|Game Date: 10/17/2000||Location: Langley, BC|
|Game Time: 6:00 pm||Attendance: 0|
Men's Basketball (Exhibition)
Tuesday, October 17, 2000
TWU Spartans (68) vs. University of British Columbia Thunderbirds (75)
Spartan Comeback Falls Short
Langley, British Columbia - The gas tank ran dry for the Trinity Western University men's basketball team on Tuesday night. The Spartans overcame a 14-point deficit in the second half, but they fell short of victory in their 75-68 loss to the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.
The game started out with the Thunderbirds in control. While the Spartans were struggling to hit their shots the Thunderbirds were making the most of their opportunities. UBC shot a sizzling 52.4% - 11/21 from the field and 94.7% - 18/19 from the free-throw line on their way to a 10 point half time lead, 41-31.
It looked like the night was over for the Spartans when UBC's Sherlan John (5th year forward, Campbell River, BC) hit a shot just 2 ½ minutes into the second half. The 2-point jumper gave the Thunderbirds their biggest lead of the game, 14 points, 45-31.
That's when the Spartans kicked it into high gear. The Spartans defensive intensity soared as they shut down the Thunderbirds at every turn, converting turnovers into points. In a 2 minute span, a game that looked like a blow out had turned into a slugfest. Between 16:30 and 14:20 the Spartans converted 5 steals into a 14-2 run, cutting UBC's lead to two points 47-45.
Three minutes later the Thunderbirds had rebounded and built their lead back up to 9 points, 54-45. Cue another Spartan comeback. With 6:43 to go TWU guard Josh Hall (4th year guard, Abbotsford, BC) pulled up off of the break and drained a 3 point shot to tie the game at 61-61.
"Our team will never give up and we will always fight our way back into the game, said TWU head coach Stan Peters. "We got back into the game because during those 15-16 minutes [at the end of the game] we executed our defensive system. We believed in it and we executed it."
The two teams exchanged field goals, Adam Nicholson (2nd year post, New Westminster, BC) for UBC and Brian Redekop (1st year forward, Abbotsford, BC) for TWU; to keep the teams tied at 63-63 with 3:42 to go in the game.
Unfortunately for the Spartans, it was all UBC down the stretch. In the final 3 minutes the Thunderbirds got quality scoring opportunities, while the Spartans were forced into turnovers and difficult shots. The clock ran out on the Spartan comeback with the Thunderbirds holding on to a 7-point victory.
"We didn't play with poise and execute down the stretch," said Peters. "But, we are a young team and that is something we are still learning to do. We are going to learn from what happened today and the next time we are in this situation our performance will be better."
Statistical leaders for the Thunderbirds were Pete Hodson (4th year guard, White Rock, BC) 20 points, 4 rebounds, Adam Nicholson 16 points, 4 rebounds and Sherlan John 11 points, 8 rebounds.
Next up for the Spartans is the Edmonton Journal Invitational, October 19-21 at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, AB.