Bisons shock UBC, ‘Pack play Dinos tough, and Winnipeg scares the Huskies
3 of the 4 Canada West 1/4 Finals see the visiting underdogs play inspired games on the opening night. The Manitoba Bisons go and hand the #2 UBC Thunderbirds their only home loss so far this season. The ‘road warrior’ TRU Wolves gave as much as they could before bowing by a slim margin to UC. #9 Saskatchewan needed some last minute heroics to subdue a fired up Winnipeg team by the single point.
Manitoba 79 #2 UBC 75 – The Bisons plant the seed of doubt, with some good clutch shooting and very strong team rebounding (42-38 over UBC) . Faced with a looming comeback bid from the home side, and seeing their 10 point lead disappear with 3 minutes left, the Herd circle and hold their ground. The last of 4 treys from A. J. Basi and 5 free throws from Ilarion Bonhomme seal the deal.
UBC may have lost this for a number of reasons, but their free throw average of 52% (13/25) wasn’t nearly up to the 22/30 = 73% for Manitoba. Basi leads the Brown with 22 points, while Keith Omoerah adds a nifty double of 17 pts/ 15 boards. Bonhomme controls the attack at key times , as he counts 12 points/ 6 rebs/ 3 assists.
The T-Birds appear poised in the 4th, but just did not have their rhythm in the last 2 minutes, with shot opportunities falling off the rim. Jordan Jensen-Whyte 22 points led UBC, with Will Ondrik adding 16 / 5 rebs. Conor Morgan was not his usual self, tallying just 12 points on 5/16 from the floor. Box Score Game 2 on Friday is at 7 pm Pacific.
#6 Calgary 75 Thompson Rivers 71 – A tale of 2 halves, as the Wolf Pack recover from a 19 point 1st half deficit, and win the 3rd quarter 24 – 9, finishing the 2nd half with 47. Calgary shoot 44% to start the game, but go ice cold in the 2nd half, finishing at 35%. TRU are 34% after 20 minutes, but hit 53% in the last 20 minutes.
Volodymyr Iegorov has a monster game for the Orange, scoring 27 and grabbing 15 rebounds, and dealing out 6 assists. Derek Rhodes with 14 pts and Trent Monkman on 10 help the Thompson Rivers cause. The Dinos secured the win with a stronger 4th quarter, with key hoops from guards Jhony Verrone and David Kapinga down the stretch.
Thomas Cooper with 21 points/ 10 rebounds/7 assists led the UC attack, backed by Kapinga’s 19 pts/ 6 rebounds/ 6 steals. The Dinos get all they could have expected from a Thompson Rivers squad whose busy play-off travel schedule we have chronicled. The Wolves fought extremely hard to get back in, and came close to tying it up in the last minutes. Box Score Game time for the 2nd in the best of 3 is 7 pm Friday.
#9 Saskatchewan 85 Winnipeg 84 – The Huskies pull out the win, as they come off the ropes in the final 2 minutes, courtesy of a clutch trey from Trevor Severinski to tie it at 81, then a dunk and a highlight reel shot block from Shane Osayande. The teams are back and forth in this one, with multiple lead changes in the final 20 minutes. U of S shooters hit 51%, as Osayande has another huge night as their leader; the 6-6 post man scores 26 points / 15 rebounds/ and 5 big blocks. Lawrence Moore with 15 pts/ 7 rebs, and Trevor Severinski hitting 13 pts on 4 of 8 from 3 point range are also key to this win.
The Ws looked like winners at times in the final 10 minutes, but could not quite get the horses in the corral. Their impressive rookie, Narcisse Ambanza, leads the Wesmen with 24 pts, aided by Jamar Farley’s 16 on 4/6 from outside. Sean Tarver plays his 6th man role nicely, scoring 18 points/ 4 rebounds. Denzel Lynch-Blair, their high scoring guard is absent for Winnipeg in this game, and not sure why?
Box Score Game 2 is at 8:30 again on Friday.
#8 Alberta 80 Lethbridge 59 – Not close in this one, as the Bears’ defense make the
Pronghorns attack largely ineffective. Lethbridge are a woeful 27% FG on the night, and their floor leader, Dejon Burdeaux leaves the game mid-way in the final frame with just 7 points.
Alberta are led by wing man, Mamadou Gueye, with a solid double-double of 20 points/ 10 rebounds. Geoff Pippus hits 4/6 from outside for 14 points, and Dwan Williams adds 12 pts/ 5 rebs. Box Score Game 2 is Friday at 8 pm Mountain.
In the East – Wednesday
Ontario Play-offs – Round 1 – Nipissing 77 Queens 74 , Laurentian 88 Laurier 72 , Toronto 82 Lakehead 61, McMaster 71 Windsor 63
Saturday’s Quarter Finals – at #1 Carleton McMaster , at #3 Ryerson Nipissing, at #4 Ottawa Laurentian, at #5 Brock Toronto
Quebec – Concordia 79 Bishops 76, and on Thursday, it was McGill 62 Laval 45
- CW Women’s 1/4 Finals – at #3 Regina 82 Trinity W 59, at #6 Winnipeg 82 Victoria 70, at # 8 Saskatchewan 78 Fraser V. 55 , at Alberta 62 UBC 58 … all the home sides come out on top.
- “We’re not celebrating yet”, said Manitoba Bisons Coach Kirby Schepp after his team’s big game 1 win at UBC. “This was a physical game, and our guys hung in there when it counted.”
- It was a last second desperation heave by Winnipeg’s Jamar Farley that closed the score to just 1 point at the buzzer, but it was a sobering sight to see what might have been in this very tight game.