Tyler Crayston, Brandon University Athletics
BRANDON – The Bobcats gained a momentum-building victory on Saturday night at the Healthy Living Centre in Canada West men's basketball action.
BU knocked off the fourth-ranked Calgary Dinos 69-64 in a white-knuckler to hand the visiting Dinos their first loss of the season.
Back and forth was the best way to describe the opening quarter with the Bobcats out in front 20-18 at the end of the first.
In the second, Calgary turned a 25-24 lead into a 30-24 advantage following a 5-0 run. Brandon trimmed the deficit and trailed by two at the break.
Coming out of halftime, the Bobcats outscored the Dinos 11-7 to lead 43-39. Calgary rallied to go up 47-46, before Brandon's offence got on a roll. Eight straight points by the Bobcats put them up 54-47 with just over two minutes to go in the third quarter. The Dinos' deficit at the end of the third was 58-52.
The Bobcats had to stare adversity right in the face with 7:32 left in the fourth quarter when leading scorer Tyvon Cooper fouled out the game. It was a double whammy as Calgary also caught fire with a 7-0 run to tie it 60-60 with 6:16 to go.
A layup by Pookie Saunders with less than two minutes remaining put the Bobcats up 66-62, before Calgary countered quickly to make it a one-possession game with time winding down.
Brandon was hanging on to a 66-64 lead when their shot clock expired. Calgary had a chance to tie it moments after, but Jonathan Range made critical stop. Saunders was fouled right after and with ice water in his veins, he hit one of two free throws to put Brandon ahead 67-64.
The Dinos could not drop the game tying shot and suffered to their defeat to slip to 7-and-1.
Calgary's top scorer was Mambi Diawara with 21 points as the Dinos enter a bye weekend in their conference schedule.
Jonathan Range recorded a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds as the Bobcats got back to the .500 mark at 3-and-3.
The BU men's team is back in action this coming weekend when they travel down the Trans-Canada Highway to meet the Manitoba Bisons.
(Photo courtesy: Brandi Pollock)