CALGARY, ALTA., (Nov. 17, 2018) — Another day, another win for the No. 1-ranked men's basketball team in Canada – the SAIT Trojans.
The Trojans came out firing, as they handed the Medicine Hat College Rattlers a one-sided 85-65 decision in their Saturday afternoon Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) game played inside SAIT's Campus Centre.
"Med Hat is the best rebounding team in the league, so we focused on rebounding, getting back on defense and holding them to one shot," said Trojans guard Ian Tevis (5th year, Kent, Wash., Office Professional), who led all scorers with 21 points to go along with 11 rebounds and four steals.
SAIT, ranked first in the country by the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) the past two weeks, moves to a perfect 7-0 on the season. The Rattlers drop to 5-3.
"We all have that end goal in mind. I don't want to say what it is out loud, but everyone knows what it is," Tevis added. "That's always in the back of our minds, but we know we have to take it one game at a time. We just need to continue beating whoever they put in front of us."
The game started as well as the Trojans could have hoped. A 9-0 run in the opening quarter forced the Rattlers to call timeout just three minutes into the game.
By the end of the first, SAIT had run their way to a 25-14 lead thanks to a combined five three-pointers.
Two of those five came off the hands of Tevis, who then proceeded to connect on three more from behind the arc in the second quarter – the most memorable one coming off a turnover.
With just one man to beat to the basket, Tevis instead pulled up and calmly hit a three, reminding older fans in the crowd of Trajan Langdon's sharpshooting days at Duke in the mid to late 90s.
Seconds later, the Trojans forced another turnover, resulting in yet another three by Tevis – this one from way behind the arc – to push the lead to 37-20 with 6:19 left in the half.
"One of the things about getting turnovers is you have to convert," he said. "If you're getting turnovers, but blank possessions, it doesn't matter. . . We are one of the best running teams, so when we get a turnover, we are trying to score and we did a good job of that today."
Halftime did nothing to slow the momentum of the Trojans. When John Smith (4th year, Lacey, Wash., Business Administration) made a layup with 3:22 left in the quarter, SAIT's lead was extended to 31 points – 72-41.
Smith finished with 18 points.
From there, Trojans head coach Marty Birky employed his bench in mop up duty. The Rattlers whittled the lead down to 20 in the fourth by outscoring the Trojans 17-6 in the final 10 minutes of play, but that's as close as they would get.
Jusci Thompson led the Rattlers with 14 points, while Jon Sappleton added 12 points and 13 rebounds.
The Trojans will look to make it eight-straight wins to start the season next Friday night when they take on the Olds College Broncos.