Spartans earn weekend split after win over UNBC

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November 16, 2013, LANGLEY, British Columbia (ISN) – The Trinity Western men’s basketball team rebounded from a tough loss Friday to pick up a weekend split with UNBC after a 92-73 win over the Timberwolves Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.

After the Timberwolves (2-4) had hit 13 3-pointers Friday night, TWU (3-3) held the visitors to just eight baskets from long range on Saturday. With UNBC’s perimetre game held in check, the Spartans broke the game wide open in the third quarter, outscoring the Timberwolves 30-16. From there, the Spartans held off UNBC in the fourth quarter and cruised to their biggest margin of victory this year.

As a team, TWU shot 57.6 per cent from the field and 53.8 per cent from 3-point range. By contrast, UNBC shot just 35.8 per cent from the field and, after shooting 50 per cent from beyond the arc Friday, was good on just 28.6 per cent of its long range attempts.

The Spartans were led by Jesse Jeffers (North Vancouver, B.C.), who had a career-high 21 points to go with seven rebounds. His previous career-high was eight, which he earned Friday against UNBC. Kelvin Smith (Los Angeles), who had nine points in the fourth quarter alone, tied his career-high of 16 points while Tyus Allen also had a career night, collecting 13 points. Allen has twice previously picked up 12 points.

For UNBC, Jibreel Stevens had 20 points to lead the Timberwolves while Charles Barton added 14 points. Jeff Chu had a team-high seven rebounds to go with seven points.

“Our attention to detail today was much better and the team bought into putting the ball inside,” said Spartans coach Scott Allen. “We had a lot more easy looks and our defensive transition was a lot better today. I think this is more of a fair representation of who we are and today I thought we were ready to play from the outset. We still have a long way to go this year but it was good step in the right direction.”

The Spartans got off to a fast start, jumping all over UNBC as they opened an 11-4 lead. Then, after UNBC got to within six points at 16-10, Jeffers nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Spartans a 19-10 lead after 10 minutes.

Trinity Western kept rolling in the second quarter, opening a 29-12 lead. The Spartans Taylor Heinrichs (Port Moody, B.C.) then hit a 3-pointer to give the home side a 32-13 lead. But UNBC didn’t go away. With the Spartans shooters going cold and the Timberwolves heating up, UNBC went on an 11-0 run to get to within eight points, at 32-24, after a Devin McMurtry jumper. From there, the teams traded points and the Spartans went into the break ahead 36-27.

In the third quarter, TWU took over. Outscoring the Timberwolves 30-16, the Spartans opened up as much as a 24-point after a Denny McDonald (Mississauga, Ont.) bucket gave the home side a 63-39 lead. With the Spartans in full control, and Jeffers leading the way with 17 points through three quarters, TWU went into the final frame up 66-43.

“I think we just pushed the ball well and got easy looks in that third quarter,” Allen said. “If we play hard on the defensive end, we’re going to get easier looks offensively.”

The Spartans never let UNBC make much of a push in the fourth quarter as the home side rolled to the win. The closest UNBC got in the final quarter was 15 points, at 70-55.

The Spartans are back on the court next weekend when they will travel to play Alberta Nov. 21 and Saskatchewan Nov. 22. The Timberwolves will return home to host Brandon Nov. 22 and Regina Nov. 23.

Game Notes: TWU outrebounded UNBC 47-29…for the third game in a row, TWU played without last year’s leading scorer Mark Perrin (Toronto) because of an injury…TWU had 23 assists to UNBC’s 10.