TWU loses on final shot 80-79 to Winnipeg

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by Scott Stewart

January 11, 2014, WINNIPEG (ISN) – The University of Winnipeg’s Christopher Baxter scored with eight seconds remaining to give the Wesmen a one-point, 80-79, victory over the visiting Trinity Western University Spartans Saturday night at the Dr. David F. Anderson Gymnasium in Winnipeg.

The Spartans had a great night shooting the ball finishing at 54.5 percent (30-55) from the field and 63.2 percent (12-19) from the three point line. However, the difference in the game was Winnipeg had 20 more shots than TWU, mostly from the Wesmen’s 23 offensive rebounds.

Trinity Western with the loss drops back to .500 with a record of 6-6, while Winnipeg with the win snaps a five game conference losing streak, improving their record to 7-5.

“We shot the ball well enough to win tonight. But we didn’t deserve to win, we played undisciplined and gave them 20 more shots by not controlling our turnovers and their offensive rebounding,” commented TWU head coach Scott Allen. “We need to dig a little deeper right now as every game is important and has huge play-off implications.”

The Spartans were led by fourth year forward Denny McDonald’s (Mississauga, Ont.) 16 points. Fourth year forward Anthony Ottley (Toronto) had a double-double 15 points, 10 rebounds. Third year forward Jesse Jeffers (North Vancouver, B.C.) and fourth year guard Mark Perrin (Toronto) added 12 points each.

Steven Wesley led the Wesmen in scoring with a game high 22 points. Kurtis Sansregret added 14 off the bench. Guard Andrew Cunningham had a double-double 10 points and 11 assists. Ryan Oirbans led the team in rebounds with 10.

In the opening quarter both teams started out on even terms for the opening six minutes. The Spartans held a slim 15-14 lead when Winnipeg found some breathing room thanks to a 11-0 run to take a 25-15 lead with just over two minutes to play. Winnipeg led 29-20 after the opening 10 minutes.

The Spartans cut into the Wesmen lead in the second quarter, outscoring the home side 18-14 to trail 43-38 at the halftime break.

Winnipeg held the lead for the majority of the third quarter but Trinity Western hung around. A jumper by Steven Wesley with 3:44 left in the quarter put Winnipeg up 59-55 but the Spartans grabbed the lead at 61-59 thanks to back-to-back three pointers by guard Robert Rodriguez (Sacramento, Calf.) and forward Tyler Linttell (Kelowna, B.C.). Winnipeg scored four of the next six points to take a slim 64-63 lead into the final quarter.

The teams took turns leading in the final quarter with neither team leading by more than three points. A Anthony Ottley bucket put the Spartans up 79-76 with 1:48 left until Winnipeg came back with a Jordan Clennon basket followed by Baxter’s lay-up, after two offensive rebounds by the Wesmen to give Winnipeg the 80-79 decision.

Next up for the Spartans is a road trip to Kelowna, B.C. next weekend to take on the UBC Okanagan Heat, while Winnipeg will play on the road in Regina on Friday and Saturday.

Game Notes: TWU is currently tied for fourth place in the Pacific Division with Mount Royal, while Winnipeg is alone in fourth in the Prairie Division…the Spartans have split every weekend of the Canada West season and are still looking for their first weekend sweep…TWU had a two game winning streak the end of November when the defeated the then No. 5 Saskatchewan on the road, and then defeated No. 3 Victoria at home the following Friday… the Wesmen had a 23-17 edge in turnovers and 43-36 edge in rebounding, 23-11, on the offensive end of the floor…