UBC Thunderbirds

November 3, 2012, LANGLEY, British Columbia – The No. 2 UBC Thunderbirds used a fourth quarter 16-2 to break open what as an otherwise tight contest and pull away to win 77-66 over Trinity Western’s men’s basketball team Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.

With the score 60-58 for TWU, UBC’s Tommy Nixon hit a 3-pointer with 4:34 to go that launched what would be a game-changing run. With the T-Birds up 63-62, UBC’s Geoff Pippus hit back-to-back 3-pointers that gave the visitors a seven-point edge. From there, the Spartans were unable to recover and the T-Birds walked away with their second win over TWU in as many nights.

The T-Birds shot 51.9 per cent from the field compared to TWU’s 35.1 per cent and also out-rebounded the Spartans 44-24. The Spartans were kept in the game by winning the turnover battle 18-8 and earning 21 points off turnovers, compared to UBC’s two points off turnovers.

In the loss, the Spartans were led by Denny McDonald (Mississauga, Ont.) who had a game-high 18 points and four rebounds, while Mark Perrin (Toronto) added 16 points, five boards and a game-high three steals. Tristan Smith (Los Angeles) put up 14 points and was two for three from beyond the arc.

The T-Birds were led by Jordan Jensen-Whyte and Geoff Pippus, who each had 17 points and five rebounds. Doug Plumb added nine points and a game-high 11 boards while Isaiah Solomon had 11 points.

The Spartans are now 0-2 on the season while UBC improves to 2-0 and now has four wins in four visits all-time to the Langley Events Centre.

“It was a lack of execution and turnovers down the stretch that killed us,” said Spartans coach Scott Allen. “Those two 3-pointers in a row were back breakers and that was the game right there. To beat a team as good as UBC, everything has to go right and that didn’t happen tonight.

“On the positive side, we’re seeing some young guys come through and our team chemistry is starting to come together. We just need a little more focus in these close games down the stretch.”

The T-Birds got off to a quick start in the opening quarter as they opened up a 13-9 lead midway through the frame. But inside the final four minutes of the first, the Spartans went on a 10-0 run, capped by a Perrin jumper, that gave TWU a 19-13 lead heading into the second quarter.

In the second, UBC pushed back and with a Solomon mid-range jumper took the lead back at 32-30. The Spartans responded with the final four points of the first half to go into the break ahead 34-32.

The third quarter saw the teams go back and forth with neither able to take anything more than a three-point edge.

That tightly-contested play continued into the fourth quarter, until UBC finally took over. And with their 16-2 run, with Pippus contributing eight of those points, they zapped the Spartans hopes of an upset win and nabbed an 11-point victory.

Game Notes: UBC’s bench outscored TWU’s 36-18…TWU had 7 steals to UBC’s 4…TWU shot just 47.4 per cent from the free throw line, going 9 for 19, while UBC shot 70.0 per cent, going 14 for 20.