November 25, 2012, LANGLEY, BC., (ISN) – In a tightly-fought battle from tip-off to the final buzzer, the Manitoba Bisons edged the Trinity Western men’s basketball team late, as the visitors pulled out an 81-80 win Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
With just over a minute to play, Manitoba’s Jonar Huertas knocked down a 3-point attempt to give the Bisons an 81-79 lead and, despite plenty of frantic late-game play and a pair of buzzer-beating attempts from the Spartans Micah Cockrill (Chilliwack, B.C.) and Eli Mara (White Rock, B.C.), the Bisons hung on for the one-point win.
After TWU opened a three-point lead at 79-76, the Bisons responded with a 5-1 run to end the game, which proved to be just enough to eke out their fifth win of the season.
The Spartans are now 2-6 on the season while Manitoba improves to 5-3.
The Bisons had four different players hit double-digits in points as Stephan Walton had 19, Huertas had 14, Xavier Smith had 13 and Yigit Ozsayiner had 11. Caleb Noel and Kevin Oliver each had five rebounds to lead Manitoba on the glass.
For TWU, it was Denny McDonald (Mississauga, Ont.) and Mark Perrin (Toronto) each with 21 points while Kurtis Osborne (Tsawwassen, B.C.) had 14. Perrin also had a game-high nine rebounds and four steals while McDonald added six boards.
“It’s unfortunate because the guys worked hard,” said Spartans coach Scott Allen. “We gave the ball away a bunch of times and we didn’t execute well down the stretch. I thought it was a better effort. They’re trying to learn how to fight, but just at the end it didn’t come together for us. Sometimes that’s the way it goes.
“Some of our guys attacked better and we did a good job of getting the ball inside. That’s what we were trying to do and I thought we were successful at that.”
The first quarter saw both teams shoot the lights out as the Bisons finished the quarter at 68.8 per cent from the field while TWU was 66.7 per cent. The result was an appropriate 25-24 Manitoba advantage. In a back-and-forth quarter, Perrin had 13 points to lead the Spartans while Walton had a team-high seven points for the Bisons. With a buzzer-beating lay-up from Perrin, TWU made it a one-point game.
In the second quarter, both teams hot-shooting cooled off as they traded hard-to-come-by points for much of the frame. With the Spartans possessing a one-point edge at 32-31, the home side went on an 8-0 run that proved the difference in a quarter that saw TWU outscore Manitoba 16-8. With four straight points from McDonald to cap the run, the Spartans opened a 40-31 lead. A late basket from Manitoba sent the teams into halftime with TWU up 40-33.
The Spartans came out of the break with a quick push and extended their lead to 10 points at 45-35. But the Bisons weren’t about to wilt. Slowly, Manitoba clawed its way back into the game and after falling behind 61-56 after a 3-pointer from TWU’s Lucas Goosen (Ladner, B.C.), the Bisons went on a 6-0 run to end the quarter ahead 62-61.
In the fourth, the tightly-fought battle only continued. In the final minute Manitoba turned the ball over twice on inbound plays and the Spartans did so once but TWU was unable to capitalize as a pair of last-second shots came up short.
Trinity Western is back in action next weekend when it travels to Regina Nov. 30 and Brandon Dec. 1. Manitoba returns home to take on UBC Okanagan Dec. 1 and Thompson Rivers Dec. 2.
Game Notes: TWU shot 47.8 per cent from the field while Manitoba shot 50.0 per cent…TWU out-rebounded Manitoba 31-25…the Spartans were playing without Tristan Smith, Tonner Jackson and Justin Bakuteka