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Hot Shooters Down Providence As Blazers Score Home Court Win

Turn a heated ending into hot shooting – that was the game plan for CMU on Saturday night when the Blazers hosted Providence exactly 24 hours after the Pilots topped CMU by 25 points in Otterburne. The home team executed their strategy to the letter, shooting almost 50% from downtown coming out on the winning end of a 107-88 final.

The Blazers ferocious outside-game was stoked by their determined inside-game. After Seth McKenzie, Isaiah Cole opened the scoring for the hosts via dribble penetration, Kieran Baydock would run CMU to a 21-14 lead in his new role as the Blazers sixth man. Coming off the bench very early in the opening quarter after missing the previous night's encounter with the Pilots, Baydock would score 12 of his team's first 21 points and finish the game with 22-points of offensive production while adding 9 defensive rebounds to his impressive stat line. Baydock would cash in two from the free-throw line to give his team a 26-18 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Kalvin Mendez found his game in the second, sparking 36-points of offence in the quarter and growing CMU's lead to 20 when the rookie point guard splashed his second of his season-high 6 threes at the 6:28 mark. Cole followed Mendez with two long-balls of his own to open the Blazers largest lead of the first half – a massive 26-point gap that energized the home crowd and lifted those seated in the courtside section, to their feet. Mendez would finish the game with a team-high 29 points on 11 of 22 shooting while Cole contributed a solid 23 points on 6 of 20 shooting from the field.

The long-ball didn't cool off for the Blazers when the teams returned to the court for the second half. McKenzie was the first to catch fire, draining his fourth of six 3-pointers to re-establish a 15-point lead for CMU and halt an 8-0 run from the visitors. With Friday night's triple-double threat, Jordan Lawson sat sidelined by his coach to rest, the Blazers' focus was shifted to stopping the other Pilot's offensive stalward, Joshua Armstrong. The athletic slasher proved to be a handful for the CMU defenders, but despite his game-high 31 points, Armstrong's offence wasn't able to ignite any of his teammates on either end of the court. The Blazers would manage to keep outscoring their opponents 20-17 in the third, taking an 82-54 lead into a final quarter that would provide 10 more minutes to build confidence and enjoy the moment.

There was a feeling of pure satisfaction and excitement when the final buzzer sounded on a 107-88 win. Without a victory through their first six conference games in 2019-20, CMU now finds themselves 4-8 and still have an outside chance of a top six finish in the NIAC men's basketball standings. With their final two regular season games previously scheduled for this Friday and Saturday against the Oak Hills officially cancelled by the visitors, the Blazers have turned to the USB Rouges (club team) to fill in for the absent Wolfpack on Friday night at 7:00pm for exhibition action as CMU prepares for an MCAC semifinal date with the Pilots on Thursday, February 13th at Red River College.

 

 

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