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MEN’S BASKETALL (CANADA WEST)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2009
TWU SPARTANS (44) AT THE UNIVERISTY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA THUNDERBIRDS (71)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPARTANS WRONG WAY
VANCOUVER – The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds jumped out to a huge lead early on and never let up on their way to a 71-44 win over the Trinity Western Spartans in Friday's season opener at War Memorial Gym.
“We have a lot of new players who are new to our system and it is going take some time to figure out what to do and what their roles are,” commented TWU head coach Scott Allen. “We also made way to many turnovers to continually not get a chance to score really hurt us. But we will now head to Utah to play even tougher teams and work on getting things figured out.”
It was all about defence for the T-Birds in the first half, as they came up with 13 steals and forced 19 Spartan turnovers while holding Trinity Western shooters to just 24% from the field.
Trinity Western’s final score of 44 was the second-lowest in the Spartans CIS history, one point better than their all-time low when they lost 68-43 to Victoria on November 21, 2003.
Both sides struggled to score early on, but eventually the stifling UBC defence allowed the T-Birds to start a huge run midway though the first quarter. After the Spartans jumped out to a 7-6 lead, Josh Whyte's lay-up began a 24-2 run that spanned most of the first half, and the T-Birds took a 34-13 lead into the locker room at halftime.
"It's tough to play this caliber of opponent so early in the season and you saw that in the first quarter where there was a little bit of feeling each other out," said Hanson. "That normally doesn't happen in basketball but it really was just trying to see who was going to get touches and there were no easy shots in the first three or four minutes. Both teams struggled to score but luckily we hit a couple tough shots late in the shot clock and that sparked a run for us."
The Spartan offence finally found some life in the second half but they were unable to make a significant dent in the UBC lead. They finished with a field goal percentage of 30% and were just 4-for-20 from three-point range.
Josh Whyte and Blaine LaBranche led the scoring for UBC with 16 points each. Whyte also had five steals and five rebounds. Five other T-Birds finished with at least five points.
Calvin Westbrook (Courtenay, B.C.) scored 10 to lead the Spartans offensively. Reigning CIS player of the year Jacob Doerksen (Abbotsford, B.C.) was held to just nine points and had eight turnovers on the night.
"We had Graham Bath on him at the beginning and Graham did a good job of not allowing him to get many touches and keeping good position on him," said Hanson. "When he got a touch we were double-teaming him so he really had to earn everything tonight."
Both teams have a week off from CIS competition to look forward to, though they won't get much time away from the court.
The T-Birds will be on the road to play exhibition games against Oral Roberts and Oklahoma University on November 2 and 3 before returning home to host Saskatchewan and Alberta on November 13 and 14.
The Spartans play Utah Valley, Brigham Young and Utah State next week and will be on the road again November 13 and 14 against Brandon and Regina.
Game Notes: TWU’s previous record low for points at UBC was 45 in a 55-45 loss on Jan 12, 2001…
-source UBC Sports Information.
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