As always the most comprehensive summary of Canada West play is found at Wayne Thomas‘s CanadaWestHoops site, however a couple of highlights from last night in the conference included UNBC pushing Manitoba to the brink in Winnipeg. Timberwolves led throughout the fourth quarter and by as many as 5 late before a couple of big defensive plays bailed out Coach Kirby Schepp‘s crew, which has aspirations for hosting a first-round playoff series at a minimum. With 6’1″ guard Marcus Mackay on fire – he shot 8 for 10 from downtown alone and finished with 28 points, an upset brewed but 6’3″ Justus Allyne created a late turnover and later 6’0″ A.J. Basi made a huge defensive play with under a minute to play allowing 6’0″ Illarion Bonhomme to calmly knocked down a pair of free throws. On the final possession, Mackay had an excellent look at an 18 footer from above the left elbow but could not convert and Bisons held on for their seventh consecutive league win to move to 9-6. The teams meet again tonight… In Saskatoon, Mount Royal Cougars stayed with the hometown Huskies for about three quarters but Sask’s depth and strength inside was too much as 6’6″ Matt Forbes dominated with 26 points and 12 rebounds. The burly, active forward is authoring one of the best comeback seasons in the country and Huskies are rapidly moving into championship contention. Sask also got a career-high 10 points from 6’2″ freshman guard Emmanuel Akintunde… Lethbridge Pronghorns and hopefully the entire Canada West now understands how important 6’1″ Dejon Burdeaux is to their lineup after the Horns survived at home against UBC-O without their all-conference candidate wing who missed last night’s game with an illness. Horns also announced that 6’3″ Mahmoud Sesay, who joined the team recently, has returned home and is no longer with the team… Wayne’s site also has an initial look at the RPI-based playoff structure in Canada West. According to some, despite UBC having clearly having the best record in the conference and thus far fashioning the best overall season in the conference, Thunderbirds are far from a sure thing to finish first in the RPI standings. We hope to find some time to go through the scenarios ourselves.