Men clinch playoffs

Men clinch playoffs

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A six game hot-streak lands Spartans the golden ticket.

The Spartans men’s bas­ketball team increased their winning streak to six games after winning both games of a double header at home against UBC Okanagan. Not only did they increase their record to 11-9 but they have also clinched a playoff spot. With Trinity Western University being one of the hottest teams in Canada West, it is exciting to see what they have in store for the post season.

It was a nerve-wrecking game to watch on Friday as the Heat closed the large gap the Spartans had in the fourth quarter. The Spartans had Cas­their groove going for the first three quarters of the game, simply domi­nating as they were up 61-42 at the end of the third. But the Heat battled hard, testing the Spartans for what could be the worst-case scenario. Fortunately, it just wasn’t enough for the Heat to catch up as the Spartans narrowly escaped a loss.

The Spartans were lead by Tonner Jackson on Friday night. The third year, six-foot seven, Surrey native put up impressive numbers, scoring 19 points along with four assists, eight rebounds and going four for four on three-pointers. Jackson led all play­ers in scoring in Friday night’s game.

On Saturday, we saw a similar game to the night before. The Spar­tans just barely dodged another fourth quarter meltdown loss. With a 65-44 lead over the Heat, the Spar­tans started to sit back once again. The Heat pounced offensively com­ing all the way back to tie the game at 69. Fifth year guard Tristan Smith ended the game as he nailed two free throw shots from the line with 1.8 seconds remaining. The Heat had a chance to win with a shot but Smith made a solid effort to block the shot to seal the win.

“We played hard for three quar­ters, but then we let up.” commented Spartan coach Scott Allen. Allen made it clear that he wasn’t pleased the performance of his team in the fourth quarter for both games.

Although the Spartans played well on the weekend, there was no excuse to ease off in the fourth quarter. With playoff basketball around the corner there will be no teams giving up in the fourth.

Reminiscence of a great playoff run the Spartans had back in 2011 brings the feeling of excitement back to Spartans basketball. It was a heartbreaking loss to Carleton in the CIS gold medal game, but it was still an amazing accomplishment for our small university. The win against UBC was simply epic as the Spartans were the underdogs. We will see what this new team has to offer as they gear up for another playoff run.

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