KINGSTON, Ontario – The Trinity Western men’s basketball team earned its first win of the preseason as it knocked off the host Queen’s Gaels in the Spartans second contest of the three-game Tindall Invitational Saturday.
With the score tied 54-54 with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Spartans (1-3) took over in the latter stages and a 3-pointer from Justin Bakuteka (Toronto) with 42 seconds left put TWU up 67-60 and proved to be the final dagger.
Bakuteka, who led TWU in scoring with 16 points, knocked down a pair of free throws late to complete the Spartans to a nine-point win.
Beyond Bakuteka’s team-leading point totals, Denny MacDonald (Mississauga, Ont.) also had a standout performance for TWU as he picked up a double-double with 11 rebounds and 15 points.
Greg Faulkner led the way for Queen’s as he earned nearly half of the Gaels offence, collecting 27 points for the home side.
“We had a great overall effort as a team today,” said TWU coach Scott Allen. “We did an excellent job on the boards and our defensive rebounding was very impressive. We got to play lots of guys, which is great for longevity and evaluating players.”
The Gaels had the early lead in the first quarter, but the Spartans dominated the boards, almost doubling the Gaels in offensive rebounds, and managed to gain a 33-28 lead at halftime. Despite being down, the Gaels stayed close behind the Spartans and Faulkner leading all scorers with 14 points at half.
The Spartans defensive pressure continued in the second half, shutting down drives to the basket and forcing the Gaels to shoot from the perimeter. Queen’s settled down and responded by breaking through the Spartan defense, drawing fouls and shooting 73.1 per cent from the free throw line.
Going into the fourth quarter, Queen’s tied it up at 48-48 but it was TWU pulling away in the late stages of the final frame.
The Spartans will wrap up their tournament Sunday against Guelph at 12 p.m. ET. The Gaels will finish off the Sunday, when they take on McGill at 4pm.
TWU lost to McGill 71-51 on Friday.