TWU Sports Friday – Tough Night For Hoops, Hockey Remains Undefeated

TWU Men’s Basketball

Despite a tie game early in the fourth quarter, the Spartans men’s basketball team fell 100-87 to the UNBC Timberwolves in their home-opener at the Langley Events Centre.

The loss drops the Spartans record to 0-3 on the season, while the win pushes UNBC’s record to 2-1.

Ja’Qualyn Gilbreath (Amarillo, Texas) drove the Spartans offence with 21 points, 7 rebounds and five steals. Gabe Mannes (Chilliwack, B.C.) added 16 points and five steals in the loss.

Timberwolves guard Vova Pluzhnikov had a game-high 26 points and nine rebounds in the win.

UNBC came out hot with a 22-10 lead, but the Spartans rallied to finish the quarter on an 14-2 run to close out the first quarter tied at 24.

The Spartans continued their momentum into the second quarter, going on a 9-1 run to open the quarter and capping it off by holding a 47-45 lead at half-time.

In the third quarter the Timberwolves jumped in front to a 54-51 lead, but five points in the quarter from Adam Gehrig (Toowoomba, Australia) and Gilbreath helped TWU tie it up at 70 heading into the final quarter.

In the final quarter the Timberwolves gained momentum and pulled ahead early by 12 points. The Spartans moved to within seven points late but failed to regain the lead as they lost 100-87. 

The Spartans held a 12-8 advantage in 3-pointers made, while the Timberwolves held a 48-36 advantage in rebounds.

TWU also finished the night hitting 41.7% from the field (35-84) while UNBC hit 53.2% (33-62).

TWU Women’s Basketball

The Spartans women’s basketball team fell 70-62 against the UNBC Timberwolves in its home-opener Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

TWU was searching for its first win of the season and falls to 0-3 with the loss. The Timberwolves record improves to 1-2.

Nicole Fransson (Edmonton) led TWU’s offence with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Kianna Wiens (Regina, Sask.) added 18 points and Jolene Vlieg (Leduc, Alta.) adding a game-high seven assists.

Timberwolves forward Madison Landry’s 20 points led UNBC’s offence.

Friday’s match was the first game between the two teams since UNBC’s 80-78 win in last season’s Canada West play-in game at the Langley Events Centre. 

After the Spartans opened the game with leads of 4-0 and 6-2, UNBC would go on a 11-5 run in the first quarter to hold a 13-11 lead after the first.

TWU had a strong start into the second quarter, which saw them open on a 9-0 run. The Spartans led for the majority of the quarter, including a 20-13 lead at one point, but a last second layup from Emma vanBruinessen gave the Timberwolves a 33-32 lead at the half.

Fransson led TWU with 12 points and five rebounds in the first half, while Madison Landry’s 12 points led UNBC.

The second half saw much of the same, with UNBC and TWU trading points before the Timberwolves added five points to their lead, up 57-51 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Timberwolves opened the fourth quarter on a hot stretch, going on a 10-2 run and never looking back. Despite TWU closing the gap to within nine points in the final two minutes, UNBC prevailed 70-62 on the road.

UNBC held a 49-36 advantage in rebounds and shot 49.2% (30/61) from the field, while the Spartans had a 7-5 advantage in steals while shooting 30.7% (23-75).

The loss drops the Spartans to 0-3 on the season, while UNBC moves to 1-2 with the victory.

TWU Men’s Hockey

Three goals from Logan Casavant (Melfort, Sask.) and a shutout from Lucas Mills (Burnaby, B.C.) propelled the Spartans men’s hockey team to a convincing 7-0 road victory over the Selkirk College Saints Friday at the Castlegar Sports Complex.

With their sixth consecutive win to open the season, TWU improves to a league-best 6-0-0-0 on the year. The loss drops Selkirks record to 4-3-0-0, tied for second in the BCIHL standings with Vancouver Island University.

Jarrett Fontaine (Humboldt, Sask.), Josh Sylvain (Girouxville, Alta.), Brandon Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C.) and Kade Vilio (Aldergrove, B.C.) also scored for the Spartans, who have scored a league-best 35 goals through just six games.

TWU opened the scoring early in the first period, with Spartans captain Fontaine scoring just over three minutes into his season-debut to make it 1-0 TWU.

The Spartans then doubled their lead in the second period, with Casavant scoring off a rebound on the powerplay for his first of the game to make it 2-0.

18 seconds later Sylvain scored off a Dylan Sakatch (Calgary) feed in front to stretch the TWU lead to three. 

Casavant added another with 6:32 to go, before Potomak scored late in the second period to make it 5-0 TWU heading into the final frame.

Casavant then buried the hat trick on the powerplay nine minutes into the third period, before another powerplay marker from Kade Vilio 25 seconds later would push TWU’s lead to 7-0.

Lucas Mills made turned aside all 32 shots faced in the win to earn second star of the game. Tallon Kramer stopped 27 of 34 TWU shots for his second loss of the year.

The Spartans went 3 for 7 (42.9%) on the powerplay, while the Saints were 0 for 7.

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