P.E.I.'s Holland College got through the first round of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association national men's basketball championships Thursday evening.
The tournament is being played in Charlottetown this year, giving Holland College home court advantage.
The fourth-seeded Hurricanes came back from a seven-point halftime deficit to beat the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology 113-103.
Trenity Burdine lead the Hurricanes with 29 points. Roosevelt Whyley added 24 points, 12 rebounds and four steals.
Holland College will face a big test Friday, playing against the top-seeded Sheridan Bruins. The Bruins walked past the Mount Allison Mounties in the first round, 91-61.
'They haven't played us yet this year'
"They haven't played us yet this year," said Hurricanes head coach Josh Whitty. "We're looking forward to playing them. They're a good team, a really good team. We sort of figured they'd be here all year, so we've got to beat them sometime, so tonight's as good as any."
"Looking forward to the game tonight," Bruins assistant coach Nick Davis said. "It's always fun to play in these situations. We're playing for a national championship. We get to play the home team at home. The gym's going to be packed, I'm sure about that. It's going to be very adversarial crowd against us, but looking forward to it."
The Hurricanes have been in this position before with three straight trips to the final four, falling just short last year and settling for a bronze medal.
They know about the pressures of being a number-one seed.
'We've got to be solid'
"We've been that team in the past too," shared Whitty. "We've got to be solid. We've got to defend well, protect our end, rebound well. They're a really good rebounding team, and of the offensive end, we've got to take care of the ball and get good shots. If we do that, we'll be in good shape. We're looking forward to it. It should be a really good matchup."
"We look forward to being in that moment," added Davis. "Our kids are ready for it. We've prepared all year, so these kinds of environments are a good test for us. We have had an undefeated season, but this will be a really good test and I'm looking forward to it. I hope the fans enjoy it, but too much, so I hope we can walk away with a win."
The Hurricanes hope to have something to say about that when the teams meet in a showdown of two of the country's best teams.
Opening tip is at 8 p.m.
The winner of Friday's game will advance to the final Saturday night.
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