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2011 CIS Final 8: Kyle Coston rallies #5 TWU Spartans past #1 UBC Thunderbirds to reach First-Ever CIS Basketball National Final

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In their first-ever meeting at the CIS Final 8 championships TWU Spartans Guard/Forward Kyle Coston drained a huge 3-pointer with the game on the line to send the #5 seed Trinity Western Spartans to their first ever national basketball final after a hard fought 74-72 victory against conference rivals UBC Thunderbirds.

Coston who had chance to ice the game with 39 seconds missed two key free-throws and the Spartans maintained a 71-70. Kamar Burke tapped in a missed shot with 19 seconds to put the Thunderbirds up 72-71 before Coston redemeed himself with his right side 3-pointer heroics. Alex Murphy missed a game winning three-pointer completing 16 point come from behind and well deserved victory.

The Trinity Western Spartans came out focused and determined to knock of the #1 seed, UBC Thunderbirds. Behind Calvin Westbrook early 6 points the Spartans lead 10-9 lead before Alex Murphy and Nathan Yu ripped off a typical 11-2 UBC run to close out the quarter and take a 22-12 lead.

All-Canadian Jacob Doerksen came out slow and scored his first points in the second quarter to cut the Thunderbirds spread to 22-15. Senior back-court duo of Alex Murphy and Josh Whyte keyed together 9-2 run midway through the quarter and UBC held its largest lead of the game at 31-15 with 5:41 to play.

Calvin Westbrook was the catalyst for the Spartans scoring 10 first-half points. Kyle Coston split a pair of free-throws and Nathan Yu scored on a buzzer beating layup to send the Thunderbirds up 39-30 at Half-time

Trinity Western Spartans came out blazing, opening up the third quarter on a 10-0 run and forcing the Thunderbirds Head Coach Kevin Hanson to call a timeout as the Spartans took a 40-39 lead before Kamar Burke scored UBC’s first two points of the quarter with 4:44 to play. The ladder part of the third-quarter went back and forth and was plagued by plenty of whistles as officiating crew changed the tone of the game. Tomer Jackson converted on a lay-up to end the third quarter as Trinity Western took a 53-51 lead into the final quarter.

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UBC Thunderbirds
J. Whyte 12 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast
A. Murphy 21 Pts, 2 Reb, 3 Ast
K. Burke 13 Pts, 1 Ast
N. Yu 14 Pts, 7 Ast, 1 Blk 2 Stl

Trinity Western Spartans
C. Westbrook 15 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast
J. Doerksen 16 Pts, 5 Reb
K. Coston  23 Pts, 11 Reb, 3 Ast
T. Mara 7 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast

Game Notes
Both teams struggled from behind the arc with TWU shooting 4-20 and the Thunderbirds going 6-20. The Spartans almost gave the away by shooting 64% from the charity stripe.

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#5 Trinity Western Spartans reach their first-ever CIS Final 8 National Finals and await the winner of the #2 Carleton Ravens and #3 Saskatchewan Huskies

Men

Highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide Return To Canada

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Alabama Crimson Tide Avery Johnson Return To Canada

The Alabama Crimson Tide led by former NBA Head Coach Avery Johnson, a 16-year veteran and NBA champion point-guard during his playing days will bring his highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide to Canada for series of games against Canada’s top university basketball programs.

The Crimson Tide will visit both Montreal and Ottawa for a three-game exhibition schedule against McGill Redmen (Mon Aug 7), Carleton Ravens (Wed Aug 9) and the Ottawa Gee-Gees (Thu Aug 10).

The Tide competed hard last year and took a step in the right direction with a 19-15 record, 10-8 SEC record and have NCAA March Madness tournament aspirations thanks to solid recruiting class which ranks amongst the nations best.

Led by a talented crop of returning guards, Dazon Ingram (10.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG), Riley Norris (9 PPG, 3 RPG), the coaches son Avery Johnson Jr. and forwards Braxton Key the Tide will be a handful for the it’s Canadian opposition.

