Lions get past Spartans in final game of Holiday Classic

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Scott Stewart, Sports Information Director

December 18, 2013, OCEANSIDE, California (ISN) – The Trinity Western Spartans men’s basketball team went to 0-2 at Cal State San Marcos Holiday Classic Tournament with a 84-63 loss to the Vanguard University of Southern California Lions Wednesday evening at Mira Costa College in Oceanside, California.

“A better second half of basketball was all we can look at. We still committed 24 turnovers and learned more about committing to competing on every possession,” commented TWU head coach Scott Allen. “Tyler Lintell made strides today in a positive direction and we are getting closer to accepting our roles.”

Denny McDonald with 18 points and eight rebounds, Mark Perrin with 18 points and Kelvin Smith with 13 points and six rebounds led the Spartans, while Preston Wynne with 25 points, Chris Gorman with 15 points and Keith Mason with 11 points and 10 rebounds led the Lions.

Field goal percentage and turnovers were once again the factor in the result of tonight’s contest. The Lions had the better in each as they outshot the Spartans 47.9 percent, 34-71, to 38.2 percent, 26-68, and had a 24 to 13 edge in turnovers.

The Lions jumped all over the Spartans to start the game as Vanguard opened up a 15-2 lead just over three minutes into the contest. With seven minutes remaining in the opening frame TWU had settled themselves and had cut into the Vanguard lead to trail 29-22.

But the Spartans failed to score another field goal as they went 0-8 from field while committing six turnovers to trail 46-27 at the break after a 17-5 Vanguard run.

In the second half the Spartans and Lions matched each other point-for-point as TWU trailed Vanguard 71-51 with six minutes remaining in the game. Back-to-back three-pointers by Mark Perrin and Kelvin Smith cut the Vanguard lead to 14 points, 71-57, with five minutes remaining. But it was as close as TWU would get as Vanguard recovered to take the second half 38-36 and the game 84-63.

The Spartans will conclude their southern California tour on Saturday, December 21 at Biola University.

Trinity Western continues Canada West conference play on January 10-11 in Winnipeg against the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg.

Game Notes: tonight’s match was the second time that the NAIA Vanguard Lions and the CIS Trinity Western Spartans have met. The last meeting was November 26, 1999 in TWU’s first year in the CIS. The Lions outlasted the Spartans 83-80 at the Simon Fraser tournament…

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