Wesmen in the Driver’s Seat from Start to Finish

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Mark Janzen
November 24, 2012, LANGLEY, B.C., (ISN) – With a dominant first quarter that saw the University of Winnipeg open a 15-point advantage, the Wesmen were in the driver’s seat from start to finish as they cruised to a 76-56 win over Trinity Western Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

The loss drops the Spartans to 2-5 on the season while the win improves Winnipeg to 5-2.

With the Spartans up 11-6 in the opening frame, the Wesmen took off on a 20-0 run to end the first quarter and give Winnipeg a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Then, with TWU getting to within six points at the end of the third quarter, Winnipeg went to work in the fourth, outscoring the Spartans 21-7 en route to a convincing 20-point victory.

Winnipeg killed the Spartans with the deep ball as it hit nine shots from beyond the arc on 28 attempts while the Spartans were just one for 16 from distance.

Winnipeg had four players in double-digit scoring with Benny Iko earning 18, Travis Krahn picking up 14, Steven Wesley nabbing 12 and Andrew Cunningham putting up 11. Iko also had a team-high 11 rebounds for the double-double, while both Cunningham and Jordan Clennon each had four steals.

For the Spartans, it was Mark Perrin (Toronto) leading the offence with 17 points, while Denny McDonald (Mississauga, Ont.) had 14 and Tyler Lintell (Kelowna, B.C.) had 12. Lintell also had a career-high 13 rebounds. Lintell’s previous career-high for rebounds was nine, which he earned earlier this year against UNBC on Nov. 9.

“I think we were just undisciplined,” said Spartans coach Scott Allen of their fourth quarter collapse. “Our guys committed too many turnovers, we weren’t making the easy plays and we just got outworked. When you turn the ball over that many times (nine) in the fourth quarter, you’re not going to win many games.

“I thought we did have some great efforts, especially from Tyler Lintell. But we have to get a consistent effort from everybody to be successful.”

Trinity Western came out of the gate hot as they quickly opened a 7-1 lead after a trey from Lucas Goosen (Ladner, B.C.). But with the Spartans up 11-6, the Wesmen completely took over. Dropping 3-point shots from all over the place, including two from Iko, Winnipeg finished the quarter on a 20-0 run. The Wesmen put an exclamation point on the quarter when Nolan Gooding dropped a lay-in off a steal at the buzzer to lead 26-11.

In the second quarter, the Spartans seemed to wake up. Outscoring the Wesmen 17-10 in the frame, TWU closed the cap to just eight points at the break. With the Spartans trailing 33-18, the home side went on a 10-1 to make it 34-28 just before halftime. A late basket from the Wesmen gave them a 36-28 halftime lead.

The Spartans got off to a strong start in the third quarter as a monster dunk from McDonald got the ball rolling for TWU. With the Wesmen on their heels, the Spartans made it game, getting to within four points at 36-32. From there, a couple of big dunks from both McDonald and Perrin kept the Spartans close and gave them considerable momentum heading into the fourth quarter down by just six, at 55-49.

However, the fourth quarter belonged to Winnipeg. With Cunningham, Wesley and Dominique Brown leading the way with six points apiece, the Wesmen buried the Spartans as they pulled away for the 20-point win.

The Spartans are back in action Saturday at 7 p.m. when they host Manitoba while the Wesmen will travel to play Fraser Valley, also Saturday at 7 p.m.

Game Notes: This was Winnipeg’s first win over the Spartans since Nov. 23, 2007, when they knocked off TWU 89-82…TWU out-rebounded Winnipeg 37-32…Winnipeg shot 46.7 per cent from the field while TWU shot 35.3 per cent.

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