Key a 6’8″, 220 lbs flirted with the  2017 NBA draft after a stellar freshman season, the Charlotte, NC native led ‘Bama in scoring with 12 point per game and was second in rebounding at 5.7 per game. The Tide will also welcome incoming red-shirt sophomore 6’10”, 240lbs Daniel Giddens to a line-up that returns four starters.

Alabama anchored by current NBA player Alonzo Gee (Denver Nuggets) last visited Canada back in 2007 and finished with a record of 4-1 against the same exact teams, dropping a tight 83-72 decision against the Carleton Ravens who have won seven straight Canadian titles including 13-of the-last-15 championships.

Carleton’s signature win over Alabama was only their second ever against a NCAA division one team after 16-game losing streak from 1999 to 2006. The Ravens current record against NCAA teams in Canada stands at an impressive 26-23 (.531%) record.

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Men

Calgary Dinos Thomas Cooper Senior Highlights

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Calgary Dinos Thomas Cooper Senior Highlights

Calgary Dinos senior guard Thomas Cooper had himself and impressive CIS/Usports career to say the least. The Chattanooga, Tenn. native, a 6-5, 200 lbs guard earned himself two first team All-Canadian awards while leading Dinos back to the championship game for the first time since 1966.

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Men

No. 1 Carleton Ravens 81-40 lock-up rivals No. 2 Ottawa Gee-Gees

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Eddie Ekiyor Carleton Ravens Vs.Ottawa Gee Gees USports Basketball
Photo - Valerie Wutti

Ottawa, ON – The twelve-time defending CIS/USports National Basketball Champions and No.1 Carleton Ravens went into Monpetit Hall and completely dominated the No. 2 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees, locking up their Bytown rivals with a blistering 81-40 win.

The Ravens, the top defensive unit in the country, allowing an incredible low of only 60 points to opponents, dominated every aspect of the much anticipated game holding Ottawa to four points in the first-quarter and thirteen in the second for a grand total of seventeen first-half points and 35-17 half-time lead.

The first-quarter ended with Ravens leading 11-4 as both teams slugged it out in front of a jam packed standing room only Monpetit Hall which hasn’t seen the Gee-Gees get dismantled like this on their home floor in 32-game OUA conference games – snapping home winning streak which dated back to 2012.

Fifth-year senior Guard Connor Wood caught fire in the second-quarter after a cold start scoring all but 14 of the teams 24 points in the quarter and finished with 16 in the half and game-high 19 points. Starting point guard Kaza Kajami-Keane added 10 points, six rebounds in just 19 minutes.

The Gee-Gees were limited to 6-of-32 (18.8%) shooting, 3-of-17 from the outside in the opening 20 minutes and managed to only connect on 12-56 (21.4%) of their field goal attempts for the entire game and only 6-of-26 from the outside.

Carleton shot 50% in the second-half and finished 31-68 from the floor and 13-of-28 from downtown while turning the ball over 9 times compared to the Gee-Gees 18.

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The 40 points allowed by the Ravens is their lowest against the Gee-Gees since a 74-34 smack-down in January 18th, 2012 at the Sixth Annual Capital Hoops Classic.

Carleton Ravens 6’10” freshman Eddie Ekiyor (Ottawa, ON) and senior forward Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON) finished one point shy of double-doubles with 9 points and 8 rebounds respectively, and shutdown the Gee-Gees dynamic duo of Caleb Agada (12 points, 4 rebounds) and former Ravens Jean Emmanuel Pierre (7 points, 6 rebounds). Gee-Gees Guard Brandon Robinson had a team-high 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting, 3-of-4 triples.

Carleton’s record  stays unblemished at a perfect 10-0, 16-0 against Canadian competition and 22-2 overall with the only losses coming from two NCAA opponents on the road in Rhode Island – Providence Friars 87-69 and in Philadelphia against LaSalle Explorers 79-73.

Both teams will meet again in just over two weeks (Feb 3rd) at the 2017 Capital Hoops Classic at the ScotiaBank Centre.

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