Fourth-quarter comeback falls short as Manitoba holds off Cougars

Fourth-quarter comeback falls short as Manitoba holds off Cougars

(By University of Regina Sports Information)

REGINA, Sask. – The University of Regina's men's basketball team trailed Manitoba by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter before mounting a spirited comeback that brought the Cougars to within four, but the Bisons held on for an 84-75 victory on Saturday night at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.

The win gives Manitoba a critical weekend sweep on the road as both teams move their Canada West record to 6-6 on the season.

The Cougars never fully recovered from a 13-0 run by Manitoba in the final three minutes of the third quarter, which pushed a four-point Bisons lead into a huge 17-point advantage heading into the fourth. It looked as though Manitoba would cruise to victory after five straight points for Justus Alleyn put the Bisons up by 20, but the Cougars made a game of it.

They scored 10 consecutive points as part of a massive 15-2 run which featured three-pointers by both Brian Ofori and Samuel Hillis and a three-point play by Benjamin Hillis. That got Regina to within four points with two and a half minutes to go, but that was as close as they would come. Manitoba's A.J. Basi provided the dagger with a corner triple that put Manitoba back up by nine with just over a minute remaining.

Alleyn was 9-for-17 from the field and finished with a game-high 22 points for Manitoba. Keith Omoerah added 16 points with Joey Nitychoruk coming off the bench to chip in with 13 points, while Ilarion Bonhomme finished with nine points and led the Bisons in both rebounds (9) and assists (5). Manitoba enjoyed a 46-34 rebounding advantage over the Cougars, with 17 offensive boards helping them to a 14-4 edge in second-chance points.

Five different players scored in double figures for Regina. Travis Sylvestre led the way with 17 points, while Ofori had 11 points to go along with a game-high 10 rebounds for a double-double. Benjamin Hillis, Johneil Johnson, and Aaron McGowan each scored 10 points.

Both teams will continue the Canada West schedule away from home next weekend. The Cougars will take on Brandon, while Manitoba will head west to square off with Trinity Western.