The TRU WolfPack women's basketball team amazed its coach Friday - and not in a good way.
The WolfPack lost 71-67 to the Victoria Vikes at the Tournament Capital Centre. It was a costly loss for TRU, which slipped from second to fourth in Canada West's Pacific Division.
TRU, loser of two straight, is 11-5. Victoria, which has won five in a row, is 11-4 and moved into a tie for second. The Fraser Valley Cascades (12-3) are first.
The WolfPack trailed by 11 points in the third quarter and by 10 early in the fourth, but managed to make a game of it. TRU had three chances to tie it late - Tracy Kocs and Jen Ju missed three-pointers, before Diane Schuetze was stripped of the ball in the final 15 seconds.
"They got 70 shots. We got 55. How are we even in the game?" wondered WolfPack head coach Scott Reeves. "How, with a minute left, are we down three, when they have 70 shots and we have 55? That's incredible."
Yes, the difference in this one was second chances. The Vikes absolutely dominated, grabbing 19 offensive rebounds.
That led to Victoria taking 70 shots (it made 28), while the WolfPack made 23 of its 55 shots.
It all came down to effort.
"When you get to blocking out, it's not technique - we're past that stage," Reeves said. "They were hungrier to go after the offensive glass and they got the offensive boards and we didn't."
Victoria isn't the biggest team in Canada West - in fact, it wasn't the biggest team at the TCC on Friday. The Vikes got their rebounds on hustle and guts.
Debbie Yeboah, all 5-foot-6 of her, grabbed a team-high eight, while eight teammates combined on Victoria's other 37. Schuetze, the WolfPack's 6-foot-3 star, had nine rebounds to lead her troops.
"We're a very small team, so we've made a huge commitment to our rebounding," said Victoria associate coach Dani Sinclair, who is running the Vikes for the season while head coach Rich Chambers takes time off for personal reasons. "Our girls did a good job crashing the boards and giving us second chances on offence."
Yeboah had 20 points for Victoria, and now is right on Schuetze's heels in Canada West's scoring race. Schuetze, who had 14 on Friday, leads the way with 18.8 points per game, while Yeboah sits third at 18.5.
Cassandra Goodis added 16 points for Victoria, and Jessica Renfrew scored 12.
All five of the WolfPack's starters hit double-figures - but its bench didn't score a point. Taiysa Worsfold, who now has hit double-digits in five straight games, led the way with 16 points. Kocs scored 15 points, Ju came through with 12 and Jorri Duxbury added 10.
"That's a very good basketball team - I'm not trying to take anything away from them," Reeves said. "I'm just really frustrated with 19 offensive boards."
Nicole Karstein, Worsfold's former teammate with the Sa-Hali Sabres, was effective off the bench for UVic. The rookie forward had five rebounds - three on offence - and two steals in seven minutes of action.
TRU and UVic will play again tonight, 5 o'clock, at the TCC.
he WolfPack men's basketball team lost 84-61 to the visiting Vikes.
TRU (6-10) and Victoria (10-5) are scheduled to play today, 7 p.m., at the TCC.
Zach Usherwood had 14 points to lead the WolfPack, and Brett Rouault scored 12 points. Blaz Bozinovic grabbed 12 rebounds.
Terrell Evans had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Vikes. Vijay Dhillon also scored 12 points in the victory.
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