|Game Date: 11/25/2000||Location: Langley, BC|
|Game Time: 8:00 pm||Attendance: 0|
|Officials: Jim Cervo, Tim Heenan, John Jennings|
Men's Basketball (League)
Saturday, November 25, 2000
TWU Spartans (78) vs. the Brandon University Bobcats (77)
A Matter of Will...
Langley, British Columbia - Starting point guard Dave Martens could not play because of an ankle injury. It did not matter. Captain Josh Hall was injured and could barely walk as he took to the floor to start the game. It did not matter. Brandon University was the 4th ranked team in the nation. It did not matter. The Spartans lost an overtime heartbreaker Friday night to the same team. It did not matter. Down 11 points at the start of the second half. It did not matter. Down 1 point and in bounding the ball from under your own basket with 10 seconds to go in the game. It did not matter.
Because tonight's game was a matter of will and the Spartans were not going to let themselves lose.
With ten seconds to go, Josh Hall (4th year, guard, Abbotsford, BC) took the inbound pass and dribbled the length of the floor to the Brandon 3 point line. As Hall was being double-teamed, teammate Malcolm Campbell (5th year, centre, Abbotsford, BC) moved to an open spot just inside the 3-point line on the right hand baseline. Hall squeezed through the double team to get the ball to Campbell. The big man then stroked a smooth as silk jumper that found nothing but the bottom of the net, giving the Spartans a thrilling come from behind 78-77 victory.
"We started out slow, because it took our guys a while to figure out if we could go with our injuries," said TWU head coach Stan Peters. "Josh was really hurting tonight, he just gritted it out. He just willed that game. That is Josh Hall!"
Ten minutes into the game the Spartans found themselves down 14, 23-9. But they kept plugging away. At the half they were still down 11, 41-30.
"We told the guys at half time that we absolutely had to hold them under 75 points to have a chance," said Peters. "We can't run an gun with Brandon and have a game in the 90's. We can't win that way."
The start of the second half was all TWU. Led by Tyler Coston's (2nd year, guard, Lynden, WA) - 16 points, 7 assists, 2 steals, the Spartans pulled even with the Bobcats, 57-57,outscoring Brandon 27-16. "At that point Tyler really kept us in the game," said Peters.
The Spartans were not satisfied with just getting even with the Bobcats. In the next 5 minutes Scott Portman (4th year, guard, Millbrae, CA) and Al Penner (3rd year, forward, Abbotsford, BC) would combine to take three offensive charges. Two of the charges would foul out Brandon's point guard Charlton Weasel Head (5th year, guard, Kainai Reservation).
"When we subbed in Scott to play along side Al, that really turned up our defensive intensity and that turned the game around for us," said Peters. The Spartans surged to a 10 point lead, up 72-62 with 4 minutes to go.
That's when Brandon's Chris Passley (5th year, forward, Winnipeg, MB) took over, scoring 7 points in 1 ½ minutes to pull the Bobcats to within 1 point, down 73-74 with 2:30 to go in the game.
With 1 minute to go Brandon's Tyrone Smith (4th year, guard, Toronto, ON) hit two foul shots to give the Bobcats the lead 75-74.
TWU's Brian Redekop responded by scoring a put back after grabbing two offensive boards in a row to move the Spartans a head 76-75 with 28 seconds to go.
With 10 seconds to go Earnest Bell (5th year, forward, Louisville, KY) hit a baseline jumper to give Brandon a 77-76 lead.
"In the last two time outs our guys were saying were not going to lose this game," said Peters.
The win moves the Spartans to 4-6 in Canada West league play, while dropping the Bobcats to 8-2.
The Spartans were led by Josh Hall - 26 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, Malcolm Campbell - 22 points, 9 rebounds. "We kept telling Mac to look for his shot, he really stepped up for us tonight," said Peters.
The Bobcats were led by Josh Masters (3rd year, guard, Vancouver, BC) - 23 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and Earnest Bell - 12 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals.
Next up for the Spartans is Friday, December 1 in an exhibition game verses the Langara Falcons. Game time at TWU is 8:00 PM.