Joel Friesen added to his growing reputation as a big-game player Saturday night for the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades.
Friesen drained a miraculous three-pointer at the final buzzer to give the Cascades a thrilling 69-68 victory in a decisive Game 3 of the Canada West quarterfinal against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns at the Envision Athletic Centre in Abbotsford.
The win puts UFV's men's basketball team into the Canada West final four tournament for the first time since the Abbotsford-based school entered CIS in 2006.
"All season long I felt our team's work ethic would get them a chance to play in the final four, and although it was a close call, this is a goal that these guys have worked for all year, and should be very proud of their achievement," said UFV head coach Barnaby Craddock in a statement.
Meanwhile, the UBC Thunderbirds men's team failed to make it out of the quarterfinal. The Thunderbirds gave up 11 three-pointers to the University of Alberta Golden Bears in a 91-68 Game 2 loss, resulting in a quick two-game sweep.
As a result, UFV becomes the only Lower Mainland CIS school to compete in the Canada West final four tournament on the men's side.
The two finalists in the Canada West tournament make it to the CIS championship, beginning March 9 in Halifax.
In women's basketball, the UFV Cascades on Friday secured their ticket to the Canada West final four with an 85-67 win and two-game sweep in the quarter-final over the University of Calgary Dinos. The UBC Thunderbirds women's team also moved onto the final four, thanks to a two-game sweep over Edmonton's University of Alberta Pandas.
The women's national tournament begins March 17 in Calgary.