Zachary Worden, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY, Alta – The Mount Royal Cougars and Manitoba Bisons were back at it Saturday night at Kenyon Court in the second game of their weekend series.
The Cougars were able to come out on top of a double OT thriller 83-81 in the first game of the series, and the second game provided just as much drama, as the Cougars were able to take an 80-77 victory to earn the sweep.
After the weekend the Cougars move to 4-4 and the Bisons drop to 5-3.
The Cougars had four double-digit scorers in LJ Hegwood, Noah Lewis, Josh Ross and Glen Yang who led the way with 22 points. Hegwood, Lewis, and Ross all chipped in the glass adding five rebounds apiece leading the Cougars to the victory.
The Bisons were led on offense by Justus Alleyn and James Wagner who scored 27 and 24 points respectively, while both grabbed six rebounds.
Both teams struggled to convert their looks early in the game and halfway through the first, the Bisons led 8-3. Lewis led the Cougars early, scoring their first eight points, including two made threes. After the Bisons took the early lead, the Cougars responded with a 7-0 run to take the lead in the later half of the first. The two teams went back and forth to end the quarter and once the buzzer sounded, the Bisons led 16-14.
The back-and-forth action continued into the second as the Cougars found success in the offensive end but the Bisons were able to counter with scores of their own. The Bisons were able to break through and take a 10-point lead after a 6-0 run. The game of runs continued as the Cougars took the lead from the Bisons with an 11-0 run of their own. After a tightly contested first half, the Cougars took a 31-30 lead into the break. Alleyn was big for the Bisons in the first half scoring 11 points while shooting 66% from the field.
Yang and Alleyn went back and forth to start the third as Yang scored the Cougars first eight points of the quarter and Alleyn scored four of the Bisons first five points. The tight battle continued through the quarter as the lead changed hands between the two teams as both teams tried to control the action. Alleyn hit threes on back-to-back possessions to give the Bisons a four-point lead heading into the final minute of the quarter. The Cougars answered and tied the game at 50 heading into the fourth, setting up another dramatic finish at Kenyon Court.
The two teams continued to trade the lead to start the fourth as both teams fought to be ahead going into the stretch run. After the Bisons broke out with the lead and seemed to be in the driver's seat, the Cougars went on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 66 with three minutes left to play. The Bisons took a three-point lead into the final minute and despite a Hegwood three, Keiran Zziwa was able to respond with a three of his own to put the Bisons back on top. After two clutch threes, the night before Charn Gill came up clutch again hitting a three to tie the game with 28 seconds remaining. After the Cougars took a three-point lead on free-throws, the Bisons took a timeout and had the ball with eight seconds to answer. After both teams traded free throws, the Cougars were able to take a three-point win and a weekend sweep.
Both teams are back in action this weekend as the Cougars will host the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack and the Bisons will welcome the Brandon Bobcats to the Investors Group Athletic Centre. Both series will be streamed live on www.canadawest.com.