Matt Gutsch, Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON - Sophomore forward Brody Clarke scored a career high 35 points to lead the University of Alberta Golden Bears to a 76-64 win over the Brandon Bobcats during season opening play on Friday night at the Saville Community Sports Centre.
Clarke, who is originally from Toronto, shot the lights out in the Bears season and home opener, banking 10 of 16 from the floor and another 15 of 17 from the free-throw line. The 6'8" forward also collected a game high 14 rebounds to finish with the double-double.
Alberta also got a good night from Austin Waddoups, a third-year transfer from Salt Lake Community College who was making his U Sports basketball debut. The point guard drained three from outside the arc, and was a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe en route to a 15 point and seven rebound performance.
Brandon, meanwhile, was led by Tyvon Cooper's 25 points. The third-year guard from Middletown, New York put back a pair of three balls, as well as five from the line, but also hauled in a team high eight rebounds on the night as well. Josh Bell added 13 points in the loss, while Earl Thompson Jr. had 10 points and five boards for the visiting Bobcats.
Defensively, Brandon was led by John Paul, who recorded an impressive five blocks on the night, while Alberta got three blocks from returning Canada West all-star Mamadou Gueye, as well as three steals from Lyndon Annetts.
Not surprisingly, the two teams were neck and neck throughout the opening half, and in fact the Golden Bears went into the half-time break with just a one point lead at 34-33.
The Golden Bears put the game away in the second half, however, clamping down on the Bobcat offence and outscoring the visitors by a combined 11 points over the final two quarters to cement the 76-64 win.
Alberta and Brandon will conclude their two game series on Saturday night when they tip-off at 7:00 p.m. MST. The game can be watched live on canadawest.tv as well.