A frantic fourth quarter rally nearly brought the Capilano University Blues men’s basketball back from a 24-point deficit, but the Camosun College Chargers held firm to secure a 82-73 victory on Friday night in North Vancouver.
Capilano struggled on offence out of the gate, failing to score over the opening five minutes. Their full-court press eventually helped create points off of turnovers, but the Blues still trailed 21-12 after the first quarter.
The Blues continued to create turnovers in the second frame – forcing a total of 15 and recording nine steals in the opening half – but they couldn’t convert on the offensive end and turned the ball over seven times themselves. Camosun, when they didn’t commit a turnover, made the most of their chances – shooting 65.4% in the opening half and 45.5% from beyond the arc. Capilano shot only 17.5% and scored only eight points in the second quarter, and trailed 42-20 at the break.
CapU made a quick push out of halftime, as Michael Kelly scored five quick points and Denver Sparks-Guest hit back-to-back threes as part of an 11-0 run to start the second half – cutting the deficit to 12. The Chargers pushed back, though, as the visitors solved Capilano’s full court press and capitalized with lay-ups at the other end. The Blues then hit an offensive lull after their initial outbreak, and Camosun was able to re-establish their 20-point cushion.
Another frantic push came in the fourth quarter, and this time the Blues achieved more stops on the defensive end in addition to creating turnovers with their press. Capilano’s run-and-gun play cut the deficit down to eight with just over six minutes to play, and Camosun took a timeout when their lead was cut to five.
The Blues made it a one-possession game when a three from Brenden Bailey made it 73-71, but Camosun answered back with a clutch triple from Matthew Gray. A Sparks-Guest lay-in brought CapU back to within three, but those were the last points that Capilano scored. Their shooting down the stretch went cold, and the Chargers converted on their final possessions to close out the nine-point win.
Capilano forced 26 turnovers in the contest and made just nine of their own, but Camosun’s 54.1 field goal percentage and 47.4 three-point percentage helped propel them to victory. The Blues shot better in the second half, but still couldn’t convert on a number of open looks and shot just 31.8 percent in the game.
Kelly scored a career-high 20 points in the contest, while Sparks-Guest had 19 to along with eight rebounds. Wowie Untalan recorded five of the team’s 16 steals, and Bailey had 13 points off the bench.
Capilano falls to 7-6 with the loss, while Camosun improves to 7-4 and has now won both of their meetings this season. The two teams will face-off for the third and final time this season on Saturday afternoon at 3:00pm in the Sportsplex.