At long last, the Trinity Western Spartans have broken through for victory.
The men’s basketball team began the 2017/18 Canada West season with an 0-11 record before using a strong third quarter to pull away from the UFV Cascades on Friday night in Abbotsford.
The teams had also played the night before at the Langley Events Centre with the visiting Cascades emerging with the 104-80 victory.
But the Spartans defence was much better the next night, as they held their opponent to a season-low in points.
The Spartans were up 37-33 at the break but outscored the Cascades 31-17 in the third quarter to win 80-74 at the Envision Athletic Centre.
“It’s just nice to get the monkey off our back — now we can play basketball,” said Spartans coach Aaron Muhic. “We had some guys step up, and we played good team basketball.”
A big key was the Spartans’ ball security, as they only had seven turnovers, compared to UFV’s 15.
Pogos Trunyan led TWU with 25 points, 14 of which came in the third quarter.
Max Viitala also had a strong game with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Vartan Tanielian had 22 points and eight rebounds.
In Thursday’s loss, Viitala (16 points) and Trunyan (13 points) again led the offence while Josiah Allison came off the bench to score 11.
TWU (1-11) is back in action this weekend as they host the Calgary Dinos for a pair of games at the LEC on Jan. 12 and 13.