CALGARY – The Mount Royal Cougars were better from start to finish on Friday, beating the Trinity Western Spartans 96-66 on Kenyon Court.

Josh Ross continued his stellar season as he filled the stat sheet with 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Brett Layton also stood out for Mount Royal, as the post finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. He also had a season-high four assists.

Max Viitala (Melbourne, Australia) came off the bench to lead TWU with 18 points, while Patrick Vandervelden (Abbotsford, B.C.) added 12 points, five blocks and five rebounds.

TWU shot 38.6 per cent from the field (27-70) while Mount Royal shot 44.0 per cent (33-75).

Mount Royal's win sees the Cougars get back within a game of .500 (8-9), while Trinity Western's struggles continue as they fall to 2-15 on the year.

"We just did not bring enough energy and focus to compete at this level," said Spartans coach Aaron Muhic. "Our team turned the ball over way too many times and we didn't defend with the energy, passion and togetherness that we needed in the first half. I will accept responsibility for that and I know that tomorrow night will bring a better effort and compete for 40 minutes."

The Cougars controlled the first half right from tip-off. They were all over the Spartans on the defensive end, nabbing nine steals while forcing 16 turnovers. Those turnovers led to 26 points for the Cougars.

Craig Martin looked sharp coming off the bench for Mount Royal, giving them instant offense with ten points including a couple of big 3-pointers. Martin also chipped in on the defensive end with two steals.

Mount Royal's defense didn't let up in the second half, holding the Spartan scoreless through the first four and a half minutes. Charn Gill kept their offense turning with back-to-back contested 3-pointers.

The Cougars and Spartans will conclude their weekend series Saturday on Kenyon Court. Tip-off time is set for 5 p.m. (PT).

Game Notes: The Spartans have lost 14 consecutive regular season games…TWU's last win was Nov. 11 against Fraser Valley.


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