ABBOTSFORD, British Columbia – The Fraser Valley men’s basketball team erased a late deficit in emphatic fashion, rallying to beat Trinity Western 77-68 in preseason action Saturday at the Envision Athletic Centre.
Following a 90-81 setback against the Cascades Friday, TWU put together a more complete effort Saturday and were a pluckier bunch in the rematch, building a seven-point lead with five minutes remaining in regulation. But the hosts responded with a 19-2 run to complete the sweep of the home-and-home series.
The two teams both got off to slow offensive starts and were tied 16-16 at the end of the first quarter. The Cascades got some traction in the second quarter, pulling ahead by as many as nine points and taking a 37-29 lead into the locker room after Vijay Dhillon knocked down a three-pointer just before the buzzer.
The Spartans spent the third quarter chipping away at the UFV lead, drawing within one point, 52-51, on a pair of Kelvin Smith (Los Angeles) free throws at the end of the frame.
Midway through the fourth quarter, TWU reeled off an 8-0 run to take a 61-54 lead. The Cascades, though, dug deep and scored 15 of the next 17 points. Senior shooting guard Kevon Parchment started the rally with a corner three-pointer, and Manny Dulay and Dhillon capped it by swishing triples on back-to-back possessions to put the Cascades up 69-63 with 1:11 left.
That forced the Spartans to foul, and the Cascades finished the game off from the free throw line.
Parchment finished with a game-high 23 points, including 10-of-10 shooting from the foul line, along with five assists. Dulay (12 points), Nate Brown (12), Dhillon (11) and Mark Johnson (10) also scored in double figures, while Matt Cooley snared a game-high 10 rebounds.
TWU’s Smith, coming off a 25-point outing on Friday, led the Spartans once again with 16 points and nine rebounds. Lucas Mannes (Chilliwack, B.C.) had 14 points and Dean Richey (Spokane, Wash.) added 10 points.
“We just kind of fell apart late in the fourth quarter,” said Spartans coach Aaron Muhic. “We played really well and with lots of intensity for the whole game and did a really great job of rebounding and a good job of defensively as well, but that run in the end was obviously the difference.
“Again, like Friday, Lucas Mannes and Kelvin Smith had really good games. I also thought a really big bright spot for us was Matt Hayashi (Langley, B.C.), who had a really good game and defended the basket really well. There were a lot of positives and we had our chances, but we just need to learn how to execute better and learn from our experiences.”
The Spartans are back in action Oct. 16th and 17th when they travel to play UBC Okanagan and Thompson Rivers.
Game Notes: After going 23 for 45 from the free throw line Friday, the Spartans were eight for nine from the line Saturday…TWU had a 44-38 edge in rebounds…Saturday was Muhic’s second game against a CIS opponent as the Spartans head coach and was the first road game that he has coached with TWU.