Saturday, February 20th, 2016
Warner Rentals Court, TCC, Kamloops, BC
FINAL 1 2 3 4 T UBC Okanagan (10-10) 18 10 14 18 60 Thompson Rivers (15-5) 18 23 15 14 70
KAMLOOPS, BC — With the President's Cup on the line, the Heat women's basketball team pressed for a victory only to fall 10 points short as Thompson Rivers WolfPack held onto a 70-60 victory on Saturday night.
The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack can now lay claim to the 2015-16 President’s Cup. The ‘Pack won the women’s cup for the second straight year.
The Heat loss on the Warner Rentals Court—on the final night of the Canada West regular season—assured the hosts the President’s Cup. The Cup is a competition between UBCO and TRU in all Canada West sports. Heading into the contest, both schools were tied with three wins, three losses, and a tie.
Along with the annual award, the victory by the WolfPack gave them a 15-5 regular season record as they finish in second place in the Explorer Division. The Heat end the season at 10-10, four more wins better than they have ever had in a Canada West season.
Claire Meadows, in her first year guiding the Okanagan team, thought her team played hard in this game and all season long.
“I thought we were pretty resilient tonight,” Meadows explained. “We had three really good pushes. TRU went on a run and we came back with some of our own. It really symbolized how our team played this season.”
She admitted her game plan was to press the ‘Pack. “It is something that we pride ourselves on. Over the course of two nights, we begin to wear down the opposition. I thought it showed tonight as we wound up forcing some turnovers.”
Meadows praised the play of Emily Kanester (4th year, guard, Vernon, BC). She had 20 points to lead UBCO offensively. Vanessa Botteselle (2nd year, guard, North Vancouver, BC) added 12 points.
“Emily had a huge second half for us,’ she said. “She has been that spark for us all season so it was good to see her end the season with a good shooting game.”
WolfPack assistant coach Chuck Ferguson said the Heat gave them all they could handle. “I expected them to come out with a bunch of adjustments and play a better game, and they did. This effort tonight is indicative of the type of team they are. It was good to get the win.”
The Heat stymied the WolfPack in the first half with a full court press—something TRU had difficulty breaking. “Yes we have to work on that," agreed Ferguson, “and turning over the ball. We have had too many turnovers the past couple of weeks. I thought we were better on the glass tonight but the turnovers kill us.”
TRU turned the ball over 26 times to UBCO’s 11.
The WolfPack had four players in double figures, led by Kassie Colonna (4th year, forward, Invermere, BC). Colonna—who was playing her final home Canada West game—had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Sarah Malate (5th year, guard, Calgary, AB), Michelle Bos (2nd year, guard, Surrey, BC), and Emma Piggin (2nd year, guard, Kamloops, BC) all had 10 points. Bos added 10 rebounds. Jordan MacLean (4th year, forward, Hinton, AB) had 11 boards while Taiysa Worsfold (5th year, guard, Kamloops, BC) added nine points.
Worsfold and Malate were also playing their final career home game, and were honoured afterwards along with Colonna and injured guard Jenna Quinton (4th year, Calgary, AB).
Ferguson felt all three seniors who played contributed. “Maybe it was part of the emotion of not wanting to go out with a loss. Kassie was fantastic tonight as were the others.”
The WolfPack will have a week off before heading to Edmonton to meet the University of Alberta Pandas in the Canada West women’s basketball quarter finals. The best of three series begins Thursday, March 3rd.
UBC Okanagan, a young team with just Kanester in her fourth year, could be a force to contend with in the upcoming season, as many first and second year players received considerable playing time throughout the season.
~ with notes from Larry Read, TRU Sports Information Officer