The Trinity Western University men's basketball team has picked the right time to find its stride.
The playoff-bound Spartans won their eighth game in their last nine outings, as they completed a weekend sweep of Thompson Rivers University WolfPack with a 97-92 win Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
The Spartans opened a four-point lead after the first quarter, then carried a seven-point lead into halftime. They never allowed Thompson Rivers to get any closer than four points down the stretch.
Despite Thompson Rivers' Justin King getting 29 points and Chas Kok adding 28, it was the depth of the Spartans - with five players hitting double-digits in points - that won the day.
For the second night in a row, Trinity Western's Sean Peter was the man of the hour as he had 27 points, eight rebounds and six steals. After Peter, it was the Spartans' Calvin Westbrook with 19 points and five boards, Kurtis Osborne with 17 points and eight rebounds, and Tristan Smith with 17 points, six rebounds, and five assists.
The win improves Trinity Western to 10-7. TWU is already assured of the wildcard spot in the Canada West playoffs. Thompson Rivers drops to 5-11.
"It was pretty loose at the beginning of the game," Spartans coach Scott Allen said. "I think we need to find a way to play better defensively. But we did battle hard and I'm happy about that. I think we shared the ball around and that was a key part. We had a consistent effort from Sean and Calvin. We're finding the right guys to be our scorers right now and other guys are filling in their roles nicely."
Allen said Peter "just brings energy and has different gears."
"He has a different motor than a lot of players. He's very competitive and I think that is very contagious."
With five made free throws from Kok inside the final 40 seconds of the third quarter, the WolfPack pulled to within five points, at 73-68, heading to the fourth quarter.
In the final stanza, Trinity Western pulled ahead 82-74, following a three-pointer from Smith, and looked to be on their way to a comfortable win. But Thompson Rivers was not about to let that happen as it responded by going on a 6-2 run to make it a four-point game, at 84-80.
From there though the Spartans pulled away for good with a 10-4 run, capped by an Osborne layup that gave Trinity Western a 94-84 lead.
As it turned out, that was all TWU would need to get the win.
A late push from Thompson Rivers came up five points short.
Led by a career-high 28-point and 15-rebound night from Peter, the Spartans clinched a Canada West playoff spot with an 89-77 victory over Thompson Rivers Friday at the LEC.
With their team holding a tenuous two-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, Peter and Smith took over the game, combining for 23 of the Spartans' 30 points, as Trinity Western ran away with the contest down the stretch en route to a decisive 12-point victory.
The Spartans will play their final game of the Canada West regular season tonight (Thursday, Feb. 9) when they host Fraser Valley.
Opening tip-off is 8 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.
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