It went down to the last seconds as the University of British Columbia
handed Brandon University the 76-73 loss claiming the Canada West Title
at the BU gymnasium. The heartbreaking loss marked the Bobcats first
loss in 17 games.

The score bounced back and forth in the final minutes of the game. Following a clutch couple of foul-shots from UBC sharp-shooter Chris Dyck, the Bobcats found themselves down by 3 points with just under 10 seconds remaining on the clock. BU looked to 4th year forward Adam Hartman for the game winning shot but he came up short icing the win for UBC in front of a packed and stunned silent gym.

“I thought that our guys played with a lot of poise down the stretch,” said UBC Head Coach Kevin Hanson following the game. “We got up big and they came back. I thought our defense was solid down the stretch and that was the difference.”

The Thunderbirds boasted 5 players in double digits, including the likes of Dyck who dropped 17 points on the night. Bryson Kool also added 17 points along with his 8 rebounds, 5 of which were offensive boards and proved to be the thorn in Brandon’s side in the later stages of the second half.

“Down the stretch there was multiple offensive rebounds that we gave up that turned into open looks,” said Bobcat Head Coach Barnaby Craddock; who was awarded with his Canada West Coach of the year certificate prior to the game. “When they have shooters of that caliber they’re only going to miss so many and I thought they hit a couple of big daggers on us. Our guys showed heart to make plays down the stretch and come back to make it a real tight game but at the same time that’s why we didn’t play our best cause we gave up those extra shots.”

Canada West MVP Casey Archibald contributed 14 points for the Birds, while Matt Rachar and Friesan had 12 and 11 points respectively.

The Bobcats were lead by Hartman with 19 points. Yul Michel had 15 points and 9 assists. Chad Jacobson added 11 points, while Dany Charlery dropped 10 points and 8 rebounds.

The Bobcats shot 45.3% from the field (29/64), 26.3% from 3-point range (5/19), and 93.3% from the foul line (14/15). As for the Thunderbirds they shot a solid 58.9% from the field (33/56), 36.4% from beyond the arc (4/11), and 70.6% from the foul line (12/17).

In the Bronze medal game it was University of Saskatchewan upsetting the favoured University of Victoria Vikes 82-77. Andrew Spagrud dropped a game-high 30 points and 10 rebounds for the Huskies. Clint Unsworth added a double-double with 18 points and 12 boards, while Rejean Chabot added 18 points of his own. It was Jacob Doerksen who lead the way for the Vikes with 18 points, while Brandon Ellis sharp-shooted his way to 13.

Both the UBC Thunderbirds and the BU Bobcats now have a couple weeks off to prepare for Nationals in Halifax and both teams eagerly await the trip. For the Bobcats the weekend proved to be a heartbreaker and will likely affect their # 1 ranking heading into nationals. But for Head Coach Craddock, the rankings merely decide future opponents and do not effect the future outlook for this team.

“We have to use these two weeks and try to get better,” said Coach Craddock. “We saw tonight that we didn’t put our best game on the floor. I thought we’ve really been peaking up until tonight and the rankings at this point are not a factor. It will play into where we get seeded at nationals but we just have to take two weeks and regroup and come with our A-game. I think we’ve shown that the majority of this semester. I’m not sure the way the seeding will work but I think whomever we get we’ll give one (tough) game.”

Written by: Jennalee Burch for BU Sports Information

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