PRINCE GEORGE – The University of Alberta Golden Bears men's basketball team survived a fourth-quarter scare and hung on to defeat the UNBC Timberwolves 78-69 Friday night at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre.
The win was the third-straight for the Golden Bears who improve to 3-0 in regular season Canada West play, while the Timberwolves fall to 0-3.
Third-year guard Austin Waddoups led the Golden Bears with 19 points, including draining three of six baskets from the three-point arc in the see-saw battle. He also nabbed seven rebounds off the glass.
Alberta's third-year Brody Clarke had another solid outing, with 16 points and nine rebounds.
UNBC's fifth-year guard Rhys Elliott led all players with 21 points, including four rebounds, while fourth-year shooting guard Marcus MacKay added 12 points.
Friday's game was a see-saw battle right from the opening tip-off, as the Golden Bears held a narrow 13-11 lead after the first 10 minutes of play.
They boosted their lead in the second quarter, including a 9-2 run in the first three minutes, outscoring the Timberwolves 24-16 to take a 37-27 half-time lead.
The Timberwolves bounced back in the third quarter to narrow Alberta's lead to 55-47.
In the fourth quarter, the Timberwolves went on an 8-2 run midway through the fourth quarter to narrow the Golden Bears lead by two. However Waddoups sunk a shot from the floor to push the lead by four and added a free throw after he was fouled with 2:52 left in the game for a three-point play and boost Alberta's lead by five.
UNBC bounced back with a three-pointer by Elliott to narrow Alberta's lead to three with 36.5 seconds left in the game, but Clarke and Waddoups each sank a pair of shots from the free-throw line to seal the win.
Fourth-year guard Geoff Pippus talled 15 points for the Golden Bears, while fourth-year forward Mamadou Gueye added 11 points.
Friday's game was the first visit the Golden Bears made to the NSC for a regular season game in nearly four years. Alberta won their last game in Prince George 78-74 no Nov. 29, 2012. The Golden Bears also won the only other regular-season meeting between the teams, 96-70 in Edmonton on Feb. 1, 2014.
The two teams battle again Saturday night, with a 7 p.m. tip-off at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre