Tyler Crayston, Brandon University Athletics
BRANDON – The Bobcats edged the Winnipeg Wesmen 109-107 in a double overtime thriller on Friday night in Canada West men's basketball action.
BU trailed by 10 with three and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter, but rallied to force the extra time.
In the first overtime, Jaleel Webb hit a three pointer with 29 seconds remaining to lift the Bobcats to a 101-99 advantage. Narcisse Ambanza responded with a clutch jump shot with 10 seconds left to make it even. Tyvon Cooper had a chance to win it from beyond the arc in the closing moments, but missed the shot to send the contest to a second overtime.
The Bobcats trailed 107-105, until Pookie Saunders hit a layup, drew contact and capitalized on the ensuing free throw to put BU ahead.
With 10 seconds to go, Brandon forced a turnover off an inbounds pass by Winnipeg to maintain their lead. Kevone Philip then sunk one of two free throws to give the 'Cats a two point spread.
Ambanza's last chance three at the buzzer rimmed in and out as the Bobcats held down the fort to pick up the victory to open the home-and-home series.
Brandon had five players reach double figures with Cooper collecting a team-high 29 points. Saunders had a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Bobcats improved to 2-7. Philip and Webb added 16 points apiece, while Steven Chieng rounded out the offence with 13 points.
Ambanza scored a game-high 29 points as the Wesmen slipped to 7-4. Sean Tarver was next with 24 points, while Joseph Medrano added 22 points.
The provincial rivals meet in the rematch on Saturday in Winnipeg to close out the first-half of the regular season.