By the end of Friday's Canada West women's basketball game at the Tournament Capital Centre, the fans were chanting Diane Schuetze's name.
Schuetze, in turn, was singing the praises of her TRU WolfPack teammates.
The WolfPack beat the Winnipeg Wesmen 84-61 to improve to 4-5. TRU is to play the Manitoba Bisons tonight, 5 o'clock, at the TCC.
Schuetze has had plenty of excellent games in her four-year WolfPack career, but Friday's was one of the best. The 6-foot-3 Vernon native had 29 points - 19 of them in the second half - to go along with a team-high eight rebounds.
By the time she scored her final points - the scoreboard incorrectly listed her total as 30 points - some of the fans gave her a standing ovation and chanted "Schuetze's number 1!"
"I have amazing teammates, that's all I can say," Schuetze said. "They hit shots in the beginning, and that opened the floor, then they found me inside when it opened up."
As dominant as Schuetze was, she's absolutely right about her teammates. The WolfPack's shooting was terrific, but so was its passing - it ended with 20 total assists, with Jorri Duxbury and Taiysa Worsfold each dishing five.
Much of Schuetze's second-half offence came out of the WolfPack's strong performance in the first quarter, when TRU went 5-for-5 from the three-point line and led 30-14.
"The reason she was able to get the looks she got is because (of the way) we shot the ball . . . in the first quarter," said WolfPack head coach Scott Reeves. "If we don't hit those shots, they double- and triple-team her, and she has a bad night."
The WolfPack ended up going 8-for-17 (47 per cent) from three-point land, and 26-for-67 (38 per cent) from the field.
Jen Ju chipped in with 17 points, and Tracy Kocs scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds. Kaitlyn Widsten scored nine points and had seven rebounds, and Worsfold scored seven points and had six rebounds and four steals to go along with her five assists.
It was a sweet victory to start the second half of the season for the WolfPack, which was away for much of December due to exams and Christmas.
TRU is fighting for a playoff spot and needs a strong final 10 games to have any chance.
If the WolfPack plays like it did Friday, it should give itself a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since it entered Canada West in 2005-06.
"It was a great team effort," Reeves said. "I just told them that I thought it was one of the better basketball games we've played, at both ends.
"We did what we wanted to do defensively, and when you shoot the ball the way we shot it in the first quarter, it's a nice start."
Alyssa Grant had 17 points for the Wesmen (4-5), and Yael Kaplan scored 12. Tia Coulter grabbed 12 rebounds, and Amy Ogidan had nine rebounds and six assists.
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he WolfPack men's basketball team also picked up a victory over the Wesmen, 85-68.
TRU is to take on the Bisons today, 7 p.m., at the TCC.
Akeem Pierre had 23 points to lead the WolfPack, and Justin King scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Chas Kok scored 16 points, and Kevin Pribilsky scored 10.
Andrew Cunningham scored 17 points to lead the Wesmen, and Eric Zimmerman added 15.
The WolfPack (5-4) now has won three straight league games for the first time, and its five victories are a record for the program. TRU, which has nine games remaining in the Canada West regular season, is in contention to earn one of the eight playoff spots available in the 14-team conference. The WolfPack has never qualified for the postseason in men's basketball.
The Wesmen fell to 2-7.
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he WolfPack men's volleyball team lost its first two exhibition matches on a trip to California.
TRU fell in four sets (25-21, 31-29, 23-25, 25-13) to the NCAA's Pacific University Tigers in Stockton, Calif., on Thursday night. Jesse Bazergui had 10 kills for the WolfPack, and Krzysztof Orman had seven kills and eight digs.
The WolfPack dropped another four-setter (23-25, 25-13, 25-18, 25-18) to the host Stanford Cardinal on Friday.
Brad Gunter ended the match with 16 kills and two services aces to lead TRU. Mike Hawkins had 24 set assists for the WolfPack, which will try to gain some revenge on Stanford in a rematch tonight.
TRU's next Canada West match is scheduled for Jan. 13 against the UBC Thunderbirds in Vancouver.
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