The Capilano Blues men’s basketball team took home gold at the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) championships this weekend, locking them in for nationals this March.
On Saturday evening the team took to the court at Camosun College in Victoria, Vancouver Island, toppling the previously unbeaten Vancouver Island University Mariners from the top spot.
The Blues beat the Mariners 98-95, securing their third ever provincial crown and their first provincial win since 2003.
Fifth-year guard CJ Campbell was crowned tournament MVP following his 21-point performance in the final, which included the final three-pointer with 46 seconds remaining.
Across his three games throughout the tournament, the 6’2” guard from Burnaby averaged 19.7 points per game, and played a team-high 34 minutes in the final, shooting 10-of-18 from the field.
Men's basketball does the unexpected, upsets the previously undefeated @VIUMariners and is the 2023 @pacwestbc Conference Champions!— Capilano University Blues (@CapilanoBlues) March 5, 2023
Tyrone Asenoguan was named Player of the Game and a Tournament All-Star while CJ Campbell was named Tournament MVP.#GoBlues #NorthVan #CapilanoU pic.twitter.com/I9Hwu098qH
The contest had looked quite different early on. A post published to Capilano’s website detailed how the Blues had fallen behind from around the three-minute mark of the first quarter until Campbell’s clutch shot, his only three of the game.
Guard Tyrone Asenoguan also played a large role in the team’s comeback, scoring 27 of his 31 points in the second half, including five threes. He has was named to the tournament All-Star team.
Now the Blues will travel to Calgary’s Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) where they will play in the men’s Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association national championship March 16-19.
Meanwhile, the women’s team are facing more unfortunate news after their loss in the championship final to Vancouver Island University, with a 67-61 score, means the team will not be making it to nationals.
After a dire first quarter, the Blues bounced back and outscored the Mariners in the final three quarters, however it wasn't enough to dig the team out of the first quarter hole.
The loss marked the team’s 10th PACWEST silver in school history.
Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.