Manny Dulay racked up 29 points and hit all seven of his attempts from beyond the arc in Friday’s huge Game 2 win over Winnipeg. (UFV Cascades file photo)An outstanding all-around performance from Manny Dulay and some clutch plays late in the fourth quarter allowed the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team to extend its season, as they defeated the Winnipeg Wesmen 78-71 in Game 2 of their best-of-three first-round playoff series on Friday.
Playing at the University of Winnipeg’s Duckworth Centre in a rare 3 p.m. start, the Cascades bounced back from a devastating 82-76 loss in Thursday’s Game 1 which saw them surrender a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter as the Wesmen ended the game on an 18-0 run.
UFV fifth-year point guard Dulay, who led the entire nation in three-pointers during the regular season, was up to his old tricks in the rematch, going 11-for-16 from the field including 7-for-7 from beyond the arc for a game-high 29 points. His playmaking wasn’t just limited to shooting, though – he also registered six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Forward Mark Johnson also came up big for the Cascades with 14 points and seven boards, Nav Bains notched 10 points, and Vijay Dhillon and Denver Sparks-Guest chipped in with eight apiece.
Sean Tarver paced Winnipeg with 22 points off the bench, and Ryan Oirbans (16 points, 10 rebounds, four assists) and Denzel Lynch-Blair (14 points) also scored in double figures.
The two teams meet Saturday afternoon (3 p.m. Central / 1 p.m. Pacific, webcast at ufv.canadawest.tv) for the right to move on to face the Saskatchewan Huskies in the Canada West quarter-finals.
“The difference for us was really learning from yesterday – how to be in a road environment and have a lead, but be able to handle when the home team comes at you with some momentum,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen summarized.
The first half on Friday was closely contested, with the Cascades gaining a bit of separation late in the second quarter to lead 39-34 at the break. Dulay was on fire from downtown, hitting six treys in the first half.
UFV opened the third quarter on an 11-2 run capped by – what else? – a Dulay three to seize control of the game, and they maintained the double-digit lead into the fourth. The Wesmen trimmed the deficit to five points with just under four minutes left in regulation, which could have flustered the Cascades after Thursday’s bitter ending. But Dhillon answered with a huge triple, and Dulay scored on a tough drive to the bucket on the next possession to stretch the margin back to 77-67 with three minutes left.
“He played like a senior whose career was on the line,” Friesen said of Dulay. “His energy level was incredible, his focus level was awesome, and he willed some shots to go in for us. He really led the charge.”