Sports

Spartans in thick of playoff race

Denny McDonald (with ball) and the Trinity Western Spartans improved to 9-9 after back-to-back victories at the Langley Events Centre. The Spartans are tied for the final playoff spot in the Canada West Pacific Division with four games to play. - Scott Stewart/TWU Athletics
Denny McDonald (with ball) and the Trinity Western Spartans improved to 9-9 after back-to-back victories at the Langley Events Centre. The Spartans are tied for the final playoff spot in the Canada West Pacific Division with four games to play.
— image credit: Scott Stewart/TWU Athletics

An impressive fourth-quarter flurry helped the Trinity Western Spartans pull back to .500 on the season at 9-9 and gives them a share of the final Canada West Pacific Division playoff spot with four games to play.

The Spartans men's basketball team was tied at 52 with under six minutes to play on Saturday at the Langley Events Centre against the Regina Cougars when they went on a 14-0 run to win 67-59.

Denny McDonald scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Justin Bakuteka (15 points) and Kelvin Smith (13 points) also reached double figures.

Trinity Western won despite a poor shooting night.

"It was probably our worst shooting night of the year but we got to the free throw line quite a bit and we had some great rebounding efforts from a couple of the guys, especially Robert (Rodriguez)," said Spartans coach Scott Allen.

"We gutted out the win and I'm really excited that we finally got two wins on the weekend."

He was referring to the fact the Spartans earned splits during the first seven weeks of the Canada West season before losing twice last weekend.

"We found a way to win and hopefully going forward we can be more consistent," Allen said.

In Friday's game, the Spartans beat the visiting Brandon Bobcats 86-80 on the Friday night as five players hit double digits.

"We got good production from our point guard getting us into our sets and getting the shots we wanted," Allen said.

Bakuteka had 15 points and five rebounds while Smith added 14 points and five boards.

McDonald and Tyler Kintell each had 11 points and Rodriguez chipped in with 10 points and six assists. Jesse Jeffers had eight rebounds to go along with his nine points.

The Spartans head to Calgary this weekend for a pair of games against the Mount Royal Cougars.

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