CALGARY, ALTA., (Feb. 7, 2020) - Tip-off was at 8pm, but someone forgot to tell the SAIT Trojans men's basketball team.
The Trojans dug themselves a 16-point hole late in the first quarter, but were able to come back and earn a 97-85 victory over the visiting Red Deer College Kings Friday night in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) action played at SAIT.
"I didn't play that great at the start, but from what I saw, (Red Deer College) was getting it done early," laughed Trojans guard Charlie Conner (3rd year, Lacey, Wash., Business Administration). "I think it was just energy. We just didn't come out with the energy we needed to, but we need to start treating every game like a national championship game. We can't do that going forward."
SAIT, now ranked No. 3 in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) rankings, moves to 12-3 on thew season. Red Deer falls to 8-8.
After falling behind 32-21 after the first 10 minutes of play, the Trojans finally woke up.
In the second quarter, the allowed just 13 points while scoring 33 of their own to take control of the game going into halftime, 54-45.
"It was more about runs. They went on theirs early, and then we were able to go on one of our own in the second quarter," Conner added. "Sometimes you have to go with it and then when it slows down start to play better defence."
In the second half, SAIT was able to do just enough to keep the Kings at arm's length. Their largest lead came early in the fourth quarter when a jump shot by Conner put the Trojans up 17.
Conner finished the contest with 18 points, while teammate Calvin Chambers (4th year, Memphis, Tenn., Business Administration) added 26 of his own.
Spencer Klassen led the Kings with a game-high 31 points - 15 of which came in the opening quarter.
The Trojans and Kings will go again Saturday night, back in Red Deer for an 8pm start.