(HALIFAX, NS) – The fourth-seeded Brandon Bobcats held off a furious last-minute comeback by the No. 8 Saint Mary’s Huskies and escaped with a 79-74 win in the first semi-final of the 2007 CIS men’s basketball Final 8 at the Metro Centre in Halifax, on Saturday night. The Canada West finalist Bobcats are off to the national championship game Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Atlantic Time (Live on TSN / 2:30 p.m. Central), where they will face the winners of Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. AT semi-final between the No. 3 Carleton Ravens and the No. 7 Ottawa Gee-Gees.

Brandon, looking for the fifth title in school history and its first
since a 79-72 victory over Alberta in 1996, advances to the CIS
gold-medal match for the first time since losing back-to-back finals to
StFX in 2000 (61-60) and 2001 (83-76).

The AUS finalist Huskies had not played in the CIS semis since 1999, when they captured their third W.P. McGee Trophy.

“This is really exciting. We’re thrilled to be in the championship
game. We feel we’re a championship team and we won’t be just happy to
be there tomorrow,” said Brandon second-year head coach Barnaby
Craddock, the 2006-07 CIS coach of the year. “We’re going to be ready
and we hope to put on a good show for the fans.”

“We didn’t close it out as well as we would have liked, obviously,
we missed a lot of free throws near the end and had to hang on for dear
life to win it. But they (Saint Mary’s) should be credited as well,
they never quit, they battled hard until the last second,” added
Craddock, who saw his team miss 21 of 41 free-throw attempts on the
night. “It was a great game to be a part of.”

Leading 31-27 at the half, the Bobcats opened an 18-point gap, at
61-43, by the midway point of the second period, thanks in large part
to fifth-year guard Chad Jacobson (Brandon, Man.), who caught fire
after the break and hit four three-point baskets in just over four
minutes in the early moments of the stanza.

Brandon’s lead remained in double digits until a Mark Ross (Cole
Harbour, N.S.) bucket made it a nine-point affair, at 68-59, with 3:30
left on the clock.

The Bobcats were still ahead by nine in the final minute when five
quick points by Saint Mary’s second-year guard Mark McLaughlin
(Dartmouth, N.S.), on a lay-up and a trio of free throws, made it 75-70
with 33.7 seconds remaining.

Huskies freshman Mike Poole (Halifax) and sophomore Erik Glavic
(Pickering, Ont.) each followed up with huge offensive rebounds and
put-backs and all of a sudden, it was a one-possession game, at 77-74,
with 13 ticks left, as the crowd was on its feet chanting ‘SMU, SMU’.

Saint Mary’s fouled Dany Charlery (Montreal), who had missed two
free throws in the final minute, to the line hoping for more miscues,
but the second-year guard calmly drained both attempts to seal the

“We hit some key shots when we needed to early in the second half.
We really played well for 38 minutes. Fortunately we still battled hard
enough to win,” said player of the game Jacobson, who finished with 17
points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc, but
missed his two free-throw attempts. “They (Saint Mary’s) played tough,
they’re a solid team.”

“We didn’t work hard enough for 40 minutes, it took us too long to
get going,” remarked McLaughlin, who ended up with 20 points, including
10 on 13 attempts from the charity stripe, after scoring 24 against
Concordia in the quarter-final round on Friday. “You can’t afford not
to bring you’re A game for 40 minutes against a team as talented as

Fourth-year forward Adam Hartman (Virden, Man.) paced Brandon with
20 points, including 16 in the lone first half, while Charlery had 18,
including a 10-of-14 effort from the free-throw line.

Yuri Whyms, a six-foot-nine forward from Fernley, Nev. was also a
major factor for Brandon before fouling out late in the contest,
tallying nine points and a game-high 12 boards.

Sophomore guard Cordell Wright (Halifax), with 13 points, and
third-year forward Clint Bateman (Moncton), with 12, joined McLaughlin
in double figures in scoring for Saint Mary’s.

Brandon dominated the boards in the opening 20 minutes,
out-rebounding Saint Mary’s 25-11, including an 8-0 edge at the
offensive end of the court, but ended the night with only a 42-36

Both teams shot well from the floor, Brandon finishing at 48.2
percent and Saint Mary’s at 44.6. The Bobcats drained 5-of-11
three-pointers, while the Huskies were only 3-for-16.



Points: Adam Hartman (20), Dany Charlery (18), Chad Jacobson (17)

Rebounds: Yuri Whyms (12)

Assists: David Yul Michel (5)

Player of the game: Chad Jacobson

Saint Mary’s

Points: Mark McLaughlin (20), Cordell Wright (13), Clint Bateman (12)

Rebounds: Erik Glavic (8), Ikeobi Uchegbu (8)

Assists: Mark Ross (7)

Send a message of support!

Anyone who wishes can send letters of good luck and encouragement to the

Bobcats in Halifax as they prepare for the Nationals in Halifax. Your

messages will be proudly displayed in the Bobcats' hotel and dressing rooms!

Messages can be sent by fax to:

Westin Hotel Halifax:

Fax: (902) 425-2717

Or by email to:

Rick Nickelchok, Athletic Director, Brandon University, Email:


Follow the tournament and cheer on your Bobcats from home:

Don’t forget that if you have a computer with Internet access, then you can

follow the Bobcats progress at home via live internet video cast (please

note that there is a fee for this service), and get free live stats coverage

via the web! Internet video casts are available at:


For free live stats coverage of the first game; the link is

http://www.final8.ca/live/ . It couldn’t be any easier: visit the page and

then click on LIVE STATS beside the game you want to follow!


The potential Bobcat schedule for the remainder of the weekend is as follows

(all times Central Standard, or local, Time):

Sunday, March 18

11:30 a.m. 5th place contest

2:30 p.m. Championship final (Live on The Sports Network at 4:30 p.m.

Atlantic Daylight, or Halifax, Time)

Go Bobcats Go!

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