Spartan women sputter
Women’s basketball falls to last-place.
Just when the Trinity Western Women’s basketball team had something finally going their way, they regressed yet again to fall further away from the Canada West playoffs. The Spartans resumed their Canada West schedule following the winter break with hopes of turning things around and potentially making a late playoff push. Those hopes were sadly buried in front of another sparse crowd as TWU was beaten convincingly over the weekend.
The Spartans began their first full weekend back with a matchup against Alberta and fell behind a sputtering offense. The Spartans were forced to settle for jump shots most of the game as Alberta did a great job with help defense and cut underneath just about every screen the Spartans ran. Alberta’s defensive game plan was basically to let the Spartans take as many jumpers as the wanted and TWU simply wasn’t able to make them pay for it.
Things on the defensive end were a mixed bag for the Spartans. TWU did a good job limited easy drives to the basket and chasing Alberta off the three-point line. TWU’s problem boiled down to their lack of size as Alberta snagged 15 offensive rebounds and converted them into far too many second-chance points. Spartans diminutive stature has been a problem all year as they were once again outrebounded, this time by a convincing 43-29 margin.
The Spartans never let Alberta go on a blistering run but rather, they simply couldn’t keep pace as the Panadas slowly pulled away and left with a 73-53 victory. On-court life didn’t get an easier the next night as things went from bad to worse on the offensive end.
The Spartans Saturday night contest against the University of Saskatchewan had a similar feel as the Spartans worked hard, got open jumpers and played efficiently but were simply outclassed by a more talented team. The Spartans had another solid night of contested shots and protected the rim as the Huskies failed to shoot better than 40% but the rebounding was poor once again and the Spartans couldn’t hit their shots as they hit a disastrous 26.9% from the field.
The discrepancy between the Spartans good effort and poor performance is a major problem; it’s hard to think of what Coach Jean-Paul can say to her team at this point. The Spartans are passing well and getting good movement on offense. Their spacing is good, the ball isn’t stagnating in one players hands for 10 second sat a time. The execution has been very good all year, the Spartans just haven’t been making their looks and that is why they now find themselves in last place in the Pacific division.
The Spartans are now six games back of a playoff spot with 10 games to play and a difficult final schedule ahead of them. I hate to say it with so much basketball still to play but this is looking like another lost season for the Spartans.