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A Big Win Downtown Has Men’s Basketball Buzzing Into The Break

On Wednesday night, Men's Basketball did what no team had been able to do thus far in the 2015-16 MCAC season; defeat the University of Winnipeg College Wesmen, and the Blazers did it in style overcoming a fourth quarter deficit and an injury list that grew over the course of the game, to move their record to 3-3 on the back of a 73-67 win.

Entering their final game before the hoiday break, CMU were already facing some serious setbacks. Injuries to rookie guard Josh Hebel-Allard and second-year post Will Switzer had the roster depleted to nine healthy bodies. After the tip-off, the teams exchanged baskets through the first ten minutes for an entertaining first quarter that saw the conference leaders hold a 19-18 advantage.

In the second quarter, the CMU infirmary list expanded by one when the conference's leading rebounder and the Blazers team leader, Adam Bergen was forced off the court after an ugly knee on knee collision. The 6'3 guard entered the day averaging greater than 16 points a game; good for third place on the conference scoring leaderboard.

The loss of Bergen didn't take the bite out of the Blazers; in fact, it was rather the contrary. The second quarter saw CMU defend their way to a half time lead by holding the College Wesmen to just 11 points and rookie center Jacob Penner stepped forward to factor in on the offensive end of the court to put his team ahead 36-30.

The third quarter ended with a run of scoring that showed the conference leaders' ability to push the tempo and put big points on the board, fast. After the Blazers held their largest lead of the game at 49-35, Chris Demauleon-Bartolay found his stroke from beyond the arc where he scored four threes to add to his team high 16 points, giving the Wesmen a major boost of momentum and an advantage of 53-51 going into the fourth quarter.

It was in the fourth that Penner and second-year guard Jon Hayter grabbed the game by the horns on both ends of the court. Hayter scored a game high 27 points and added 11 rebounds to jump into first place in MCAC Men's Basketball scoring at 20.2 points per game. Penner scored a season high 21 on 8 for 18 shooting and pulled down 5 rebounds to help the cause.

The win was a very important one for the maturing team. It was CMU's second fourth quarter comeback win of the season, showing signs that the young Blazers have grown in confidence, and keeping the team on pace with the MCAC's top teams as the conference enters it's holiday break.

Men's Basketball will pick up the new year with non-conference games January 2nd and 3rd in Thief River Falls against the Northland Pioneers and Leech Lake Lakers before returning home to meet the USB Rouges on January 8th.

 

 

 

Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association