KELOWNA, British Columbia – Led by fifth year forward Denny McDonald‘s double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds the Trinity Western University Spartans defeated the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack 81-76 Saturday afternoon at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna, B.C.
The win moves the Spartans to 2-5 in preseason play.
“Today was great result and a nice reward for our guys after a hard week of practice,” commented TWU head coach Scott Allen. “We had a really strong game defensively and on the boards, but we are still not shooting the ball very well. We’re just not getting our feet set, but we will work that out as we get used to game speed.”
The Spartans defence with 10 steals and rebounding with 50 total boards was the difference in the game. TWU had 10 more rebounds and five more steals then TRU. Most notable was the Spartans finishing the evening with only eight total turnovers, compared to the WolfPack’s 15 turnovers.
In addition to McDonald the Spartans were led by Justin Bakuteka with 14 points, Taylor Heinrichs with 11 points and Kelvin Smith with 10 points and six steals. Point guard Tyus Allen added nine points, five rebounds and four assists to the Spartan cause.
Reese Pribilsky with 19 points and Josh Wolfram with 11 points were the lone WolfPack players to hit double digits in scoring.
The Spartans also had a tough night from the foul line and from behind the arc finishing at 61.8 percent (21-34) and 21.4 percent (6-28), while the WolfPack finished the at 78.6 percent (11-14) and 43.8 percent (7-16) respectively.
TWU and TRU were even after the first quarter, tied at 21-21, but the WolfPack had the stronger second quarter to go into the half-time break leading the Spartans 37-32.
The Spartans were dominating in the third quarter. TWU used a 12-0 run to start the quarter to take a 60-51 lead heading into the final frame.
The WolfPack had their own run to start the last ten minutes as they outscored the Spartans 13-8 over the first five minutes to trail TWU by four points, 68-64 with five minutes remaining in the contest. TRU would cut thelead to two points with 26 seconds remaining after three free-throws from TRU’s Josh Mayorga. But TWU point guard Tyus Allen went 3-4 from the line in the final seconds to seal the five points, 81-76, win for the Spartans.
The Spartans will play host UBC-O Sunday afternoon to finish off their weekend in Kelowna. Game time against the Heat is set for 1 p.m. PST.
TWU opens up Canada West play next weekend when they will travel to Winnipeg to take on the University of Manitoba. Game times against the Bisons are set for 6 p.m. on Friday, October 31 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 1.
Game Notes: TWU finished the night shooting 39.1 percent, 27-69, from the field, while TRU finished at 46 percent, 29-63…