The third quarter proved to be the undoing of the Trinity Western University menâ€™s basketball team, which fell 98-61 to the Regina Cougars in a CIS menâ€™s basketball game Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
TWU saw its record drop to 1-11 with the loss.
After TWU held a seven-point halftime lead, Regina took over in the third quarter, out-scoring the Spartans 27-13 to spark the victory.
The Spartans got off to a hot start from beyond the arc, knocking down 10 three-pointers in the first half, as they carried a 47-40 edge into the halftime break.
But the Spartans deep threat disappeared in the third quarter.
With Justin Bakuteka out with a first-half injury, TWU went 0-5 from three-point range, and, at the same time, the home side got into foul trouble.
Regina (which improved its record to 7-5 with the win) took advantage as the Cougars went nine for 19 from the free throw line to help open a lead.
With a 67-60 advantage going into the final quarter, Regina never gave the Spartans any hope, holding TWU at bay the rest of the way.
Bakuteka, who had a career-high 35 points on Friday, went down with an injury midway through the second quarter and only played one minute in the second half. He finished with 16 points.
TWUâ€™s Kelvin Smith had a team-high 18 points while Tyus Allen had 14 points. Peter Spangehl scored a career-high 14 rebounds.
Jonathan Tull had 28 points to lead Regina while Travis Sylvestre had 19 points, Brandon Tull had 15 points and Mike Malecha had 14 points.
Will Tallman had 11 points and seven rebounds. Tull also had seven rebounds.
The Spartans had a 55-35 edge in rebounds and a 28-7 advantage in offensive boards but Regina went to the free throw line 49 times.
â€œDefensively, we got out of position and were reaching in and taking poor fouls. You canâ€™t win when you send a team to the free throw line 39 times in the second half,â€ Spartans coach Scott Allen said. â€œWe had so many more shots than them. We did an outstanding job of offensive rebounding. The effort was there but we were out of position defensively and thatâ€™s just mental mistakes.
â€œItâ€™s huge when you lose your top scorer and your captain. But I was happy that the young guys we put on the court went out there and competed.â€
The Cougars started to find their rhythm in the second quarter and were step-for-step with the Spartans as the teams traded points until halftime.
Regina opened the second half with a 9-2 run to tie the game 49-49 and the momentum shifted. Then, with Regina up 56-55, the Cougars went on an 8-0 run, capped by a Tull lay-up that turned the game Reginaâ€™s way for good.
In the fourth quarter, TWU closed within four points after a Smith lay-up made it 71-67. But Regina quickly responded and two minutes was ahead by 12 points. The Cougars held off the Spartans down the stretch.
The Spartans have a bye next week before hosting UBC Jan. 23-24 at the LEC.
The Cougars posted their highest offensive output of the season as the visitors knocked off the Spartans 107-89 Friday at the LEC.
The Cougars out-scored the Spartans 31-28 in a high-flying first quarter and never trailed the rest of the way.
TWU closed the gap inside 10 points in the fourth quarter, but Regina pushed back down the stretch, pulling away for the 18-point win.
Despite the loss, the Bakuteka had a career night as he collected 35 points, including going eight for 15 from beyond the arc, to lead TWU.
Bakuteka also grabbed six rebounds.
Taylor Heinrichs added 14 points and seven rebounds while Spangehl also had a career game, earning 12 points while shooting a perfect 6-6 from the field.
The Cougars were led by Malecha, who had 28 points while Tull had 23 points and Brandon Tull tacked on 20 points. Tallman had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The win is the Cougarsâ€™ first victory against TWU in Langley since Nov. 20, 1999, when they won 88-80.
â€œI think it was nice to see Justin do what he can do offensively and Peter did his role, but weâ€™re just not getting enough assists,â€ said Scott Allen, whose team had 17 assists to Reginaâ€™s 26. â€œItâ€™s a good learning experience but at least were scoring better now and shooting the ball better from the beginning of the season.
â€œThe guys are down of course, but we just have to measure the small successes that weâ€™re having and try to keep positive.â€
Bakuteka came out flying in the first quarter, knocking down three shots from beyond the arc and picking up 13 points, but the tandem of Tull and
Malecha combined for 21 points to give the visitors a three-point lead after 10 minutes.
â€œJustin is our best scorer and our No. 1 option, and heâ€™s recognizing that,â€ Allen said. â€œHe got into the flow and found a nice rhythm.â€
In the second quarter, Regina took over, outscoring TWU 26-17 while building a 57-45 halftime lead.
While in control of the contest the rest of the way, the Cougars cruised to an 82-66 third quarter advantage.
Led by Bakuteka, who remained hot all night, the Spartans pushed back in the fourth stanza, but the Cougarsâ€™ lead proved insurmountable.
Regina ran away with it late and a three-pointer in the dying seconds was the final dagger of the evening.
GAME NOTES: Prior to Fridayâ€™s loss, TWU had won seven games in a row at home against Regina.
The Cougars shot 55.6 per cent from the field compared to TWUâ€™s 43.0 per cent.