Wolves Women's Basketball Team Stands Its Ground
by JEFF KORENKO
The Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves women's hoops team served notice Saturday it isn't about to get pushed around, especially on home court.
Once again spreading the minutes around, the Wolves got production from pretty much everyone against a NAIT Ooks team that tried to set the physical tone early to pick up their fourth consecutive Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference win and 11th overall, with a 95-78 victory at the GPRC gym.
Less than 18 hours after downing the Ooks 70-52 Friday night, the Wolves, led by forward Jen Seemann's 20 points, got double-digit outings from five players Saturday afternoon.
"We got a lot of production from a lot of people sharing the scoring around," said Wolves head coach Mark Catling. "That's been our strength all year. We are tough to play against because we have a lot of depth. It's nice to score 95."
Opening with a 13-4 run in the first five minutes, the Wolves led 22-11 after the first quarter and never trailed, building 41-26 and 62-47 leads at the halftime and third-quarter breaks, respectively.
They moved the ball crisply and went to the hoop aggressively in transition throughout the game, despite the fact the contest started with some hard fouls by NAIT under their basket.
For the better part of three quarters, the Wolves did an outstanding job of limiting the Ooks' chances underneath, forcing them to shoot from the perimeter, until the game was well in hand.
The Wolves outscored the Ooks 33-31 in the fourth quarter.
They got 16 points from Laura Dunsdon, 15 from defensive specialist Erin Slemp, 13 from Erica Rude and 10 from guard Jaelle Duinker.
"I think the girls were a little more motivated today. We knew this was a big game for us and to sweep (NAIT) right off the bat to begin the second semester was important," said Catling. ""The girls really wanted to get that first weekend back out of the way and win two games.
"(NAIT) came (Saturday) to play and were physical and I liked the composure our girls showed. They sent us to the line a lot for some easy baskets and, all in all, it was a good win."
Saturday's win improved the Wolves' record to 11-3. While they remain third in the North Division, they now trail the second-place King's University College Eagles (12-4) by just two points and the first-place Grant MacEwan Griffins (14-2) by six.
The Wolves have played two fewer games than both teams.
NAIT fell to 5-11 and now sit fifth in the North.
The 15 points put up by Slemp were a season-high for her and followed a 12-point outing Friday night, which had been her previous best before Saturday.
She hit a pair of consecutive threes late in the fourth quarter; the second of which pretty much salted the game away.
"I am pretty proud because I am not a big offensive player, so I have been trying to work on that heading into the second half," said Slemp. "I just decided to shoot the ball more and luckily they went in.
"After this weekend, I think I will have a lot more confidence and feel more comfortable shooting the ball.
"They came out hard and put up some big numbers, but we were very balanced. I am really proud of the way we played this weekend," said Slemp.