Spartans Clinch Playoff Spot With Win Over Wolfpack

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Mark Janzen

LANGLEY, British Columbia – Led by a career-high 28-point and 15-rebound night from Sean Peter, the Trinity Western men’s basketball team clinched a Canada West playoff spot with an 89-77 victory over Thompson Rivers Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

With just a two-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, Peter and Tristan Smith took over the game, combining for for 23 of the team’s 30 points, as the Spartans ran away with the contest down the stretch en route to a decisive 12-point victory.

After Peter, for the Spartans, it was Calvin Westbrook with 20 points and six rebounds, Smith with 15 points and five assists and Kurtis Osborne with 11 points and eight boards.

The WolfPack was led by Chas Kok, who had 22 pionts and eight rebounds, Justin King, who returned to the court from injury to collect 16 points and a team-high 10 rebounds, and Akeem Pierre, who had 16 points and and a pair of steals.

The win improves the Spartans to 9-7 on the season as they will now enter the playoffs as the Canada West wildcard and will play the winner of the Praire Division in the first round of the playoffs. The loss drops Thompson Rivers to 5-10.

“I think the energy that Sean Peter brought today was amazing,” said Spartans coach Scott Allen. “I think Tristan starting getting the fast break too so those pieces really helped us out. Our seasoned players were hitting big shots at pivotal moments and they really stepped up to the plate for us tonight.”

Trinity Western got off to a good start in the opening quarter as they built an 11-5 lead before the WolfPack found its legs and started to get on a roll itself.

Thompson Rivers rallied to within two points, at 17-15, after a Kok layup but Trinity Western replied with a 5-1 run to end the quarter with the Spartans up 22-16.

In the second quarter, the WolfPack battled back. Trailing 36-31 with just over two minutes to play, Thompson Rivers scored the final five points of the half to tie the game 36-36 going into the break.

In the third quarter, a Calvin Westbrook layup gave Trinity Western a nine-point lead, 51-42, but like the second quarter, the WolfPack came right back. With a Brett Parker 3-pointer late in the quarter, Thompson Rivers got to within two points, 59-57, heading to the final frame.

That’s when the Peter and Smith show took centre stage and the Spartans ran away with the win. With just under five minutes to play, Trinity Western opened a 14-point lead, its biggest of the game, at 81-67, and from there the Spartans never allowed the WolfPack to get within single digits.

Trinity Western outrebounded Thompson Rivers 16-4 in the fourth quarter en route to winning the quarter 30-20.

The two teams will meet in a rematch Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre. The game will be streamed live on www.canadawest.tv.

Game Notes – TWU finished with a shooting percentage of 49.3 compared to TRU’s 44.3…TWU had 48 rebounds to TRU’s 29…both teams shot 25.0 per cent from beyond the arc as they both went five for 20.

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