Spartans rally comes up short against Mountaineers

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October 14, 2013 – WUHAN, China (ISN) – The Trinity Western University men’s basketball team opened their Goodwill Tour of China with a surreal game against the Wuhan University of Technology. In front of a boisterous crowd the Spartans defeated Wuhan 95-94 on a last second basket by TWU forward Anthony Ottley.

“In all my years of coaching I’ve never been in a game like that,” commented TWU head coach Scott Allen. “We didn’t do a good job of closing out and making them take tough shots, but we battled against the odds and found a way to get the win.”

The Spartans started the game strong and at the end of the first quarter TWU held a solid 31-21 lead. In the second quarter the Spartans found themselves in foul trouble as Wuhan outscored TWU 24-14 to tie the game up at 45-45 at the end of 20 minutes.

Trinity Western started the second half strong and quickly took control of the game to take a 59-46 lead three minutes into the third quarter. However, Wuhan kept hitting outside three point shots and were able to climb to within one point, trailing 65-64, with 2:40 remaining in the quarter.

As the quarter wound down Wuhan was able to shorten the Spartans lead. TWU looked like they would walk into the dressing room with a seven point, 73-66, lead after Anthony Ottley hit a layup at the buzzer. But the officials deemed that the buzzer had sounded before the shot and disallowed the basket.

TWU had three baskets disallowed on traveling violations and an illegal screen, which allowed Wuhan to find themselves trailing by three points, 75-73, with just under six minutes remaining in the contest. The teams exchanged baskets and with 2:38 remaining a free throw from forward Denny McDonald gave the Spartans a 84-81 lead. Twenty second later McDonald fouled out on a three point attempt, which Wuhan converted to tie the game at 84-84 with 2:13 remaining.

An offensive foul and a gift layup gave Wuhan the lead 86-84 with 2:45 remaining in the game. The Spartans Taylor Heinrich was able to the tie the game at 86-86 on a short jumper at the 2:20 mark.

The teams went back-and-forth exchanging tough baskets and deep three point shots to see TWU leading 93-91 with :27 second remaining. With six seconds remaining the Wuhan student crowd was sent into a frenzy after the home team hit a deep three point shot to take an 94-93 lead.

TWU quickly inbounded the ball and raced down the floor. Ottley drove the right side and hit a driving lay-up with just over one second remaining to give the Spartans a 95-94 lead. Wuhan was unable to get a final shot off as the buzzer sounded to give TWU a one point victory.

Game Notes: TWU had a day off to tour the Great Wall of China before resuming their game schedule on October 16 against Tianjin Polytechnic University… today’s game ended with the Spartans being called for 29 fouls, while Wuhan committed 13 fouls…