With a raucous crowd at their backs, the 1st ranked Brandon University
Bobcats defeated the Regina Cougars 91-83 in Game 1 of the Great Plains
division final Friday night at the BU Gymnasium. Sparked by the hot
shooting of Chad Jacobson and Taylor Cherris-Wilding, the Bobcats
opened up a 20-point first half lead and rode the momentum to their
14th consecutive victory.

“I thought they (Regina) played really well tonight,” said Brandon head coach Barnaby Craddock, whose team fell behind 9-2 before rallying to take the lead for good. “We managed to get on a run in the first half where we were making some shots and we got up on them... but you have to credit that team for fighting for a full 40 minutes.”

With his team leading by 12 and the game seemingly out of reach, Craddock turned to his bench with just over 3:30 left. Ninety seconds later, the Cougars were right back in the contest, as Jamal Williams capped a spectacular run with back-to-back three pointers to make it a 79-75 contest with 2:10 remaining. From there, Craddock reinserted his starters, who promptly went on a 7-0 run of their own to put the game away.

“I’m confident in my bench,” stated Craddock afterwards. “We’ve got a lot of talented guys on this team... and unfortunately, our guys caught in a shift where things weren’t going their way. They didn’t get the job done this time around.”

5th year guards Chad Jacobson and Taylor Cherris-Wilding led the way for BU, shooting a combined 9-11 from three point range.

“Our team execution was the difference tonight,” noted Jacobson, who delivered a team-high 22 points on 8-10 shooting from the field. “Right now, everyone is playing well with each other, we’re driving and kicking and making shots. We’re just out-executing teams, and that’s what happened tonight.”

Cherris-Wilding finished with 12 points, while Yuri Whyms added 16 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks; Yul Michel had 15 points and 6 assists, and Dany Charlery notched 10 points, 7 steals, 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Regina was led by Jamal Williams with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Drew Kuzminski added 16 points and 6 boards, while Paul Schubach and Jeffrey Lukomski scored 12 and 10 respectively.

Brandon shot an impressive 59% (33-56) from the field, 60% (9-15) from three-point range, and 67% (16-24) at the free throw stripe. Regina made 45% (31-69) of their field goals, 35% (7-20) of their three’s, and 58% (14-24) of their free throw’s. The Cougars out-rebounded the Bobcats 31-27.

Game 2 of the series is tomorrow night, with the tip-off scheduled for 7 o’clock.

“They (Regina) are very well coached,” added Craddock. “They’ll make adjustments and come out with something new tomorrow, and we’ll have to be ready.”

Written by: Jeremy Sawatzky, BU Sports Information

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