By Paul Cartledge
EDMONTON – After a rough first half, the No.3 University of Alberta Golden Bears rebounded in the third quarter to take a 78-65 decision over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies to stay undefeated on the season, Friday night at Saville Community Sports Centre.
Senior forward Mamadou Gueye recorded his 13th career double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds while fourth-year guard Austin Waddoups came just short, putting up 19 points and eight boards. Third-year forward Brody Clarke added 15 points in the victory.
Fourth-year point guard Lawrence Moore scored a game-high 27 points to go with four assists and four steals, fourth-year forward Joseph Barker netting 11 points and nine rebounds while senior point guard Alex Unruh tallied 10 points.
Starting off like an undefeated team, the Golden Bears began the game with a 12-3 run in the first three-and-a-half minutes, but the home team let off the gas a bit too early, the Huskies responding with an 11-2 run in the next four minutes to tie things up at 14.
Saskatchewan's Moore was everywhere in the final two minutes of the opening quarter, recording almost every statistic possible with a steal, an assist, a rebound, a three-ball, and three consecutive free throws, giving his team a 22-19 lead heading into the second frame.
A Clarke layup got the deficit to one early, but the Huskies slowly worked their way back ahead, a late 6-2 run pushing their lead up to 10 at halftime.
Gueye, the team-leading scorer, started and finished a 12-2 run to open the third quarter, scoring all but two points in the momentum swing for Alberta to tie the game up at 45-45.
Moore responded with five straight points for Saskatchewan, but sophomore guard Andre Kelly, coming off the bench to score his first basket of the game, reclaimed the lead for the Golden Bears with a long two, followed by a baseline trey by third-year guard Ivan Ikomey and a trey by Kelly.
After outrebounding the Huskies 17-7 in the third quarter, third-year guard Nolan Woodward pushed the rest of the momentum firmly to the Alberta side when he drained a buzzer-beater three-ball at the top of the arc, giving the home team an eight-point lead heading into the final frame.
Though Saskatchewan was able to fight back and reduce their deficit to as low as five, a Gueye layup that earns the hoop, and the harm, virtually cemented the win for the hosts, the Quebec City, Que. native putting the final nail in the coffin with a full-court pass to Waddoups, who quickly dished the ball to Clarke for a bucket in the paint with just under two minutes left.
Game two of the weekend series between the 2-5 Huskies and the 7-0 Golden Bears starts at 7:00 p.m. MT on Saturday.