Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – Parmvir Bains caught fire in the fourth quarter to spark a UFV Cascades rally, but the Trinity Western Spartans fended off the hosts down the stretch to claim their first win of the season by an 80-74 score.
After leading by four points at halftime, the Spartans stretched the lead to 68-50 at the end of the third after Josiah Allison scored five consecutive points late in the frame.
Bains detonated in the fourth quarter, scoring 18 of his game-high 33 points. His triple with 44 seconds left in regulation drew the Cascades (5-9) back to within 77-74, but the Spartans (1-11) hung on in the dying seconds.
"It's just nice to get the monkey off our back – now we can play basketball," said Spartans head coach Aaron Muhic, whose team was coming off a 104-80 loss to the Cascades in Langley on Thursday. "We had some guys step up, and we played good team basketball. We did a good job of focusing on defence, I thought, in the first half especially."
The Spartans led 37-33 at the end of a closely contested first half, but Pogos Trunyan had a huge third quarter to help the visitors build a lead. The fifth-year guard racked up 14 points in the frame, including a trio of three-pointers, as TWU pushed the lead to double digits.
Bains, a 5'10" guard who started the season as a redshirt before joining the Cascades' active roster late in the fall semester, sparked UFV's fourth-quarter surge. He had five triples in the final frame, and three of them came in quick succession in the final 2:12 of regulation to make it a one-possession game at 77-74. But Trunyan went 3-for-4 from the foul line down the stretch to close out the game.
"We weren't solid defensively the whole game, but we really had breakdowns in losing track of their main guys (in the third quarter)," UFV head coach Adam Friesen analyzed. "They capitalized and really got a rhythm going. Pogos in particular really got confident, and he's a heck of a player – when he's hot, he's capable of putting a run together by himself and teammates seem to follow that when things get rolling."
Trunyan paced the Spartans with 25 points, Vartan Tanielian had 22 points and eight rebounds, and Max Viitala notched a double-double with 15 points and 11 boards. TWU did a great job taking care of the ball, with just seven turnovers compared to 15 for UFV.
Bains's outstanding night featured 10-of-16 shooting from the field and 7-of-11 from downtown. But beyond his 33 points, just two other Cascades scored in double figures: Vick Toor and Kenan Hadzovic, both with 11.
"Parm was awesome," Friesen enthused. "He was one of the only bright spots for us. He showed a lot of mental toughness in the fact that he wanted the shots, and he stepped up and took advantage of the moment. He joined us late, but he's going to be a player in this league. He's someone we're going to count on."