Even though they were handed a pass to the postseason, the men’s basketball team from Providence University College were anything but complacent in Week 16.
When third-place Assiniboine Community College dropped out of the conference at the end of January, it bumped the one-win Freemen into the Basketball Final 4’s, no matter what the outcome of their remaining schedule.
Despite that golden ticket and having their #4 seed locked in, they showed tremendous effort and came within minutes of the biggest upset in MCAC basketball this year. A 71-64 loss to Red River College on Feb. 4 was never as close as the score suggested through the first three quarters. Thanks to a phenomenal late effort by guard Jonathan Thompson, though, the Freemen had everyone on the edge of their seats until the final whistle.
With their starting point guard Matt Antonio sidelined by injury early, Thompson took over the role on his way to 18 points and nine rebounds. He had two key steals late to get Providence within two possessions, but they simply ran out of time looking for the upset.
Later in the week, Providence came within ten points of upsetting first-place Canadian Mennonite University, winners of ten straight.
The 6’1” team co-captain Thompson is in his second year of eligibility, and led the National Christian College Athletic Conference last year in steals. Originally from the Bahamas, he is studying business administration.