Bisons dominate early, knock off Spartans

Bisons dominate early, knock off Spartans

By Mark Janzen, Trinity Western University

LANGLEY, British Columbia – Manitoba scored the first eight points of the night and never looked back, cruising to a 108-76 win over Trinity Western Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

On the strength of 59 per cent shooting and a 50-25 rebounding advantage, the Bisons were in full control from the outset and earned their fifth straight win to bump their record to 7-6 on the season.

The loss see the Spartans (2-11) drop their 10th consecutive contest.

Manitoba had five players hit double digits in points, with Justus Alleyn leading the charge with 20 points and seven rebounds. James Wagner had 18 points, Joey Nitychoruk had 16, Malik Irwin had 14 and Ilarion Bonhomme had 11 points to go with a game-high nine rebounds.

The Spartans Pogos Trunyan (Sacramento, Calif.) had game-high 24 points, while Matt Hayashi (Langley) had a team-high six rebounds to go with seven points.

The Spartans shot 39 per cent from the field.

"We just didn't come ready to play and there were some guys who we thought would step up tonight and they didn't," said Spartans coach Aaron Muhic. "At the end of the first half, I thought we did some good things on defence, but when you give up 57 points in a half, the game is already almost over. We took care of the ball pretty well with just eight turnovers and we had some good scoring from Pogos, but we just need to get our first five to defend."

The Bisons raced out to an 8-0 lead and by the end of the opening quarter possessed a 29-18 advantage. Shooting 63 per cent from the field and collecting 14 rebounds, Manitoba took early control with Alleyn collecting a team-high 10 points. Trunyan led TWU with eight points.

Manitoba continued to pour in the offence in the second quarter, outscoring TWU 28-11 while going six for nine from 3-point range. Wagner had nine points to lead Manitoba in the quarter, while seven other Bisons had points by halftime and the visitors lead 57-29.

The Bisons went up by as many as 37 points, 79-42, with just over two minutes left in the third quarter. However, a late 9-2 run from the Spartans saw TWU close the gap, with the home side outscored by just one point, 25-24, in the quarter.

With both teams rolling out their benches for much of the fourth quarter, the Bisons pushed their lead to 32 by the end of the night.

The teams play the back half of their weekend series Saturday at 5 p.m. (PT) at the LEC.

"We have a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde theme with our team," Muhic said. "We come out Friday night and lay an egg but compete better on Saturday and hopefully that happens again tomorrow."

Games Notes: TWU had eight steals to the Bisons four…Manitoba won both games against the Spartans last year…despite the Bisons .500 record, Manitoba entered the weekend fourth in Canada West in RPI (.6205)…once playoff berths are determined, the RPI, which accounts for the various strength of schedules faced by each team, determines playoff seeding.