Exhibition: Spartans knock off NCAA's Santa Clara in OT
Source: Trinity Western Sports Info
LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western men’s basketball team knocked off NCAA Div. 1 Santa Clara 108-100 in overtime Tuesday night at the Langley Events Centre.
Led by a 32-point effort from Calvin Westbrook, his best in a Spartans uniform, and a 29-point, 14-rebound night from Kyle Coston, the Spartans got their first win of the preseason, beating Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash’s alma mater, in dramatic fashion.
With the Spartans leading 91-88 and 2.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Broncos inbounded the ball to Kevin Foster – who last year led the nation in three-pointers made with 140, which is ninth most in NCAA history – who nailed a 3-point shot from 15 feet beyond the arc to send the game to an extra session.
But despite what could have been a deflating game-tying shot, Trinity Western rallied right back in overtime as Coston had seven points and Tristan Smith put up six points, all of which came from the free throw line, to lead TWU to the eight-point win.
“I was pleasantly surprised with how we played in overtime,” said TWU coach Scott Allen. “We could have gone the other way after that shot. I was really proud of the guys how we took control of the game and the fifth-year guys really stepped up and made some big buckets at the end.”
The Spartans used the long-ball effectively in the second half and overtime as they were eight for 18 from beyond the arc in the final 25 minutes and 11 for 29 overall. Coston was five for 12 from 3-point land and Westbrook was four for six.
The Broncos, a team that won the CollegeInsider.com Tournament last year, were led by Foster who finished with 23 points and John McArthur who had 12 points and 14 rebounds.
“I saw signs of good things to come and some great leadership,” Allen said. “Some of the players were really positive today, which was a real big step from last year. Every game we play now, we’re getting more comfortable. It’s a hard offence to run but we’ve got the capabilities I think to use it to get back to national stage.”
The Spartans got off to a quick start, taking an early 4-0 lead but Santa Clara replied with a 10-0 that put them up by six points in the first few minutes. But instead of letting the Broncos build upon their lead, TWU stayed right with its NCAA foe and by the end of the opening quarter the Spartans had closed the Broncos advantage to one point, 16-15.
In the second frame, the double-barreled combo of Westbrook and fifth-year recruit Sean Peter took over as they helped the Spartans build as much as an 11-point advantage at 41-30.
With Peter continuously driving the lane, and earning trips to the free throw line, the Spartans 6-foot-3 forward put up a team-high 15 points by halftime while Westbrook managed 11 points by the break.
For the Broncos, Foster had a team-high 10 points in the first half but was largely shut down by the close coverage of Peter who, up until the final five seconds of the half, had held the 3-point shooting champ to just five points.
Santa Clara came out of the locker room with momentum and battled back to tie it up before taking the lead 53-52 after a three-ball from Brandon Clark just a few minutes into the third quarter.
From there, it was back and forth until the overtime buzzer.
In the fourth quarter, Coston really took over as it looked like his steady draining of long balls, hitting three in the final 10 minutes, would give the Spartans the win. But it was Foster’s heroics that send the game beyond 40 minutes.
In the extra session, the Spartans took a 93-91 lead after a Westbrook jumper, Coston continued to push his dominant agenda and TWU never trailed, cruising to the victory.
Game Notes: Trinity Western went to the free throw line 38 times compared to Santa Clara’s 24 times…TWU shot 37.9 per cent from 3-pt range by the Broncos were 28.6 per cent…the Broncos outrebounded TWU 59-49.