Spartans beat Mount Royal to snap losing skid
Trinity Western snapped its 12-game losing streak with a 71-54 upset win over Mount Royal Saturday on Kenyon Court.
Max Viitala (Melbourne, Australia) led the Spartans in scoring with 21 points while Derek Wolf led the Cougars with 11 points in his final home game.
Patrick Vandervelden (Abbotsford, B.C.) put together his fourth double double of the season, with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Pogos Trunyan (Sacramento, Calif.) added 16 points, five steals and five boards.
Trailing 36-23 at halftime, the Spartans responded in a big way in the second half, outscoring the Cougars 21-8 in the third quarter and 27-10 in the final frame.
“It was a good win for our guys tonight,” said TWU coach Aaron Muhic. “I’m very proud of our toughness and willingness to compete. We finally had a game where we put the little things together and we attacked for most of the game. It was a great overall team effort.”
With TWU up 53-52 with just under five minute to play, Vandervelden knocked down a jumper to launch what would be a game-ending 18-2 run for the visitors.
Mount Royal dominated the first five minutes of play, and with baskets from all five of their starters found themselves up 16-6.
The Cougars cooled off late in the quarter, with the team scoring just one field goal in the last five minutes, as Mount Royal took an 18-12 lead into the second quarter.
Early in the quarter Viitala drew his squad within two with his fourth field goal of the contest. A minute later Tee Maberry (Pasadena, Calif) drew contact and made a layup to knot the game at 18-18.
Picking up their game, the Cougars increased their energy as two back-to-back late steals led to a bucket from Ryan Cunningham, and then another from Glen Yang right at the buzzer.
The Cougars scored 18 out of the final 23 points of the quarter, gaining momentum and taking a 36-23 lead into the third quarter.
The Spartans slowly began closing the gap in the third. Two makes from Trunyan, including a 3 pointer, as well as a few converted free throws got TWU within five points, leading to a Cougars timeout.
Out of the timeout, Vandervelden made the score 40-37 as he scored his fifth field goal on his fifth attempt.
With time ticking down the third, Matt Hayashi (Langley, B.C.) rose above the hoop and tipped in his fifth point of the game at the buzzer, tying the game 44-44 going into the fourth quarter.
Trunyan gave the Spartans their first lead of the game a minute into the fourth, pulling up from the 3 point line for his 10th point of the game.
Brett Layton would check back into the game with six minutes remaining and the Cougars down by five, their largest deficit to that point.
Noah Lewis took the game into his own hands, taking two shots from the corner that both fell, putting Mount Royal back within three.
The Spartans made six straight points to increase their lead to nine points with three minutes remaining.
The Cougars were unable to gain any momentum down the stretch as the Spartans ran up the score and made it a decisive 71-54 win.
The Spartans will return home to host the Thunderbirds next weekend while the Cougars will play their final regular season games in Manitoba.
Game Notes: The Spartans last win was Nov. 12, when they beat Fraser Valley 90-82 in overtime…TWU had lost 17 straight since, including exhibition and regular season contests.
Gordon earns second straight double double in win over MRU
Propelled by Kayla Gordon (Prince George, B.C.), who had 26 points and 10 rebounds, the Trinity Western Spartans blew past Mount Royal 80-51 on Saturday on Kenyon Court.
Gordon registered her second consecutive double double, as she combined for 52 points and 24 rebounds in TWU’s weekend sweep of the Cougars.
Tessa Ratzlaff (Abbotsford, B.C.) also pitched in for the Spartans, finishing with 16 points and eight rebounds. Becky Nash led the Cougars in scoring with 20 points to go along with eight boards.
With their 12th win of the season, the Spartans (12-6) set a program record for wins in season. TWU’s previous best was 11 when the team went 11-12 in 2008-09.
The Spartans have won six of their last seven games.
“This was the response we were hoping to receive after yesterday’s game,” said Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul. “The defensive intensity fueled our offence and allowed us to continue to push with everyone getting opportunities to be a part of the win. We had a great effort on the boards and sharper rotations, which created some fantastic looks and it was nice to see everyone contribute.”
As a team, TWU shot 45.7 per cent from the field, while MRU shot 34.5 per cent.
TWU will host UBC Feb. 10-11 at the Langley Events Centre in the final weekend of the regular season. Friday’s contest is the Spartans annual Shoot for the Cure night as part of the U SPORTS fundraising initiative that raises money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and other related charities.
While the two teams hung tight in the first quarter, the difference was Jessie (Langley, B.C.) who started the game off with two 3-pointers, giving TWU a seven-point lead midway through the quarter.
