SPARTANS BEAT MOUNT ROYAL TO SNAP LOSING SKID

SPARTANS BEAT MOUNT ROYAL TO SNAP LOSING SKID

CALGARY – Trinity Western snapped its 12-game losing streak with a 71-54 upset win over Mount Royal Saturday on Kenyon Court.

Max Viitala (Melbourne, Australia) led the Spartans in scoring with 21 points while Derek Wolf led the Cougars with 11 points in his final home game.

Patrick Vandervelden (Abbotsford, B.C.) put together his fourth double double of the season, with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Pogos Trunyan (Sacramento, Calif.) added 16 points, five steals and five boards.
 
Trailing 36-23 at halftime, the Spartans responded in a big way in the second half, outscoring the Cougars 21-8 in the third quarter and 27-10 in the final frame.

"It was a good win for our guys tonight," said TWU coach Aaron Muhic. "I'm very proud of our toughness and willingness to compete. We finally had a game where we put the little things together and we attacked for most of the game. It was a great overall team effort."

With TWU up 53-52 with just under five minute to play, Vandervelden knocked down a jumper to launch what would be a game-ending 18-2 run for the visitors.

Mount Royal dominated the first five minutes of play, and with baskets from all five of their starters found themselves up 16-6.
 
The Cougars cooled off late in the quarter, with the team scoring just one field goal in the last five minutes, as Mount Royal took an 18-12 lead into the second quarter.
 
Early in the quarter Viitala drew his squad within two with his fourth field goal of the contest. A minute later Tee Maberry (Pasadena, Calif) drew contact and made a layup to knot the game at 18-18.
 
Picking up their game, the Cougars increased their energy as two back-to-back late steals led to a bucket from Ryan Cunningham, and then another from Glen Yang right at the buzzer.
 
The Cougars scored 18 out of the final 23 points of the quarter, gaining momentum and taking a 36-23 lead into the third quarter.
 
The Spartans slowly began closing the gap in the third. Two makes from Trunyan, including a 3 pointer, as well as a few converted free throws got TWU within five points, leading to a Cougars timeout.
 
Out of the timeout, Vandervelden made the score 40-37 as he scored his fifth field goal on his fifth attempt.
 
With time ticking down the third, Matt Hayashi (Langley, B.C.) rose above the hoop and tipped in his fifth point of the game at the buzzer, tying the game 44-44 going into the fourth quarter.
 
Trunyan gave the Spartans their first lead of the game a minute into the fourth, pulling up from the 3 point line for his 10th point of the game.
 
Brett Layton would check back into the game with six minutes remaining and the Cougars down by five, their largest deficit to that point.  
 
Noah Lewis took the game into his own hands, taking two shots from the corner that both fell, putting Mount Royal back within three.
 
The Spartans made six straight points to increase their lead to nine points with three minutes remaining.
 
The Cougars were unable to gain any momentum down the stretch as the Spartans ran up the score and made it a decisive 71-54 win.
 
The Spartans will return home to host the Thunderbirds next weekend while the Cougars will play their final regular season games in Manitoba.

Game Notes: The Spartans last win was Nov. 12, when they beat Fraser Valley 90-82 in overtime…TWU had lost 17 straight since, including exhibition and regular season contests.

-TW-


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