TWU Spartans rebound to beat UBCO on the road

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by Mark Janzen

January 18, 2014, KELOWNA, British Columbia (ISN) – After losing by two points against UBC Okanagan Friday, the Trinity Western men’s basketball team responded with a 92-70 win Saturday.

The game was tied 40-40 at halftime, but the Spartans exploded in the second half, outscoring UBCO 52-30 as TWU bounced back to earn a split for the seventh weekend in a row.

The Spartans are now 7-7 on the season and tied for third in the Pacific Division while UBCO drops to 3-11 and currently resides alone in the Pacific Division basement.

In the second half, TWU shot 53 per cent from the field and was six for 12 from the 3-point line. With Mark Perrin (Toronto) guiding the offence – he finished with a game-high seven assists – the Spartans found their rhythm early on in the third quarter and never looked back.

After outscoring UBCO 25-10 in the third quarter, the Heat never got closer than 11 points over the final 10 minutes as TWU, who out-rebounded UBCO 44-25, cruised to the win.

The Spartans, who shot 47.3 per cent from the field over the course of the game, were led by Denny McDonald (Mississauga, Ont.), who had 22 points and made 11 of his 13 field goal attempts while also nabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. Justin Bakuteka (Toronto) added 20 points while Anthony Ottley (Toronto) and Kelvin Smith (Los Angeles) each contributed 11 points.

For the Heat, Mitch Goodwin led the way with 18 points while Landry Ndayitwayeko added 11 points and Mike Zayonc had 10 points.

“It was a typical weekend for us,” said Spartans coach Scott Allen. “We had our backs against the wall and our guys responded with a big win. In the second half, Mark Perrin distributed the ball well and had six assists, which was fantastic. Denny was outstanding on boards and keeping us alive. And Justin also had some key shots at key moments.”

The Heat looked strong early on as it opened a nine-point lead at 17-8 before settling for a 24-18 edge after 10 minutes.

In the second quarter, TWU chipped away at UBCO’s lead and, after falling behind 32-26, the Spartans went on a 6-0 run that tied the game 32-32. From there, the teams traded points until halftime.

In the third quarter, with the Spartans ahead 44-42, a Tyler Lintell (Kelowna, B.C.) jumper sparked TWU on what became a 16-4 run. With a 60-46 lead, the Spartans had control of the game and never let go.

UBCO got to within 11 points after a Goodwin 3-pointer made it 67-56 but TWU’s Taylor Heinrichs (Port Moody, B.C.) responded with a 3-pointer of his own to snuff out the Heat’s rally. After that, the Spartans pushed their lead to as much as 27 points en route to their most lopsided win of the year.

The Spartans return home to play Thompson Rivers Jan. 24-25 at the Langley Events Centre. The Heat will travel to play Fraser Valley, also on Friday and Saturday.

Game Notes: TWU had 16 turnovers to UBCO’s 19…TWU had an 11-6 edge in steals.