WINNIPEG – The Trinity Western men’s basketball team lost for the second night in a row to open its Canada West campaign, falling 96-78 against Manitoba Saturday at the Investors Group Athletic Centre.
The loss came a day after the Spartans fell 84-56 in their season-opener Friday.
The home team had an 81.8 field goal percentage during the first quarter and finished the game at 55.4 per cent overall while TWU was 33.3 per cent from the field in the first quarter and just 47.0 per cent overall.
Both teams took 19 shots from beyond the arc, but, in an 18-point game, the fact Manitoba sunk 10 and TWU hit just four proved to be the difference. The Bisons had a 42-23 edge in rebounds while Manitoba had 21 turnovers to TWU’s 19.
“We are just not looking after the ball at all tonight, but neither were they,” said Spartans coach Scott Allen. “Our shooting percentages are killing us and they got to the free throw line twice as often as we did.
“But we’re growing as a team. We saw some moments tonight where we played much better. So we’re going to work off that and keep on encouraging the guys. We just need them to understand the systems we’re running a little better so they can play by habit.”
Stephan Walton led the scoring for the Bisons with 25 points and six rebounds. Forward Jesse Jeffers (North Vancouver, B.C.) sunk 24 points for the Spartans while Denny McDonald (Mississauga, Ont.) added 15 points.
The Bisons were ahead 22-12 by the end of the first quarter and maintained their double-digit lead throughout the second to finish the half up 46-34.
TWU couldn’t keep up with Manitoba in the third, as the Bisons scored 21 points to lead 75-54 heading into the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, TWU outscored the Bisons 24-21, but never threatened Manitoba’s lead.
The Spartans are back on the court Nov. 7-8 when they host Alberta in TWU’s home-opening weekend.
Game Notes: Both teams were exactly 70.6 per cent from the free throw line, but TWU was 12 for 17 and Manitoba was 24 for 34.