49ers handle Spartans in exhibition game

NCAA Division 1 program from North Carolina defeats Trinity Western Spartans men's basketball team at Langley Events Centre

Trinity Western Spartans forward Patrick Vandervelden goes up for the hook shot against Charlotte 49ers’ Benas Griciunas last week (Aug. 12) at the Langley Events Centre.

The Trinity Western Spartans men’s basketball team began their pre-season with a 95-58 loss to the Charlotte 49ers.

The 49ers, an NCAA Division 1 program, were at the Langley Events Centre last week (Aug. 12) for the exhibition game.

And the visitors took a commanding lead early, racing out to a 29-19 lead after one quartrer. They increased their lead after every quarter and won by 37.

Despite the loss, Spartans coach Aaron Muhic used it as learning experience.

“It is great for us to play this game. It gives us a measuring stick as to where we are at and what we need to work on,” he said.

“It also shows us who is able to play at a high level and who isn’t ready. We just need to get everybody on the same page and doing things to help the team win, but that is a growth process that we have to go through.”

Charlotte had four players in double digit scoring and finished the night shooting 46.8 percent from the field to earn the second victory of their BC tour. TWU finished the night with three players in double digit scoring while shooting 33.3 percent from the field.

Guards Pogos Trunyan with 15 points and six rebounds and Vartan Tanielian with 14 points and five rebounds and forward Patrick Vandervelden with 10 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots led the Spartans.

Braxton Ogbueze with 22 points and four steals, Anthony Vanhook with 14 points, six rebounds and four steals, Benas Griciunas with 14 points and seven rebounds, and Jon Davis with 12 points and four assists led the 49ers.

“Patrick had some really bright spots tonight. We are going to expect a lot of him this year,” Muhic said. “And I’m very excited about our guard play, I feel we will be a lot better ball handling team this year.”

The Spartans will next hit the hardwood on Saturday, October 1 when they will host the Seattle Mountaineers in an exhibition game. TWU opens Canada West conference play November 4-5 when they travel to Kelowna, B.C. to play UBC Okanagan. The Spartans home opener is on Saturday, November 12 when they will host Fraser Valley on the back end of a home-and-home weekend.


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