubling us up inside we were pretty quick. That gave us an opportunity to get a jump ball or an extra possession.”
The WolfPack was outscored in the first half, 35-26, with the U of A shooting 44 per cent from the floor to the WolfPack’s 25 per cent. But TRU bounced back in the third quarter, outscoring the Pandas 21-13, closing the gap to just one in a 48-47 game. With the game on the line and victory in sight, TRU continued to dominate in the fourth quarter and outscored the Pandas 20-12, securing the 67-58 victory.
Kassie Colonna led the ‘Pack with 18 points and six rebounds in 34 minutes of play. Sydney Williams also had a strong night, after a sound defensive effort in her first match with TRU on Friday, scoring 15. Fourth-year guard Jorri Duxbury bounced back from a zero-point performance against the Huskies – a match in which she racked up four fouls in the first quarter and a half and spent most of the second and third quarters on the bench – to score 15.
“Jorri is definitely a leader,” Reeves said. “Not only in her composure, but getting the ball up the floor and getting us into offence. When she can score points, she is a stabilizing factor for us.”
The Pandas had only one player, Saskia Van Ginhoven, reach double digits in points on Saturday, with 20. The Pandas’ inability to score may have been more of a testament to the strength of the WolfPack’s defensive play than anything else. After giving up 76 points to the Huskies the night before, Saturday’s game was more indicative of the type of play Reeves will expect from his squad this season.
The women, now 1-1, are tied for second with three other teams in Canada West’s Pacific division. They will now turn their focus to the UNBC Timberwolves, who they will face in Prince George on Nov. 8 and 9.