Tyler Crayston, Bobcat Athlete Services and Events
BRANDON, MB - Earl Thompson Jr.'s double-double powered the Brandon Bobcats to a 101-84 victory over the Fraser Valley Cascades in Canada West men's basketball action on Friday night at the Healthy Living Centre.
Thompson led the offensive charge with game-highs of 26 points and 13 rebounds as the Bobcats boosted their conference record to 3-and-6.
The top scorer for the Cascades was Denver Sparks-Guest, who got 21 points as Fraser Valley fell to 2-and-5.
The BU men's team started the contest with six straight points and their lead was 13 at the end of the first quarter. At halftime, Brandon held a 47-34 advantage.
Coming out of the break, the Bobcats continued to build on their lead, going up 67-47 and 72-52. BU was up 78-61 going into the final stage of the game.
The Cascades caught fire to start the fourth quarter going on a 14-5 run. Fraser Valley narrowed the gap to 88-80 with 3:35 to go, before the Bobcats brought their best down the stretch. A 13-4 Brandon run secured the win and squashed any chance of a Cascades comeback.
Balanced scoring was big for the Bobcats with five players reaching double digits. Chris Stanhope had 18 points, Tyvon Cooper collected 17 points, Pookie Saunders scored 14 points and John Paul polished off the high-scoring affair with 12 points.
The Bobcats will look to sweep the weekend series when they play the Cascades in the rematch at 7 p.m. on Saturday. It is Brandon's final game before the holiday break and the team is spreading Christmas cheer. Fans are encouraged to wear holiday sweaters, while helping out two worthwhile causes. Samaritan House is collecting non-perishable food items, and the Christmas Cheer registry is looking for new, unwrapped toys to fill their holiday hampers.