The defence held, and the TRU WolfPack has its first victory of the Canada West women's basketball season.
The WolfPack opened its regular season with an exciting 68-64 victory over the Fraser Valley Cascades at the Tournament Capital Centre on Friday. The teams will play a rematch today, 5 p.m., at the TCC.
The first three quarters Friday went back-and-forth, setting up a frantic fourth quarter.
And the WolfPack set itself apart by winning the final quarter 15-8 and grabbing 19 of the frame's 27 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass.
"We have two staples on our team, and that's defence and rebounding," said WolfPack head coach Scott Reeves. "The rebounds at the half were 23-20 and we said, 'We can't give up 39 points . . . we're going to have to defend and we're going to have to rebound.'
"We ended up winning the rebounds 52-36 - that's a pretty dominating rebounding performance."
The Cascades came into the game in the ninth spot in the CIS's preseason rankings, and got off to a perfect start, scoring the first eight points and leading by nine halfway through the first quarter.
But the WolfPack proved to be a scrappy bunch, fighting back to forge a 22-21 lead after 10 minutes and a 40-39 lead at the half.
Fraser Valley took a lead three minutes into the third quarter, and didn't give it up until final four minutes of the fourth, after WolfPack rookie Taiysa Worsfold made a huge three-pointer to tie the game 60-60.
With TRU up 62-61 in the final three minutes, Diane Schuetze, the WolfPack's 6-foot-3 centre, made her second three-pointer of the game and, although Fraser Valley's Courtney Bartel replied with a trey 20 seconds later, the WolfPack didn't trail again.
TRU's Kailey Colonna, a 6-foot-2 forward, hauled down a rebound in the final five seconds and calmly sunk a pair of free-throws with 3.2 seconds on the clock to ice the victory.
Schuetze had a terrific game, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
"It's her time," Reeves said. "Her footwork is better, she's stronger and I think she can show up every night."
Jen Ju had 18 points for the WolfPack, while Worsfold, a Sa-Hali grad, had 11 points and six rebounds in her first Canada West game.
"She's a kid who has grown up in this gym with ice in her veins," Reeves said. "She's played in provincial tournaments here; this is home to her."
Nicole Wierks led the Cascades with 19 points and 10 rebounds, with Bartel ending with 12 points and Aieisha Luyken scoring 10.
Fraser Valley only shot 30.4 per cent, and Reeves is confident that won't happen again.
"They're not going to do that (tonight)," he said. "Our defence is going to have to step it up another notch."
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he WolfPack men's basketball team, meanwhile, lost its opener, 77-69 to the Cascades at the TCC.
Tonight's rematch is scheduled for 7 o'clock at the TCC.
Justin King had a solid regular-season debut for TRU, scoring 20 points and grabbing 16 rebounds.
Chas Kok also had 23 points for the WolfPack, and Kevin Pribilsky chipped in 11.
Sam Freeman led Fraser Valley with 18 points, while Kyle Grewal added 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
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RU's women's volleyball team fell to 1-2 in Canada West action after losing in three sets (25-21, 25-21, 25-15) to the Alberta Pandas in Edmonton on Friday.
Morgan Kolasa had seven kills to lead the WolfPack, with Sara Pettersson contributing nine digs. Kara Twomey had 20 set assits and helped out with three kills.
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n men's volleyball action, the Golden Bears beat the WolfPack in three sets (25-18, 25-11, 25-21) in Edmonton on Friday night.
TRU (1-2) and Alberta (1-0) will play again tonight in Edmonton.
Brad Gunter had nine kills to lead the Wolfpack, while Jay Olmstead had 11 kills for Alberta.
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