Spartans bounced from post-season contention
The Trinity Western Spartans men’s basketball team has missed the post-season for the first time in four years.
Needing a pair of victories for a chance to move on, the Spartans lost both ends of a home-and-home series with the Fraser Valley Cascades to finish 10-12.
The Cascades won 58-54 at the Langley Events Centre on Friday and then 83-78 the next night at the Envision Athletic Centre in Abbotsford. The Cascades ended the regular season on a 14-game winning streak.
Denny McDonald had a career-high 30 points and 14 rebounds in the losing cause in the second game.
“A disappointing way to end the season, but Denny was impressive in his bounce back game, unfortunately we didn’t have a lot of support for him," commented TWU head coach Scott Allen.
“We have to find ways to be able to hit shots under pressure situations, we are doing lots of other things well, but we need to be able to make the shots.”
Three point shooting costs the Spartans tonight as they finished under 10 percent (2-21), while the Cascades finished at 44.4 percent (12-27).
In Friday's defeat, the Spartans lost despite a great defensive performance.
With TWU up 48-45, the Cascades went on an 8-1 run, thanks in large part to back-to-back 3-pointers from Klaus Figueredo, to take a 53-49 lead. The Spartans got to within one point, at 55-54, after an Anthony Ottey three-pointer, but the home side never got any closer.
The Spartans women’s team also wrapped up their season, losing 78-54 on Thursday at the LEC and 55-39 to Fraser Valley on Friday at the EAC.
Trinity Western was 5-17 on the season.
"This season has been a battle start to finish but I'm proud of how hard we worked. We talked about ending the season as a better defensive group and I think we had moments of that tonight,” commented TWU head coach Cheryl Jean-Paul.
The Spartans had a strong defensive first half of the game as the held the Cascades to 18.2 percent (6-33) shooting, while TWU shot 24.1 percent (7-29). Fraser Valley was able to take a three point, 22-19 lead into the half time break thanks to going 10-12 from the foul line.
Fraser Valley came charging out of the gate in the second half and used a 16-0 run to break the game open and lead 38-19 with 2:40 remaining in the third quarter. At the end of 30 minutes UFV would hold onto a 45-26 lead.
The Spartan outscored the Cascades in the fourth quarter 13-10, but were unable to catch UFV as Fraser Valley earned the 55-39 victory.
Laurissa Weigl with 12 points and five rebounds and Chantelle Martin with 11 points and three rebounds led the Spartans.