WolfPack's playoff hopes dashed in weekend sweep

MARK HUNTER / Kamloops Daily News
January 31, 2011 01:00 AM

With 2:41 remaining in the third quarter of Saturday's Canada West women's basketball game, TRU WolfPack guard Kaitlyn Widsten was injured and wouldn't return.

Not long after Widsten went down, so too did the WolfPack's playoff hopes.

TRU lost 72-64 to the Calgary Dinos at the Tournament Capital Centre, a night after falling 72-62 to Calgary. The losses left TRU (7-13) ninth overall in Canada West, behind the Dinos (8-10), who hold the conference's last playoff spot.

TRU has four league games remaining - doubleheaders against the Victoria Vikes (15-5) and UBC Thunderbirds (13-5), both of whom have clinched playoff spots. Calgary has three weekends remaining - the Dinos will play the Manitoba Bisons (6-12), Alberta Pandas (15-5) and Saskatchewan Huskies (16-2) to round out the regular season.

The WolfPack has lost 10 straight after an excellent start to the season, and won't make the playoffs without a miracle and a lot of help.

TRU has not made the postseason since joining Canada West in 2005-06.

"We are going to need some help," said WolfPack head coach Scott Reeves. "(The Dinos) are going to have to fall apart and we're going to need some big wins."

The WolfPack went into the weekend knowing the results likely would determine both teams' playoff fates.

Calgary was better prepared for the task, scoring 21 of the last 30 points in Friday's victory, before getting ahead early in Saturday's scrappy victory.

"I thought (Friday) felt like playoff basketball, and tonight, more so," said Dinos head coach Shawnee Harle. "That's because it's two teams trying to get that last playoff spot and wins are important.

"Both teams played . . . do-or-die basketball. It was tough, physical playoff basketball."

To add injury to insult, the WolfPack lost one of its best players - Widsten - on Saturday.

The fourth-year guard from Tsawwassen, who was enjoying an all-star season, went down hard while attempting a pull-up jumper in front of Calgary's Tamara Jarrett. Widsten was carried off the court with a right knee injury, and was taken to Royal Inland Hospital by ambulance after the game.

Reeves said Sunday that he didn't know how bad the injury was, but Widsten will have to see a specialist this week.

Calgary was up four points at the time of Widsten's injury and, although TRU was able to cut the lead to two in the fourth quarter, the Dinos held off their hosts.

Perhaps the most telling statistic from the game was the free-throw shooting - TRU was 12-for-22; Calgary was 28-for-38.

You read that right - 38 free-throw attempts.

"They got 28 points on the foul line," Reeves said. "Any time a team is there that much, it's going to cost you. Thirty-eight free throws is a lot of free throws."

Jen Ju had a terrific game for the WolfPack, making eight three-pointers and scoring 28 points. Diane Schuetze had nine points in the loss and Kailey Colonna grabbed 11 rebounds.

Jarrett had 20 points - 10 of them on free throws - and 11 rebounds to lead Calgary, and Ashley Hill had 19 points. Megan Lang had 11 points in the victory.

Victoria will be at the TCC on Friday and Saturday - 6 p.m., both days.

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he WolfPack men's basketball team has four tough games remaining in the regular season after losing 82-68 to the Dinos on Saturday night.

TRU got off to a rough start, as the Dinos opened a 47-33 lead at halftime thanks to their 9-for-14 three-point shooting and the WolfPack's 1-for-9 free-throw shooting.

"We missed some free throws . . . and we missed some layups," said WolfPack head coach Scott Clark, after his team fell to 4-16. "On a night when you're doing those types of things, you have to find a way to hang in there, and that's at the defensive end.

"We didn't do a good enough job with that."

Chas Kok and Connor Agnew each scored 18 points to lead the WolfPack, and Greg Stewart had 17 points and 18 rebounds.

Keenan Milburn had 21 points for the Dinos, with Youri Anissovets scoring 14, Tyler Fidler getting 11 and Matt Letkeman scoring 10.

Josh Wolfram, a South Kamloops Titans grad in his first season with Calgary, was excellent, scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds in 20 minutes.

The WolfPack is at home to the Vikes on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

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he WolfPack women's volleyball team has officially been eliminated from Canada West playoff contention after a four-set (25-19, 28-30, 26-24, 28-26) loss to the host Dinos on Saturday night.

TRU (2-12) is at home to the Winnipeg Wesmen on Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m.

The loss means the WolfPack can't finish in the top seven in Canada West and won't make playoffs.

Kelly Asleson had 18 kills and 12 digs in the loss, and Amanda Frayne had 10 kills and 15 digs. Hanna Minck had 16 digs, while Kara Twomey ended with 39 set assists.

Lindsay Russell had 15 kills to lead the Dinos (8-6).

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RU's men's volleyball team lost in three sets (25-23, 25-17, 25-15) to the Dinos, but remains in position to make the playoffs for the fourth season in a row.

The WolfPack (5-9) can clinch a playoff spot with a pair of victories over the visiting Wesmen (2-12) on Friday and Saturday. Calgary (14-0) is first in the conference.

Kevin Tillie had seven kills for TRU, and Mike Hawkins had 22 set assists. Graham Vigrass led Calgary with 11 kills.

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RU kept its spot atop the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League standings with a victory and a tie on the weekend.

The WolfPack (13-2-1) beat the Trinity Western Titans 5-4 at home on Friday, before tying Simon Fraser 3-3 in Burnaby on Saturday.

David Gore and Andrew Fisher each scored twice Friday, and Darcy Huisman singled in support of Riley Wall, who made 19 saves.

Jassi Sangha had three assists and Joel Leonard ended with two.

Fisher, Leonard and Cody Lockwood had the goals Saturday, and Richard Virtanen made 23 saves.

TRU is scheduled to play host to Victoria on Feb. 11.


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