TWU basketball: Spartans, Huskies split heavyweight battle

Trinity Western
Trinity Western's Eli Mara blocks the shot of his Saskatchewan Huskies opponent during Saturday night's basketball game at the Langley Events Centre. The Huskies won 101-93 one night after Trinity Western prevailed 102-91 in a battle between two of the country's top teams.
— image credit: Scott Stewart/TWU Athletics

The Trinity Western Spartans were 20 minutes away from sweeping the defending national champions. But instead, it was the Saskatchewan Huskies rallying from a 55-42 deficit to win 101-93 on Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre.

The loss snapped Trinity Western's 15-game winning streak.

The two Canada West men's basketball powerhouses also squared off on Friday in Langley, with the Spartans winning 102-91.

With the regular season winding down, Trinity Western (17-3) sits second and Saskatchewan (14-4) is third.

The Huskies entered the weekend ranked third in the country while the Spartans were fourth.

In Saturday's second half, the Huskies limited Spartans star Jacob Doerksen to eight points. He had torched them for 21 in the first half.

The other difference was the Saskatchewan guard combo of Rejean Chabot and Jamelle Barrett who combined for 66 points.

"Their two guards just lit us up tonight," Spartans coach Scott Allen said. "If one of them is going hot, you can contain them, but when both guys get going, it's a world of trouble for us."

The Spartans lost despite attempting 20 more shots than their opponents and limiting the Huskies to a single offensive rebound. But Saskatchewan hit nearly 57 per cent of their shots, compared to Trinity Western's 46.

Allen said the Huskies wanted the game more and the Spartans didn't play to their own strengths.

Doerksen led the team with 29 points and 13 rebounds as the Spartans had six players — including all five starters — reach double figures. Tonner Jackson came off the bench to score a dozen.

In Friday's game, the Spartans shot 60 per cent in the first quarter and scored 35 points. The built a 17-point first-half lead and then hung on to win by 11.

Trinity Western had seven players reach double digits in points, led by Doerksen's 21, and Tristan Smith's 16.

Tyrell Mara also came through with eight points, seven rebounds and and four assists.

The Spartans close out their home regular season schedule with a pair of matches against the Brandon Bobcats (4-14) at the Langley Events Centre. Tip-off is 8 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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