VIDEO: NO. 4 RANKED SPARTANS HOST BRANDON

MEN’S BASKETBALL (CANADA WEST)
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2011
WEEKEND PREVIEW

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VIDEO: NO. 4 RANKED SPARTANS HOST BRANDON

LANGLEY, British Columbia – The No. 4 ranked Trinity Western men’s basketball team (17-3) will host Brandon (4-14) this weekend looking to start a new winning streak after their 15-game streak was snapped last Saturday against Saskatchewan. The Spartans will take on the Bobcats at 8:00 p.m. Friday and 7:00 p.m. Saturday.

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SPARTANS (17-3)
CIS Ranking:  4th
Canada West Standing: 2nd
Last Week: Sask 102-91 W, 101-93 L
Streak: 1 Loss
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 Brandon: 6-12

The No. 4 Spartans are coming off a weekend split with No. 3 Saskatchewan that did nothing to clear up congestion in the Canada West standings nor did it have any effect on the national rankings. But what it did do was prove for TWU is that they most definitely are right in the mix amongst the best teams in Canada.

Playing the defending CIS champions, TWU made a big statement in the early going of Friday’s game when they roared out to 35-23 opening quarter lead and then pushed that to a 91-69 advantage by the end of the third quarter. Trinity Western faltered in the final frame, getting outscored 22-11, but still pulled out the 102-91 win.

On Saturday it was a different story as they Huskies used a strong second half to rally from a 13-point deficit to get the road split with a 101-93 victory and become the first team this year to hit the century mark against TWU .

So coming into this weekend’s series with Brandon, the key for Trinity Western will be to shore up the defence and, most notably, their fourth quarter performance.

The Spartans are giving up 77.8 points per game (4th in Canada West) and but against Saskatchewan and UBC, the only ranked teams they’ve played this year, TWU has given up at least 90 points in all four games.

While the defence is still a concern, with last weekend’s offensive effort in which they averaged 97.5 points per game, the Spartans have now eclipsed the 90-point plateau in 14 of their 20 games this year and are averaging 93.7 points per game (2nd in CW).

And while the offence has largely come from standout forward Jacob Doerksen, who is averaging 23.2 points per game (3rd in CW), this past weekend, the Spartans proved their secondary scoring to be remarkably effective.

On Friday, TWU had seven players hit double-digit points, while on Saturday they had six players accomplish the feat.

With a win this weekend, TWU can clinch home-court advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

BOBCATS (4-14)
CIS Ranking: NR
Canada West Standing: 11th
Last Week: Victoria 84-77 L, 79-66 L
Streak: 8 Losses
2009-10 CW Record: 7-13 (6th, Prairie)
2010 CW Playoffs: N/A
2010 CIS Tournament: N/A
Last CW Title: 2002
Last CIS Title: 1996
Brandon Lifetime vs TWU: 12-6

Brandon comes  to the Langley Events Centre this weekend having lost their last eight games and winless in over two months as the Bobcats last victory came back on Nov. 27 over Manitoba (88-84).

And it won’t get any easier this weekend as they play a TWU team that has only one loss in its past 16 outings.

The Bobcats are coming off a home weekend series against Victoria in which they played well against the playoff-bound Vikes but, on both nights, were burned in the fourth quarter and ended up losing, Friday’s game by seven points and Saturday’s by 13 points.

A pair of strong performances from O’Brian Wallace, who had 26 points Friday and 17 points Saturday, led the Bobcats and he’ll need to once again be at his best this weekend if Brandon hopes to keep up with TWU.

The Bobcats have now averaged 72.8 points for per game (12th in Canada West) and have only topped 80 points twice this year, while the defence has given up 85.8 points against (10th in CW) per game and has allowed the opposition to score 80 or more points on 13 occasions.

While Brandon is averaging a field goal percentage of just 38.9 per cent (12th in CW), defensively the Bobcats have done well in only allowing the opposition to hit 42.6 per cent of its field goals (5th in CW).

Brandon is also tied for second in the conference in blocked shots with 3.2 per game.

Individually, Wallace has led the Bobcats all year offensively, averaging 17.0 points per game (10th in CW) while Kyle Vince has played a secondary role averaging 12.7 points per game (23rd in CW).

Isaiah James, a 6-foot-8 forward from California, has been a huge addition to the Bobcats this year as he’s leading Brandon with 1.5 blocks per game (2nd in CW), 6.3 rebounds per game (16th in CW) and 1.7 steals per game (7th in CW).

-TW-

Last Updated: 2011-02-02
Author: Mark Janzen