A loud and boisterous hometown crowd got their money’s worth at the 2022 Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) Men’s Basketball Championship Final at Niverville Community Resource & Recreation Centre in Niverville, MB.
The #2 seed Providence University College (PUC) Pilots scored a 84-60 upset win over #1 seed Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers on Friday, March 4, 2022.
With the victory, Providence captures the MCAC men’s basketball championship title for the first time since 2003 and third overall conference championship.
During the regular season, the Blazers went 10-2 regular season but lost two of the final four regular season games while the Pilots went 5-6 in the regular season and then 2-0 in playoffs.
Second year player Riley Paul was selected Championship MVP of the Game with a massive double-double of 28 points and 15 rebounds and eight assist. “It was so good to bring this title back to the program, exclaimed Paul after the game. “This was a great group of guys. We battled adversary all season long and everything clicked in the end.”
The game broke open in the second when the hosts scored 30 for a 47-31 halftime lead. The top seed tried to battle back but could only close the gap to 15 points in the second half and could not find their shooting touch throughout the championship.
The Pilots continued to apply the pressure and scored whenever the Blazers put a run together, especially after the half. CMU’s head coach Scott Martin said, “We didn’t start well. All credit to Providence as they played well tonight. We took a break from COVID in the second half and it seemed we peaked early and never played our best since.”
Blazers Player of the Game was Isaiah Cole with 15 points and 12 board while Seth McKenzie add a team-high 17 points. Joshua Armstrong also added 15 points and nine boards for PUC.
PUC’s head coach summed it up, “It was who wanted it more and we stayed composed and PUC basketball for the full 40 minutes. All credit to the players!”
2022 MCAC Women’s Basketball Championship in Niverville, MB
Thursday, March 3 (all times are Central Time)
8 p.m. Semi-Final: #2 PUC Pilots 64 #3 USB Les Rouges 54
Friday, March 4
8 p.m. Men’s Basketball Championship Final – #2 PUC Pilots 84 #1 CMU Blazers 60