Fourth Quarter Heroics Lead To Win In Route 90 Collision With Red River
The Route 90 Showdown between CMU and the Red River Rebels didn't disappoint the home crowd on Sunday afternoon as the Blazers came from behind to defeat their cross town rivals 71-68.
Trailing 20-11 after ten minutes, CMU began to find their offensive game late in the second quarter. Rookie guard Kniel Sullera led the charge, scoring 10 points on 4 of 6 shooting and added 3 assists to change momentum. The teams went to the break separated by 9 points; 39-30 in favour of the Rebels.
The game appeared to take a turn for the worst midway into the third quarter when a loose ball led to a collision between Sullera and Rebels forward Aaron Backe that resulted in an injury that left the Blazers guard sidelined for the remainder of the contest. At the end of three quarters, the Rebels held a comfortable 10 point advantage.
With no room for error, the fourth quarter was all CMU. The Blazers outscored the Rebels 25-12 over the final ten minutes, taking the lead in the final minute when Nick Kasmik dropped both free throws with Red River in the penalty. The rookie point guard showed ice in his veins, going 8 for 8 from the stripe, scoring 19 points and relentlessly grabbing 9 rebounds in the game.
Bryden Bukich was also a big part of the fourth quarter comeback, providing a great finishing touch to finish the fast break on three occasion for 6 of his 11 points to add to his 8 rebounds.
The win is the third in a row for Men's Basketball, with all coming on home court, after the defending MCAC Champions when winless in the 2017 preseason. The next action for the Blazers is Friday night when CMU completes their first semester home schedule against the Providence Pilots. The Pilots defeated the Rebels 85-83 in their meeting on November 8th. The Blazers and Pilots will tip-off in Otterburne on Saturday evening as part of the home and away weekend series.