The Cougars lost their scoring touch for the rest of the quarter, failing to register a point in the last four minutes, and trailed 21-9 going into the second.
Gordon began shooting the lights out in the second quarter, making five out of her first six shots for a team-leading 15 points to go along with six boards. The Cougars failed to find an answer for Gordon and found themselves down 35-18 with three minutes remaining.
The Cougars were plagued by turnovers in the first half, registering 20 in the first 20 minutes, leading to 18 Spartans points. With only a 30 percent shooting percentage, the Cougars went to the locker room trailing 41-21. TWU shot 43.8 per cent in the first half.
The Spartans picked up where they left off in the third quarter, going on an 8-0 run in the first three minutes, including Gordon’s 24th point of the game.
With the Spartans possessing a comfortable lead, at 66-31, TWU took rolled out its bench, getting a variety of players involved in the contest. For TWU, nine players played 13 or more minutes, while all 11 Spartans played at least seven minutes.
While the Cougars put up 20 points in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t enough to stop the Spartans offensive effort as they let the clock run out with the scoreboard reading 80-51 for the visitors.
Game Notes: The 29-point win is the Spartans largest margin of victory since Dec. 1, 2012, when TWU beat Brandon 74-23…TWU had a 45-36 edge in rebounds…the Spartans had a 28-14 advantage in points off turnovers.
No. 3 Spartans earn three-set win over Brandon to complete sweep
Trinity Western hit .391 as a team and committed only eight attacking errors as the No. 3-ranked Spartans rolled to a 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-13) win over Brandon Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
The trio of Sophie Carpentier (Ottawa), Elly Wendel (Caronport, Sask.) and Brie O’Reilly (Langley) combined for 25 kills and just two attacking errors, with Carpentier earning 11 kills, Wendel tallying 10 and O’Reilly collecting five.
After a back and forth battle early in the first set, the Spartans (17-3) took over in the late stages with a 5-1 set-ending run and, with momentum in its corner, the home side cruised to convincing wins in the second and third sets.
TWU had nine aces as a group, including four from Ashtyn McKenzie (Vernon, B.C.) and three from Wendel. Brandon (7-13) had four aces. The Spartans also had a 6-2 edge in blocks.
“I was pleased with the consistency that our team played with,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. “We just need to control our side of the court. We need to control from the baseline with our serve. We need to pass the ball well. Brandon is a good serving team, so we had to control it and get it up and forward so Nikki can work with it and find our attackers.”
Spartans setter Nikki Cornwall (Coquitlam, B.C.) had 33 assists and 10 digs.
Brandon’s Nikala Majewski led the Bobcats with nine kills , while Gillian Leech had a match-high 14 digs. Ravyn Wiebe had three aces.
The Bobcats were held to .100 hitting.
“Numbers-wise, it was a really good night,” Hofer said. “Managing the ball is one of the most important parts about this game, especially from the attack. We need to be able to continue to improve in that area. Last night we didn’t do a great job and the team wanted to turn that around tonight.”
The teams traded points in the first set with neither side taking more than a three-point lead through the middle stages. With the Spartans possessing a 20-19 lead, the home side took control, launching a 5-1 run to end the set. Carpentier tallied her fifth and sixth kills of the set to put the Spartans on set point and a Wendel kill finished the set.
TWU hit .353 as a team, while Brandon was held to .156 hitting.
The Spartans went up 6-2 in the second set and never trailed. Rolling with a .385 efficiency, the Spartans pulled away in the latter stages as they took the set by 11 points. TWU had five aces and a pair of blocks to spark a dominant second set win.
The third set was more of the same from TWU. A Wendel kill put TWU up 10-4 and the Spartans put together their best set of the night, hitting .444 and only committing one attacking error. Conversely, the Bobcats struggled, hitting just .032. Coming off the bench, Alison Quiring (Brandon, Man.) set up match point with her first kill of the night before Hillary Howe (Calgary) finished it off with her only kill of the contest.
The Spartans have a bye next weekend before travelling to play Winnipeg Feb. 17-18. The Bobcats are on the road against Calgary next weekend to play Mount Royal Feb. 10-11.
Game Notes: TWU is now 18-6 all-time in the regular season against Brandon…the Spartans have won nine consecutive games against the Bobcats, including the regular season and playoffs…Carpentier is currently fourth all-time in Canada West for career kills, with 1,169 and is just five kills behind Rachel Cockrell, who is third overall.