LANGLEY, British Columbia –
The Trinity Western men’s basketball team will look to get in the win column for the first time this year as the Spartans host Winnipeg Friday and Manitoba Saturday following a home-opening weekend in which they lost both games to their Island rivals from Victoria.

After stumbling out of the gate, the Spartans, last year’s CIS silver medalists, will look to regain a bit of their 2010-11 magic as they bring together a new group of players with a completely new offence.

Tip-off Friday is at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Both games will be streamed live on www.canadawest.tv

Last Weekend:  Victoria 93-79 L, 86-75 L
2011 CIS Rank: N/A
2010-2011: CW Record: 21-3
2010-2011: CW Tournament: 3-2, 3rd
2010-2011: CIS Tournament: 2-1, 2nd

The Spartans are back in action after a pair of tough games against Victoria. The Spartans home opener was ruined by the Vikes 93-79 win. During the game, the Vikes took the lead by the end of the first quarter and never relented. On the strength of Ryan MacKinnon’s 28-point game and the Vikes edge in rebounding, Victoria was able to shut down the reigning CIS silver medalists.

The Spartans had impressive performances from a pair of seniors, Calvin Westbrook and Kyle Coston as each posted 20 points in the loss. The Spartans struggled knocking down 3-pointers, as they sunk just 28.6 per cent of their attempts while the Vikes hit 50.0 per cent of their long ball attempts.

On Saturday it was a similar story as the Spartans struggled from beyond the arc and with rebounding. Coston was the Spartans most consistent player as he had a game-high 27 points and nine rebounds. Overall the Spartans had an energetic second half but still were not able to earn a victory.

Coston is third in the conference with 23.5 points per game while Westbrook’s 15.5 points per game has him 17th in Canada West. Coston is also tied for the conference lead in blocked shots with four through the first two games.

Last Weekend: Lethbridge 74-71 W, 69-68 L
2011 CIS Rank: N/A
2010-2011: CW Record: 6-17
2010-2011: CW Tournament: N/A
2010-2011: CIS Tournament: N/A

The Wesmen are 1-1 in Canada West play after a home-opening weekend against the Lethbridge Pronghorns.

In the season-opener, the Wesmen trailed by seven points with only four minutes remaining in the game. With the clock ticking down, the Wesmen rallied by scoring 12 points late and the Pronghorns were unable to keep up. By the end of the game the Wesmen chalked up the win via a score of 74-71. Eric Zimmerman provided the spark for the Wesmen, sinking 27 points including a pair of 3-pointers during the Wesmens final rally.

The following evening at the Ducksworth Centre proved to be every bit as exciting as the first night. The Wesmen led at the halfway mark with a seven-point advantage. However the Pronghorns were not finished yet, as they came back to tie the game by the end of the third quarter.  The fourth quarter kept the crowd on the edge of its seats as the teams exchanged leads, before Lethbridge squeaked ahead in the waning moments to escape with a 69-68 win.
Mark McNee led the team with eighteen points, while his teammate Benny Iko ended with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Zimmerman and McNee have each averaged 14.0 points per night (tied for 22nd in CW) thus far while Dominique Brown has had 13.0 points per game (tied for 25th in CW).

Last Weekend: Alberta 81-91 L, 85-83 W
2011 CIS Rank: N/A
2010-2011: CW Record: 9-14
2010-2011: CW Tournament: 0-2
2010-2011: CIS Tournament: N/A

Last year’s Manitoba team just squeaked into the playoffs but was then soundly beaten in their two playoff games by UBC. But with a renewed vigour, the Bisons opened the 2011-12 season with an impressive and unexpected win over now No. 7 ranked Alberta.

In Manitoba’s season opener the Bisons faced then No. 6 Alberta in an exciting game. The Bisons had strong performances from Stephan Walton and Kevin Oliver, who had 28 and 24 points respectively but ultimately were unable to overcome the Golden Bears as they fell 91-81.

The following night the Bisons came out swinging, and jumped out to a 23-point lead over Alberta by the end of the half. The Bisons remained hot in the third quarter as at one point they extended their lead to 28 points. But the Golden Bears were not to be beaten so easily, and sunk 31 points in the third quarter alone to make it a game. In the end the Bisons managed to hang on for an 85-83 victory over the Golden Bears for Manitoba’s first win of the season.

Jonas Huertas led the scoring for the Bisons, as the guard put up 25 points on the night and managed three rebounds. In their victory, Manitoba had double-digit scoring from four different players.

Oliver leads the Bisons with 19.5 points per game (8th in CW) while Walton and Huertas each have put up 14.5 points per game (tied for 19th in CW).


Last Updated: 2011-11-10
Author: Mark Janzen