Laval pulls off thriller to beat UPEI 97-95

Laval pulls off thriller to beat UPEI 97-95

FREDERICTON, NB - UPEI came into the game after taking a win off the hosts UNB Friday night, while Laval came in down a game losing their first of the tournament to Saint Mary's Huskies.


Laval put on a shooting clinic early, pulling away from the panthers in the first quarter. The panthers faced a deficit of 17 mid-way through the first and struggled to get back in.


UPEI struggled from long range shooting 20 per cent and only making four three pointers of 20 attempts. On the other hand, Laval made the most of their shots beyond the arc, netting 11 three pointers in the half.


Laval made nine turnovers in the half, but their high intensity offence and accurate shooting gave them the edge they needed to lead 49-38 going into the break.


UPEI started the third period with more intensity than in the first half and following a foul by Laval's Leclerc Parker Lorenzo mid-way through the third saw UPEI in the lead 58-56 for the first time. The rest of the quarter saw the teams trade shot for shot with UPEI 67-66 heading into the final stretch.


Assistant coach Jaques Paiement said that, "They're a good team (UPEI) and really athletic.  We had some problems playing them full court and it didn't get much better when we switched to half-court.  We had some defensive breakdowns and they took advantage of that."


The fourth and final quarter was certainly the most exciting from a spectator point of view as both teams pushed each other trying to gain ground on the scoreboard but remained no more than a hand-full of points from each other.


"The name of the game in such a high scoring game is putting the ball in the net," continued Paiement.


And they sure did – in the final seconds of the game Laval managed to tie it up 95-95 followed quickly by a time out with just 1.4 seconds on the clock.  The coaches mapped out the final play which was followed to the letter by a triumphant Rouge et Or. 


It was Charles-Andre Edorh with the basket bringing his total on the night to 11.


"We had a couple of options but we hit the right one and the guys executed perfectly."


Laval will face the Varsity Reds in Sunday's action and Paiement is looking forward to the game but will savor tonight's win first.


"UNB has a really well coached team and not stopping – because I think he's unstoppable – but freezing a little bit, Javon Masters will be quite a job,' continued Paiement.


Players of the Game were #24 Lorenzo Parker for UPEI with 30 points and #8 Alexandre Leclerc for Laval.