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Men’s Basketball


BRANDON, Manitoba – Trinity Western fifth year guard Justin Bakuteka (Toronto) with 18 points and nine rebounds and fourth year forward Jesse Jeffers (North Vancouver) with 16 points, seven rebound and six assists led the Spartans to 80-71 victory over the Brandon Bobcats Friday night at the Healthy Living Centre in Brandon, Manitoba. The win is the first of the season for TWU who now stand at 1-6, while the loss keeps the Bobcats winless at 0-7.

“Nice to get that first win. The guys deserve it for all the work that they have put in this year. They showed what they could do when they shoot the ball properly. Everything was better tonight and the guys are in a good space right now,” commented TWU head coach Scott Allen. “Great games for Justin and Tyus, both were very composed at the end of the game and Jesse had another good game and was very creative with an all-around game.”

TWU second year point guard Tyus Allen (White Rock, B.C.) led the Spartans attack with nine assists to go with 12 points and six rebounds, while fourth year forward Taylor Heinrichs (Port Moody, B.C.) added 13 points to the TWU attack.

DJ Jordan with19 points and Ali Mounir Benabdelhak and Earl Thompson Jr. with 16 points each led the Bobcats in the loss.

The Spartans strong rebounding, 46 to the Cats 31, allowed TWU to have one of their best shooting performances of the season. TWU finished the night shooting 49.2 percent (31-63) from the field 50 percent (11-22) from the three point line and 87.5 percent (7-8) from the foul line. On the other side of the table, Brandon finished the night shooting 41.4 percent (29-70) from the field, 23.8 percent (5-21) from the three and 47.1 percent (8-17) from the foul line. The Spartans also had a great night passing the ball as they finished with a season high 22 assists.

The Spartans started well, leading 19-14 at end of the first quarter, and carried that momentum throughout the game. TWU, who saw their lead cut to two point, 36-34, at the half were the better of the two squads throughout the final 20 minutes.

Trinity Western extended their lead to 56-52 to start the fourth quarter. Then the Spartans took control of the game with an 18-11 run to lead 74-63 with 2:49 remaining in the game.

Brandon made three straight shots to cut the lead to five points, 74-69, but TWU’s Bakuteka made a runner in the lane to stop the run and extend the Spartans lead back to seven points, 76-69 with one minute remaining. TWU would finish the game going 4-4 from the foul line to claim the nine point win.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow night to finish off the weekend series. Game time at the Healthy Living Centre is set for 7 pm. CST.

Game Notes: prior to TWU’s final four foul shots, over the last :30 seconds, the Bobcats had held a 17-4 edge in free throw attempts over the game…the Spartans finished with 22 assists to the Bobcats 15…the 22 assists is a season high for the Spartans… and most since TWU’s 23 assists in a 80-79 loss to Winnipeg on Jan. 11 last season…team record is 35, which was set in a 109-95 win at Manitoba on Feb. 6, 2009…