Late heroics by Debache, Blain lift UQAM to historic NCAA victory


6’11” Yassin Debache‘s put-back with just 0.7 seconds remaining lifted UQAM to their very first victory ever over an NCAA Division 1 opponent, a dramatic 66-64 victory over Arkansas Pine-Bluff in Montreal this evening.  Debache caught the ball in traffic against a double team and missed his first shot but was able to corral the rebound and made no mistake on the second chance as the Citadins erupted in celebration.  Earlier, with Citadins down 1 and 45 seconds left in fourth, All-Canadian guard Kewyn Blain hit a deep three from the left wing to give UQAM the lead.  The Citadins pressed off the in bound, surprising the Golden Lions, but a foul call at half court allowed Ark Pine-Bluff to tie the game with 2 free throws, setting up the final possession which turned Debache, who clearly has become an offensive weapon after his first few years as basically a defensive rim protector, into an instant hero.

The Golden Lions, who were the #4 seed in last season’s SWAC tournament before losing in the first round against Alabama A&M, were described by elated UQAM coach Nate Philippe as “a long, athletic team with 8 guys between 6’7-6’10 and they did a great job on the defensive end.”  Neither team jumped out to any large leads – it was 28 all at the half before the final minute drama.

UQAM now gets set to host Florida A&M this coming Saturday while Arkansas Pine-Bluff travels to beautiful Quebec City to face Laval Rouge et Or on Wednesday before moving over to our nation’s capital to face Carleton Ravens on Friday.

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