David Larkins, Wesmen Athletics
WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba Bisons proved to be the perfect elixir for a Winnipeg Wesmen team needing a shot in the arm.
The Wesmen scored 57 second-half points and got 29 points and 10 rebounds from Sean Tarver in knocking off the Bisons men's basketball team 89-83 Saturday night at the Duckworth Centre.
The Wesmen (7-9) swept the season series with Manitoba (10-8) for the first time since 2014-15 and in the process gave themselves more of a voice in the scramble for playoff spots heading into the final four games of the season.
Nate Johnson, who came into the game averaging 3.8 points per game, gave Winnipeg some key minutes off the bench, scoring 13 points – nine in the second half – as the Wesmen erased a 39-32 halftime deficit.
Denzel Lynch-Blair had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Wesmen, who travel to Regina for a pair of games Jan. 25-26.
Justus Alleyn's 30 points led the Bisons, who also got 22 points and seven rebounds from James Wagner and 12 points from Dharmjit Dillon.
The Wesmen won despite hitting just 4 of 27 three-point attempts. Manitoba went 8-for26 from three.
Winnipeg entered the fourth quarter down 64-63, but eventually upped its lead to as many as 11 at 85-74 with just over a minute to go.
The Bisons closed that lead to four and put a bit of a scare in the home side with less than a minute to play. A free throw from Lynch-Blair and a jumper from Johnson, however, pushed the lead back to seven with 20 seconds to play.