The Columbia Bible College men’s basketball team engineered perhaps the biggest upset win in program history on Saturday evening.
Facing the Langara Falcons, the No. 1-ranked team in the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA), on the road in Vancouver, the Bearcats pulled off a stunning 102-100 victory.
“It’s funny – it’s one of those things where it’s just a game, but it’s more than just a game,” said head coach Dave Martens, whose team moved into a tie for fourth place in the PacWest conference standings at 5-8. “It gives us some of that confidence that I think we’ve been missing.”
In the wake of a 1-15 campaign in 2011-12, Martens worked hard on the recruiting trail to boost the Bearcats’ talent level, but results were slow to materialize this season. The CBC men dropped eight of their first 11 games, and all three of their victories came in overtime.
The Bearcats showed signs they might be turning the corner on Friday, when they beat the Douglas Royals 70-67 for their first win in regulation.
But Saturday was the true breakthrough. Facing an undefeated 12-0 Langara squad, the Bearcats led for most of the night.
The Falcons staged a late rally and surged ahead by one point in the final minute, but CBC point guard Kevin Ford banked in a three-pointer with 1.8 seconds left to restore the lead. Langara’s attempt at the buzzer was an airball.
“The guys were so excited for each other, which was really fun to watch,” Martens said, describing the post-game celebration. “They were just pumped for each guy, and they took a little while to take it all in.
“This was possibly the biggest win for our program ever, beating the No. 1 team in the country. But it’s also something where we’ve worked really hard to put a full game together, which is exciting.”
Marcio Juk was the Bearcats’ top scorer with 30 points, while Ford had a huge triple-double with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists.
• In other PacWest action, the No. 1-ranked women’s volleyball team in the nation experienced no such upset. The UFV Cascades beat the Capilano Blues in three sets on Friday and in four on Saturday to improve to 15-1.
• The UFV men’s squad dropped a straight-sets decision to Capilano on Friday, but they bounced back for a four-set triumph on Saturday. It was just their second win of the season, but they moved into a sixth-place tie with CBC at 2-14.
• The Bearcats women’s volleyball team solidified its grip on third place in the PacWest. They improved to 10-6 with a pair of four-set wins over Douglas at home.
• The CBC men lost in three sets on both Friday and Saturday to the defending provincial champs from Douglas.
• The Bearcats women’s hoopsters fell to 0-13 after losses to Douglas (54-44) and Langara (70-30).
• The CBC basketball teams are at home this weekend, hosting the Vancouver Island University Mariners on Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and the Camosun Chargers (women 1 p.m., men 3 p.m.). The UFV and CBC volleyball teams head over to Vancouver Island – the Cascades take on Camosun in Victoria on Friday and Saturday, while the Bearcats face VIU in Nanaimo.