LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western University men's basketball team dropped an 11 point decision, 97-86, to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Thursday evening at the Langley Events Centre.
The win moves the Huskies to 2-5, while the loss keeps the Spartans winless at 0-7.
"This was one of the brighter spots for us and there was a lot of good. I thought 86 points is the most we have scored, we just need to mix in some defense" says TWU coach Aaron Muhic, "I thought Eric was really good and played with a lot of mental toughness...he was part of a spark...I know we will be better defensively tomorrow night, I think we will be a little more focused and more comfortable, a little more confident. This was a bit of a confidence builder for us".
The first half proved to be an even contest, with both teams shooting more than a 50 percent from the field, and near-tie numbers in three-point field goals (15-13) and rebounds (14-15) as well. Second year guard Lucas Mannes (Chilliwack, B.C.) came out strong for the Spartans and contributed 23 points and five rebounds. He also shot 80 percent, 4-5, from the three point line. Forward Kelvin Smith (Los Angeles) and guard Dean Richey (Spokane, Wash.) also made significant point contributions with 18 and 20 points respectively. Second year Eric Rogers (Chilliwack, B.C.) brought a new energy to the second half, and despite only a 2-point, 2-rebound contribution, proved to be a key player in the paint.
U of S finished the game shooting 53 percent from the field, while TWU finished at 45.9 percent.
The Spartans came out strong in the first quarter, to take an early lead 10-point, 18-10, lead. But the Huskies responded with a 17-5 run to take a 27-23 lead at the end of the first 10 minutes.
The second quarter saw a near-equal amount of scoring opportunities for both teams, but the Huskies were able to gain a small edge over the Spartans. The half wrapped up with the Huskies extending their lead to six points, 51-45.
The Huskies gained clear momentum with a run on three point baskets, 5-for-9. Before they knew what happened TWU found themselves trailing 79-58 at the end of 30 minutes.
TWU had their highest scoring quarter in the final frame as they outscored Saskatchewan 28-18, but were unable to overcome the deficit.
The Spartans and Huskies will go at it again tomorrow night at the David E. Enarson gym with tipoff scheduled for 8 p.m.
Game Notes: Saskatchewan had a 36-33 edge in rebounding...TWU took care of the ball better finishing with a 16-9 edge in turnovers...the Huskies were very strong from the three-point line finishing 15-35 to the Spartans 9-24...