September 13, 2012, LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western men’s basketball team struggled to find its shooting form in its first preseason tilt of the season as the Spartans fell to a hot 3-point shooting Eastern Washington side 86-57 Wednesday at the Langley Events Centre.
The Eagles were the better team from start to finish as they took a 5-5 first quarter score and went on a 12-1 run to open a double-digit lead they would never relinquish. With a dominant effort from beyond the arc, in which Eastern Washington finished 17 for 30, the result was never in doubt against a Spartans team that shot just 20 for 82 from the field.
Eastern Washington was led by Thomas Reuter (Breckerfeld, Germany), who had 16 points and seven rebounds, Justin Crosgile (Paterson, N.J.), who had 10 points and six assists, and Danny Powell (Phoenix, Ariz.), who had eight points and seven boards.
The Spartans were led by newcomer Mark Perrin (Toronto), who had a team-high 18 points and nine rebounds, while Tonner Jackson (Surrey, B.C.) added 15 points and eight rebounds in his return to the Trinity Western lineup after a year away, and Ontario transfer Denny McDonald (Mississauga, Ont.) had 16 rebounds and 11 points.
With the win, the Eagles completed their six-game Canadian tour with a perfect 6-0 record. The loss drops Trinity Western’s preseason record to 0-1.
“That’s a tough one as a coach and for the players also,” said Spartans coach Scott Allen. “We’re very aware that our guys have never played together before and we’ve only been focusing on defence the last three weeks, so I’m proud of the guys based on the effort they made. They kept fighting to the end. We have to work on some particulars and we’ll be okay.
“I don’t see us ever shooting that low of a percentage again. All we can do is look at the positives and build from there. Denny’s rebounding today is exactly what we were looking for to fill that role. When we get the shooting percentage up we’ll be fine.”
As was the case throughout the contest, the Eagles came out of the gate lights out from beyond the arc, knocking down six 3-pointers, distributed between five different scorers, in the opening 10 minutes alone to take a 26-17 lead after the first quarter. The Spartans, meanwhile, struggled from the field as they were a meagre seven for 26 from the field.
In the second quarter, the Eagles continued to outshoot the Spartans by a wide margin as they finished the half 55.2 per cent from the field compared to Trinity Western’s 23.3 per cent. Despite the wide disparity in shooting percentage, the Spartans managed to stay within striking distance – finishing the first half down 44-31 – thanks to Eastern Washington committing 16 turnovers to the Spartans seven.
The Eagles had nine different first half scorers while Trinity Western, who was led by Perrin with 15 points, only had four Spartans register points.
Easter Washington came out in the third quarter once again hot from the 3-point line as the Eagles, like the first quarter, hit six shots from distance to extend their lead to 25 points heading into the fourth quarter and squash any hopes of a Spartans second half comeback.
From there, the Eagles continued to roll in the fourth quarter, cruising to a comfortable 29-point victory.
The Spartans are next in action Oct. 2 when they host the Seattle Mountaineers at 7 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.
Notes – TWU had 11 steals to EWU’s 10…TWU outrebounded EWU 54-46…EWU had 17 assists to TWU’s 5…The Spartans were playing with injured fifth-year guard Tristan Smith.