EDMONTON – The Trinity Western Spartans dropped their final game of the season 107-101 in overtime to the MacEwan Griffins Saturday night in Edmonton.
The win means the Griffins will finish the season at 5-15 – not a playoff record. TWU will also miss the post-season after finishing at 3-17. Two of their wins came on the final two weekends.
The Spartans started well and held an 18-15 lead after the first quarter. Over the next two quarters the teams matched each other point-for-point as TWU led 72-69 heading into the fourth quarter. MacEwan outscored TWU over the final minute 4-0 to force the game into overtime at 92-92. The Griffins got the early lead
Ryan Coleman led the Griffins with 21 points and seven rebounds in a workhorse 40 minutes on the floor that finally ended when he was subbed out to a standing ovation with 29 seconds remaining.
"It really felt nice," he said of a special night that included a basket he'll never forget. "It defines what I am as a player and defines what I've done for the past five years. To be able to continuously give the same energy with a consistent basis, to bring the same intensity all the time – that bucket just defined everything. It just shows the hustle and that I'll do anything to get us a win."
The Griffins fed off the electric energy in the air for Coleman's swan song and fought back from an eight-point deficit late in the third quarter, tying the contest on two Adonis Monfort-Palomino free throws with six seconds left.
Once the game got to OT tied 92-92, MacEwan just took over, specifically leading scorer Ali Raza, who scored nine of his 19 points in the extra frame.
"We really came in and I think we really rallied around it being Ryan's final game," said Magdanz. "Guys drew some energy off of that. When you see Ryan play that hard, all you really want to do is follow his leadership."
MacEwan was somehow able to fight off one of the hottest-shooting games by anyone in Canada West this season as fourth-year TWU guard Vartan Tanielian scored 38 points, shooting 13 of 22 from the field and draining 6-of-10 three-point attempts. He added four rebounds, five assists and two steals.
"I'm proud of Vartan," said Spartans head coach Aaron Muhic. "He's come a long way. He's really been patient all year with his shot selection. I'm very happy he was able to end the season that way."
Muhic is less pleased with the end of the contest when the Spartans couldn't keep the lead they held, albeit a small one, for much of the contest.
"We just made some mental mistakes," he said. "I thought we defended at the end to put it into overtime and once we got into overtime, we just didn't move the ball good enough, didn't share it good enough, didn't get good enough shots.
"MacEwan played really good defence. They were contesting everything. That's it. That's the ball game."
Pogos Trunyan added 20 points and seven rebounds for the Spartans.
"He's a heck of a shooter. He really is," said Muhic. "He knows he's a good shooter and he went after the record. Sometimes records don't mean much when your team isn't playing good. I thought he forced things. It would have been nice if he could have ended it a little better as far as with the team, but that's the way it goes."
Deonte Doslov-Doctor had a double-double for the Griffins with 10 points and 13 rebounds, while Liban Yousef, really logging important minutes down the stretch, had 13 points and six boards off the bench. Lincoln Anderson chipped in 10 points.
TWU Head Coach Aaron Muhic
"It was an interesting season," said Muhic. "I really like our team. We have good guys. It's always fun to work with good guys. We all wanted to win more games, but I think that will come with experience.
"I think our record wasn't great, but as far as improvement, I thought we really improved, especially these last few weeks. We're a lot better than we have been. So, I'm proud of the guys for that."
- Pogos Trunyan, who was 2-9 tonight, from the three- point line. The two makes allow him to set the single season three-point record with 67 made shots.
- Pogos finished with last year to tie the previous record held by Louis Hurd (08-09).
- TWU's Vartan Tanielian finished the night with 38 points. It is the third most points scored by a Canada West player this season. Jacob Doerksen ('11) holds the Spartans record with 42 points, which he set December 4, 2010 against Fraser Valley.
The 2018-2019 preseason.