VIDEO: NO. 4 RANKED SPARTANS HOST NO. 3 RANKED HUSKIES

MEN’S BASKETBALL (CANADA WEST)
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2010
WEEKEND PREVIEW

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VIDEO: NO. 4 RANKED SPARTANS HOST NO. 3 RANKED HUSKIES

LANGLEY, British Columbia – The No. 4 ranked Trinity Western men’s basketball team (16-2) will host Saskatchewan (13-3) this weekend looking to knock off the defending national champions and build upon a 14-game winning streak. The Spartans will take on the Huskies at 8:00 p.m. Friday and 7:00 p.m. Saturday.

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SPARTANS (16-2)
CIS Ranking:  4th
Canada West Standing: 1st (tied)
Last Week: Calgary 96-87 W, 92-77 W
Streak: 14 Wins
2009-10 CW Record: 9-9 (5th, Pacific)
2010 CW Playoffs: N/A
2010 CIS Tournament: N/A
Last CW Title: N/A
Last CIS Title: N/A
TWU Lifetime vs Saskatchewan: 7-7

If there was ever a chance for the Trinity Western men’s basketball team to make a statement about their legitimacy amongst the country’s top five, this weekend’s tilt with Saskatchewan is it.

Not only is Saskatchewan the defending CIS champions, they are on a 10-game winning streak and come to Langley ranked No. 3 in Canada.

So for the Spartans, who are riding a school record 14-game winning streak, not only would a weekend sweep of the visiting Huskies pretty much sew up one of the top two playoff spots in Canada West, it would also firmly put themselves amongst the top three teams in the CIS.

The Spartans, who have never before even been ranked in the top four in Canada, enter this weekend’s clash with Saskatchewan on quite a high having not lost since dropping back-to-back games to UBC Oct. 29-30.

The strength of the Spartans this year has been their ability to put up big numbers game in and game out. Through 18 contests, TWU is averaging 93.2 points per game (3rd in Canada West) and has eclipsed 113 points on three different occasions.

While offence has been the Spartans calling card, their defence is fourth best in the conference, allowing an average of just 75.8 points per game.
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Trinity Western has been dominant on the glass all year, leading the conference in rebounding margin with an average of +12.8 boards per game. The Spartans are also hitting a conference-best 38.9 per cent of their 3-point attempts and, couple that with an overall field goal percentage of 48.4 (2nd in CW; Saskatchewan is 1st), it’s clear why TWU has put up such large offensive numbers this year.

Individually, it’s been a steady diet of Jacob Doerksen, who is tied for second in Canada West in both points per game, with 22.9, and field goal percentage, at 63.0 per cent.

Calvin Westbrook is second on the team in scoring with 14.7 points per game (17th in CW) while Tyrell Mara is the team’s top rebounder with 8.4 boards per game (5th in CW)

HUSKIES (13-3)
CIS Ranking: 3rd
Canada West Standing: 8th (tied)
Last Week: TRU 101-76 W, 118-78 W
Streak: 10 Wins
2009-10 CW Record: 14-6 (2nd, Prairie)
2010 CW Playoffs: 4-0 (1st)
2010 CIS Tournament: 3-0 (1st)
Last CW Title: 2010
Last CIS Title: 2010
Saskatchewan Lifetime vs TWU: 7-7

Saskatchewan comes to Langley for the first time since Nov. 7 2008 and will be looking to exact a little revenge after the Spartans came into Saskatoon last year and handed the Huskies their worst home loss of the year, a 98-87 defeat in early January.

But while last year when these two teams collided neither were in the CIS Top 10, this year, it’s a battle between the No. 3 and No. 4 ranked teams in the country.

And if it’s offence, you’re looking for, the Huskies are a team more than willing to provide it. Saskatchewan has topped 100 points in four of their last five games and is averaging a conference-best 95.5 points per game.

They’re beating teams by an average of 17.1 points per game and are doing with the top field goal percentage in Canada West, at 48.7 per cent, and the second best rebounding margin at +10.4 boards per game.
 
The Huskies are also the top team in Canada West in steals as they are averaging 10.6 per game.

Leading the Huskies potent offence has largely been the duo of Rejean Chabot and Jamelle Barrett who are averaging 22.9 (tied for 2nd in CW) and 22.6 (4th in CW) points respectively. Barrett is also the conference leader in assists with 6.5 per game and tied for the conference lead in steals with 2.5 per game.

On the boards, it’s been Michael Lieffers leading the way as he is third in Canada West averaging 9.8 rebounds per game and is also leading the conference in field goal percentage, hitting 67.3 per cent of his shots.

-TW-

Last Updated: 2011-01-26
Author: Mark Janzen