Tyler Crayston, Brandon University Athletics
BRANDON - The host Bobcats and Winnipeg Wesmen brushed off the holiday rust with a barnburner to begin the second-half of their respective Canada West men's basketball seasons.
The longtime rivals tore the house down at the Healthy Living Centre on Friday night. It featured highlight reel slam-dunks and critical defensive stops before being capped off by an unbelievable finish to send the contest to overtime.
Regulation ended with a crazy sequence. Tyvon Cooper hit a massive three pointer with five seconds left to give the Bobcats a short-lived 93-90 lead. Narcisse Ambanza followed that with a dramatic moment of his own, nailing a stunning half court buzzer beater.
When the dust settled, the visiting Wesmen opened the home-and-home series with a thrilling 105-103 victory over the Bobcats. The rematch goes Saturday night at the Duckworth Centre.
In the extra frame, Winnipeg turned a 97-95 deficit into a 103-97 lead with under a minute left. BU trimmed the deficit to 104-103 after Kobyn Jopp hit two crucial free throws. The Wesmen held onto their 105-103 lead for good after the Bobcats missed a last second layup.
Narcisse Ambanza scored a game-high 36 points as the Wesmen improved their record to 4-and-9. Billy Yaworsky added 24 points for Winnpeg.
Tyvon Cooper and Pookie Saunders both finished with double-doubles for Brandon. Cooper collected 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Saunders had 20 points and 12 boards. With the loss, BU's record slips to 6-and-5.
(Photo courtesy: Matt Packwood)