VANCOUVER – A sharpshooting Spartans squad put a scare into UBC, but ultimately lost 84-76 to the No. 7-ranked Thunderbirds Saturday at War Memorial Gym.
A day after losing by 53 points against the same UBC side, the Spartans held a 75-74 lead with 3:04 to play in the final quarter, but couldn't finish the game out, as the T-Birds (6-2) ended the contest on a 10-1 run.
The T-Birds Conor Morgan had 22 points and 13 rebounds, while Phil Jalalpoor had 20 points and seven boards.
TWU got off to a hot start that saw the visitors shoot 65 per cent, making 13 of their 20 field goal attempts. This included a deadly 71 per cent from three-point land where they made five of their combined seven attempts to open a 33-25 first quarter lead.
Second-year guard Pogos Trunyan led the way for the Spartans making both of his 3-point attempts and scoring eight of his team high 17 points in the first period. Trunyan finished four of seven from beyond the arc on the night.
The T-Birds responded nicely in the second quarter with sharper execution outscoring the Spartans 20-10 to tie the score 45-45 at halftime.
The teams played a fairly even third quarter with TWU narrowly outscoring the T-Birds 16-15, giving the Spartans a 60-59 lead after three quarters. However, the hosts turned it on to pull away in the fourth quarter, outscoring TWU 25-16 over the final 10 minutes.
T-Birds second-year guard Isaiah Familia chipped in with eight points on the night, none bigger than his second of two three-pointers on the night with just 24 seconds left in the game giving UBC an 82-76 lead to put the game out of reach.
TWU Head Coach Aaron Muhic
"I am very proud of our team tonight. Our goal coming into tonight was to bring consistent energy and effort. We did that and we had guys really step up with their defensive focus. Vartan, Josiah Allison (Chilliwack, B.C.) and Pogos provided some really good leadership. Our bench as a whole provided a really big boost. It's another great effort we can build on. I am looking forward to what we do with this in the near future because we are playing some really good basketball."
• The Spartans proved to be 45 points better than Friday night, when the T-Birds hung a 53-point loss on the TWU (118-65).
• UBC shot just 60.7 per cent from the free throw line (17-28), while TWU shot 77. 8 per cent (7-9).
• The Spartans shot 42.3 per cent from the field, while UBC shot 49.2 per cent.
• TWU's lone win so far this season was a 73-70 victory over UBC Okanagan in preseason.
TWU has a bye this week before finishing the fall semester by hosting Brandon Dec. 1-2 at the Spartans on-campus David E. Enarson Gym.