Saturday, 19 January 2008

Bobcats Edge Dinos in thriller

Brandon (19-6, 14-2) 81, Calgary (17-5, 12-3) 77 Once again, 6'3" Dany Charlery stepped up in a big spot with an All-Canadian performance as he willed the Cats to a thrilling four point win at home against Calgary. Charlery took over in the fourth quarter to break open a tie game after 3 quarters, finishing with 38 points including 6 3's, adding 9 rebounds and 4 assists to give Brandon the best record in Canada West. Both teams struggled offensively for the initial part of the game but then the game exploded in the fourth quarter in what was another tremendous CIS game.

From Jeremy Sawatsky... Bobcats Knock Off Dinos In Dramatic Fashion Written by: Jeremy Sawatzky, BU Sports Information BRANDON, MB – In a gym rife with history, count this game among the all-time classics. Two of the nation's best teams engaged in an epic slugfest Saturday night at the BU Gym, and when the smoke finally cleared and the dust finally settled, the 5th ranked Brandon Bobcats emerged with an 81-77 win over the 2nd ranked Calgary Dinos. "A hell of a game," said visibly awe-struck Brandon coach Mike Raimbault afterwards. "We're a team that really believes when the game is on the line, we're going to hit the big one." Both teams looks far removed from their lofty national rankings in the first half, exchanging turnover after turnover and missing shot after shot. The Bobcats held the Dinos to a mere 7 points in the first quarter and led 37-27 at the break, then extended their lead to 46-32 three minutes into the third period. That's when things got interesting. Tyler Fidler's massive dunk over Yuri Whyms – and the subsequent free throw – ignited a 20-2 Calgary run that saw them take a 52-48 lead early in the fourth quarter. The Dinos threw up a zone and Brandon couldn't muster anything offensively, harkening memories of last year's squad that routinely blew large second-half leads. And then Dany Charlery decided to take matters into his own hands. The Bobcat guard caught fire down the stretch, hitting an astounding array of three-point shots – including a back-to-back-to-back sequence late in the frame – on his way to 18 fourth quarter points. "I'm the kind of guy who always has a smile on my face no matter what," said a smiling Charlery, who finished 13-29 from the field, 6-15 from three-point range and 6-6 at the free throw line. "But sometimes you've got to get that little animal instinct in you..." Charlery has delivered some unbelievable performance in his Bobcat tenure, but Saturday's effort might just trump them all. "I think Nathan Grant said it best down here in the locker room," joked Raimbault. "We're just happy he's on our team." Despite all of Charlery's heroics, the Dinos still had a chance to tie the game down 80-77 with 15.5 seconds left. After a time-out advanced the ball to mid-court, Ross Bekkering forced a difficult pass to Jeff Price, who committed a back-court violation that sealed Calgary's fate. The Bobcats only shot 38% (30-80) from the field, but they did an incredible job on the glass, out-rebounding a much bigger Calgary team 45-38. "I don't think it was just the bigs that can credit for that," noted Raimbault. "We talked about it all week, how collectively we have to rebound on every possession. It was a group effort on the glass, for sure." In addition to Charlery's heroics, Tarik Tokar delivered 12 points and 10 rebounds, Yuri Whyms picked up 10 points and 10 boards, and Yul Michel notched 10 points and 8 assists. Henry Bekkering was held to just 13 points on 4-14 shooting for Calgary, while brother Ross scored 11 points alongside 10 rebounds. Price added 12 points and 10 assists. "Every game is big, but when a team is ranked ahead of us, and people make such a big issue out it, we want to prove to stuff," added Charlery. "We have a lot of heart, and we just wanted to go out tonight and play ball." The win improved Brandon's record to 14-2 and likely upped their national ranking by at least two spots. With the loss, Calgary fell to 13-3. Next up for the 'Cats is a weekend set with their divisional rivals from the University of Manitoba.

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