Wesmen bounce Spartans from post-season

After winning game one, Trinity Western drops next two games to fall in Canada West best-of-three quarter-final series

After pulling off the upset in game one, the Trinity Western Spartans could not complete the series win.

The Spartans men’s basketball team lost their Canada West quarter-final series against the host Winnipeg Wesmen 2-1.

All three games were played at Winnipeg’s Duckworth Centre.

TWU won game 1 86-78 on Feb. 22, but Winnipeg stayed alive with a 77-66 victory on Feb. 23. And in the winner-take-all game three the next afternoon, it was the Wesmen prevailing 101-76 to advance to the Canada West final four championships at UBC.

The difference proved largely to be shooting percentage as the Wesmen shot a whopping 64.5 per cent from the field while TWU shot 41.8 per cent. Included in that for Winnipeg was going 16-for-27 from beyond the three-point arc.

“It was a disappointing way to the end the season,” said Spartans coach Scott Allen.

“I thought we played well enough offensively to win the game, but defensively it’s tough when teams shoot 65 per cent on you. Winnipeg did a great job offensively and we couldn’t rise to that intensity. We’ll learn from this, move forward and look towards a promising future.”

Justin Bakuteka led the Spartans in scoring, with 19 points, including five 3-pointers. Fifth-year guard Tristan Smith,  who has now played his final game as a Spartan, had 17 points, six assists and three 3-pointers. Tonner Jackson and Mark Perrin had 11 points apiece.

The Spartans, who earned a 12-10 regular season record, finished the year with an overall mark of 13-12 in Canada West play, including playoffs. It’s the second year in a row the Spartans have lost in the quarter-finals. They were swept on the road against Saskatchewan last year.

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