Spartan Edged Out by Huskies

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January 13, 2013, LANGLEY,BC (ISN) – In a tightly-contested match from start to finish, the Saskatchewan Huskies pulled out a 92-85 win over the Trinity Western men’s basketball team Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.

After an impressive third quarter in which Saskatchewan (8-4) outscored TWU (4-8) 27-19 and opened a seven-point lead, the Huskies never trailed the rest of the way. Going back and forth down the stretch, TWU got as close as four points inside the final minute of the fourth quarter, at 89-85, but couldn’t get any closer. In the dying seconds, the Spartans, who had their leading scorer Mark Perrin (Toronto) foul out in the last minute, struggled to make shots and ultimately were held off by the Huskies.

Despite TWU out-rebounding Saskatchewan 48-30 and by a 21-4 margin on the offensive glass, the Spartans poor shooting, going 40.3 per cent from the field and 56.7 per cent from the free throw line, was TWU’s undoing. The Spartans also went just 10 for 27 from the 3-point line while Saskatchewan was 14 for 26.

The Huskies were led by Stephon Lamar (San Diego, Cali.), who put 30 points and added six assists, and Andrew Henry (Regina), who was deadly from 3-point range, going six for eight for all of his 18 points. Patrick Burns (Saskatoon) added 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

For TWU, Perrin had a team-high 22 points while Justin Bakuteka (Toronto) added 14 points. Tonner Jackson (White Rock, B.C.) had a career-high 15 rebounds to go with four points. Jackson’s previous career-high came earlier this year when he collected 12 boards against Bishop’s Oct. 17.

“They took us out of our offence and I think we just had too many players trying to do too much by themselves,” said Spartans coach Scott Allen. “They didn’t rely on each other enough and we are not successful when we’re not using everyone on the court. We had guys trying to take their own shots and we have to get away from that or we won’t be successful.

“This game showed us where our weaknesses are and it showed us that if we want to be successful we need to play a team game, like we did yesterday. You can expect a lot out of a game when you rebound that hard but with the lack of finish at the basket that we had, we’re not going to win a lot of games.”

With the score 15-14 for TWU midway through the first quarter, the Spartans went on an 8-0 run, capped by a Josh Parker (Spokane, Wash.) 3-pointer to give TWU a 23-14 lead. But late in the frame, Saskatchewan’s Lamar knocked down a pair of shots from distance that got the Huskies to within five points, at 25-20, after the first quarter.

In the second, the Huskies opened with a 15-5 run, capped by a Henry 3-pointer, that gave Saskatchewan a 35-30 edge. The Spartans responded with a late push and, after a late lay-up, went into halftime up 42-41.

In the third quarter, TWU scored the first two points but then, with Saskatchewan trailing 44-41, the Huskies went on a 16-2 run that gave them a 57-46 lead. The Spartans came back, closing to within three points, at 60-57 after a put back dunk and lay-up by McDonald. Saskatchewan pushed back as the quarter closed and with a 3-pointer from Lamar at the buzzer, the Huskies went into the final quarter up 68-61.

In the fourth quarter, the game went back and forth but, for the most part, the Huskies held the Spartans away from striking distance. With 22 seconds left, Parker hit three straight shot from the free throw line to get TWU within four, at 89-85. However, from there, the Spartans never made another basket and, with Saskatchewan make three free throws, the Huskies iced the victory.

The Spartans are on the road next weekend as they will travel to play Lethbridge Jan. 18 and Calgary Jan. 19. The Huskies will return home to host UBC Okanagan Jan. 18 and Thompson Rivers Jan. 19.

Game Notes: Saskatchewan had an 8-6 advantage in steals…TWU had 19 more field goal attempts than Saskatchewan but was only good on three more of their shots, 29-26, than the Huskies…TWU had 35 points off the bench while Saskatchewan had 11.