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Freemen Steal Win
Men’s basketball squad amass 24 steals in Saturday win
Jan. 15 & 16 - In weekend action the Providence men’s basketball squad travelled to Red River College Friday night to take on the Rebels, and then played host to the St. Boniface Voyageurs on Saturday afternoon. The Freemen started the weekend off by coming just 6 points shy of what would have been a monumental win in Friday night’s 72-66 loss to the Rebels, and then finished the weekend by defeating the Voyageurs 91-60.
Friday night’s match-up pinned Providence up against a talented Rebels squad they have not been able to beat for two years running. The Freemen started out their game with high intensity and were able to stay with a Rebels squad that can often sneak out an early-game lead. Freshman Chris Funk helped lead the offense pouring out a team-high 18 points, and the Freemen entered the half within striking distance of the Rebels.
Providence then came out of the gates flying, and were propelled on by the strong play of reigning MCAC Player of the Week, sophomore Joel Coursey. Both squads continued to give the crowd an amazing pace and highly-contested match-up throughout, but it was the Rebels who were able to pull away in the end, taking the game 72-66.
The Freemen then entered Saturday’s match against the St. Boniface Voyageurs hoping to build off of their strong Friday-night performance. However, the game started with sloppy ball being played from both sides, which left the score at only 10-4 with almost six minutes already off the clock. However, freshman sensation Chris Funk (34 points) and the Freemen started to pick up their socks in the second quarter and took a commanding 43-27 lead into the half.
Providence then started their second half focusing on the defensive side of the ball and were rewarded with twelve fast-break points off of steals and finished the quarter up 70-44. The Freemen’s defensive tenacity continued as they piled up 7 of their season-high 24 steals in the fourth quarter. Senior captain Jon Patterson also came within a rebound and two assists of a rare quadruple-double (21 pts, 11 stls, 9 rbds, 8 assts), and the Freemen finished the game with a decisive 91-60 score.
Following the game Freemen assistant coach Jeff Banman, filling in as head coach for the weekend, was left pleased with the continued growth he sees out of his squad.
“On Friday night the guys battled hard against a Red River team we have yet to beat, and came within 6 of a very big win for us,” Banman commented. “While against St. Boniface Dave Holowaty and Ben Page filled in admirably, as did the rest of our reserve players, and we were able to cruise to a 31 point victory.”
Notes: Joel Coursey went down with an unspecified injury early on in the first quarter of Saturday’s game…Coursey was also named MCAC Player of the Week for his Friday night performance.
The Freemen’s next game is Friday as they travel to Winnipeg to face CMU.
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