ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – The Trinity Western men's basketball team earned their first win of the 2017-18 campaign, beating Fraser Valley 80-74 Friday night.
After leading by four points at halftime, the Spartans stretched the lead to 68-50 at the end of the third after Josiah Allison (Chilliwack, B.C.) scored five consecutive points late in the frame.
UFV's Parmvir Bains, who scored 18 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth quarter, hit a triple with 44 seconds left in regulation to draw the Cascades (5-9) back to within 77-74, but the Spartans (1-11) hung on in the dying seconds.
The win saw the Spartans Pogos Trunyan (Sacramento, Calif.) was five for nine from beyond the arc as he led TWU with 25 points, while Vartan Tanielian (Surrey, B.C.) added 22 points and eight rebounds.
Max Viitala (Melbourne, Australia) had a double-double, with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The victory was also an impressive turnaround effort from TWU after they fell to the Cascades 104-80 Thursday night in Langley, B.C.
The win snaps a 13-game losing streak, dating back to the last two games of the 2016-17 season.
The Spartans led 37-33 at the end of a closely contested first half, but Trunyan had a huge third quarter to help the visitors build a lead. The fifth-year guard racked up 14 points in the frame, including a trio of 3-pointers, as TWU pushed the lead to double digits.
Bains sparked UFV's fourth-quarter surge. He had five triples in the final frame, and three of them came in quick succession in the final 2:12 of regulation to make it a one-possession game at 77-74. But Trunyan went 3-for-4 from the foul line down the stretch to close out the game.
TWU did a great job taking care of the ball, with just seven turnovers compared to 15 for UFV.
Bains's outstanding night featured 10-of-16 shooting from the field and 7-of-11 from downtown. But beyond his 33 points, just two other Cascades scored in double figures: Vick Toor and Kenan Hadzovic, both with 11.
TWU Head Coach Aaron Muhic
"It's just nice to get the monkey off our back – now we can play basketball," said Spartans head coach Aaron Muhic. "We had some guys step up, and we played good team basketball. We did a good job of focusing on defence, I thought, in the first half especially.
"Vartan was super tough on the boards and in the post. Pogos hit three 3-pointers in a row to separate us in the second half and made some big free throws late to ice the game. I am very proud of our group and I know that we can continue to build from this."
UFV Head Coach Adam Friesen
"We weren't solid defensively the whole game, but we really had breakdowns in losing track of their main guys (in the third quarter). They capitalized and really got a rhythm going. Pogos in particular really got confident, and he's a heck of a player – when he's hot, he's capable of putting a run together by himself and teammates seem to follow that when things get rolling."
• Last year, the teams also split their home-and-home series, with TWU winning 90-82 in overtime in Abbotsford, B.C. before the Cascades earned a 93-79 win back in Langley.
TWU returns home to play Calgary Jan. 12-13 at the Langley Events Centre.