One year after not winning their first game until the 14th game of the season, the Trinity Western Spartans notched a victory in just their second try.
The Spartans edged the UBC Okanagan Heat 79-74 on Saturday night in Kelowna.
UBC Okanagan had won the opener 87-71 but the Spartans responded with a much better effort.
Patrick Vandervelden led TWU with 18 points while Tyus Allen had 15 points and six assists and Pogos Trunyan netted a dozen.
“We played a very intense first half. Despite foul trouble, Patrick set the tone in the paint early in the game,” said Spartans coach Aaron Muhic.
“We were able to answer their runs and get the stops we need to win down the stretch. I thought Tyus, Peter (Spangehl), Josiah Meppelink, and Vartan (Tanielian) made some big plays on offence late in the game. I’m really proud of these guys.”
Trinity Western came out firing to start the game, with Allen getting the scoring started with a three-pointer just over thirty seconds after the opening whistle. That gave the Spartans the first lead of the game, and they never gave it up.
Through the first twenty minutes of play, the momentum was definitively on TWU’s side. On pace to score in triple digits on the night, the Spartans held a 51-36 lead at half time.
Tanielen led the team in the first game with 17 points while Allen had 14 and Trunyan had a dozen.
The Spartans now have a home-and-home with the UFV Cascades.
The teams play in Abbotsford on Nov. 11 and then play the back-end of the series on Nov. 12 at the Langley Events Centre. Game time at the LEC is 7 p.m.