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Freemen Basketball Takes Weekend Split
Providence defeats CUSB & falls to CMU in opening weekend match-ups
11/25 – The Freemen started their season with a weekend split as they knocked off MCAC newcomers College Universitaire de Saint-Boniface 67-37 and fell 82-51 to a strong side from Canadian Mennonite University.
Providence started its weekend off with their home-opener against a CUSB program that is entering its inaugural year. The game started off somewhat sloppy and disorganized as the Freemen side struggled to create chemistry on the court while St. Boniface seemed unwilling to work with a team mentality. It was an opening quarter that featured little scoring and high amounts of turnovers.
However, the Freemen started to pick up their game as they entered the second quarter. Propelled by an 11 point effort from senior captain Jon Patterson, Providence started to gel on the court, set up plays, and minimize their turnovers. The Freemen also put more focus on the defensive end and became more comfortable in a newly acquired fast-pace strategy. Their improvement continued noticeably throughout the game, and they established themselves as the controlling team as they took the game 67-37.
Providence then prepared themselves for a Saturday evening match-up against the CMU Blazers. The Freemen came out with intensity and played good team ball, but it was the Blazers who were able to establish themselves early on. CMU’s play led them to take an early lead that they held onto throughout the game. However, the Freemen squad was reluctant to lie down at any point in the game, as they continued to stick to their fast-paced offence and remained dedicated to focusing on improving their team defense.
Joel Coursey scored 18, and the Freemen showed an impressive work ethic throughout, but it was the Blazers from CMU who were able to take advantage of a strong shooting percentage to leave the gym with an 82-51 victory.
Coming off a season that saw them go 8-17, Freemen fans were eager to see what the team would look like this season with six new players and a new head coach in Juan Larios. The squad featured a new-look offense as they employed a high-octane counter-attack style that created a fast-paced game. Coach Larios also showed confidence in his bench early and often as he used constant substitutions throughout the game in order to keep his team’s tenacity sustained.
Although one can’t truly gauge a team’s abilities based on opening weekend results, especially with both games being so lopsided, it was obvious that the new mixture of players and strategy has the Freemen looking like a team with a pool of potential. And, from a fan’s perspective, the new-look fast-paced offense and defensive mindset has the season promising to be full of exciting games regardless of the outcome.
The Freemen’s next game will be the opening game of the Prairie Cup Challenge on Thursday, November 26 where they host CMU for a rematch of last weekend’s matchup.
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