Written by Kristin Anton
LANGLEY, B.C. – The Thompson Rivers WolfPack picked a win on the road over the Spartans, beating Trinity Western 83-75 Friday night at the Langley Events Centre.
The WolfPack (10-7) opened a lead late in the first quarter, establishing a 27-17 edge after 10 minutes and held the Spartans (1-16) off the rest of the night. TWU outscored TRU 58-56 over the final three quarters.
Joe Davis (Kamloops, B.C.) lead the WolfPack with 17 points, while Anton Bilous (Cherkassy, Ukraine) and Luke Morris (Mission, B.C.) tied with 13 points each.
After a slow start, the Spartans began to pick up the pace in the second quarter as Tanielian sunk his second 3-pointer of the night with the WolfPack only seven points clear. TRU kept a 10-point lead throughout the second stanza, but the Spartans closed the gap to eight points with the WolfPack leading 48-40 at halftime.
The third quarter remained steady and the 10-point gap lingered, with TRU eventually opening a 67-56 edge with 10 minutes to play.
Spartans regular season leading scorer Pogos Trunyan (Sacramento, Calif.) fouled out early in the fourth quarter with just of eight points, diminishing TWU's hopes of a comeback. The Spartans kept pursuing the WolfPack, as Tanielian added back-to-back three-pointers inside the final minute, but it wasn't enough to get any closer than eight points.
TWU had 19 offensive rebounds, while TRU had 15. The WolfPack had a 46-43 edge on the glass overall.
"I was really proud of the effort tonight and our rebounding effort was especially good. Our second half defence was a lot better, but we just came out with a bad first quarter. But I think we're playing good basketball for the most part. Peter (Spangehl, Surrey, B.C.) was amazing with his hustle plays and he gave us all he had. Vartan was calm when he played on offence, which is what we need. And if we keep Pogos in the game, you never know what might happen."
• The last time these two teams met was in 2013-14, when TRU beat the Spartans in back-to-back games.
• The Spartans were firing from all over the place Friday, going 12 of 31 from 3-point range.
• Following tomorrow night's rematch, TWU will honour graduating seniors Peter Spangehl (Surrey, B.C.) and Pogos Trunyan (Sacramento, Calif.).
• The Spartans hosted their Bell Let's Talk night Friday, which is intended to help student-athletes continue their leadership role on campus in the fight to end the stigma around mental health.
• In addition, the staff of Trinity Western University were welcomed out to the game as a sign of appreciation for their efforts in the making of successful student-athletes.
The Spartans and the WolfPack will meet again tomorrow night back at the Langley Events Centre. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. (PT).