MBB: Timberwolves edge gritty Spartans 98-82

MBB: Timberwolves edge gritty Spartans 98-82

Rich Abney, UNBC Athletics

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - A deep Timberwolves roster sparked an unselfish performance resulting in a 98-82 victory, completing the series sweep over the Trinity Western Spartans on Saturday, November 17th at the Charles Jago Northern Sorts Centre.

Similar to the night before, the Timberwolves came out firing, starting the night on a 12-3 run. Vova Pluzhnikov led the charge with seven points, and capped off the run with a difficult fast break lay-in. The score at the end of the first quarter read 24-19 for the Timberwolves.

"We came out with a similar intensity as last night, but Trinity fought back," said TWolves guard Tyrell Laing. "Full credit to them for that. We had to really fight them off."

The Spartans continued to lessen the deficit in the second quarter with Vartan Tanielian, and Borja Soriano leading the way. The two combined for 20 first-half points. A pair of jump shots from the Timberwolves James Agyeman helped a late offensive surge, putting the Timberwolves up 48-38 at the half.

"We came out yesterday, and we just were soft. We weren't physical," said Spartan's guard Josiah Meppelink, who'd finish the game with 15 points and eight assists. "That was our focus tonight. Toughen up, give a better effort, and hope for the best."

The Timberwolves began to pull away in the third quarter. Tyrell Laing came off the bench to score seven points, and capped off the Timberwolves fast second-half start with an and-one lay-in to put the Timberwolves up 81-63 at the end of the third quarter.  The Timberwolves carried on into the fourth, and the team began to share the wealth, with four players finishing the game in double-digits for scoring. The final score at the end of the night read 98-92 for the Timberwolves.

Jovan Leamy led all scorers on the night with 20 points, four rebounds, and three assists. But the story of the night was how the Timberwolves shared the wealth, with five players in double-digits for scoring.

"This is the deepest team I have played on," said Laing. "We have a lot of talent top to bottom, and that can only help us as the season goes on."

The Spartans' Borja Soriano was the forefront of the Spartans offense this evening, finishing the game with 19 points, and seven rebounds.

"Any moral victories we can find, we have to try to build on," said Meppelink postgame. "We had a good effort today. We have to use that, have a good week of practice, and get back at it."

This victory moves the Timberwolves to 5-1 on the season, and they will look to improve on that record next weekend as they face the UFV Cascades.  

"The schedule only gets tougher. We want to make a deep playoff push," said Laing postgame. "We aren't satisfied, but we understand we still have a lot of work to do."