Connor Hood - Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON - Five different players scored in double figures for the Golden Bears on Saturday night, as the balanced output led Alberta to a conniving 101-54 win over the visiting Regina Cougars, Saturday night at Saville Community Sports Centre.
Following an incredibly tight and low-scoring game the night before, won 63-59 by the Bears, Saturday's game was significantly different for Regina. Alberta was able to shoot 48% from the field, while also knocking down ten three's and 21 free throws, as they set a new season-high with 101 points. The win is the fourth-straight for Alberta to start 2018, as they continue to pace Canada West with a 13-1 record, and also clinched a spot in the post-season with the series sweep. Regina, following back-to-back losses, slip into sixth with a 8-6 record.
Mamadou Gueye paced the attack with 16 points and 11 rebounds, with Austin Waddoups (14), Dwan Williams (12), Brody Clarke (12), and Andre Kelly (11) also hitting double digits in points for Alberta. Brandon Tull led Regina with 13 points on 5/10 shooting, but his efficient night was not matched by his teammates, who combined to shoot a dismal 28%.
While the final score heavily favored the host Bears, the first quarter was a carryover from the night before, and incredibly tight. Alberta led by just three after the first, after leading by as much as eight. A late quarter flurry by Regina, including a late three from Sam Hillis, kept the game within reach.
The middle two quarters is when the Golden Bears separated themselves from Regina, outscoring the Cougars 58-24 in the second and third quarters combined. Alberta, who ranks first in Canada West allowing just 65.2 points per game, and a 37% opponent shooting percentage, used the full force of their defence throughout the night. While both teams fared well at forcing turnovers, the biggest gap between the two was on the glass, as Alberta out-rebounded Regina 62-31, and outscored Regina 13-2 on second chance opportunities.
With the game well out of reach in the fourth, the Bears played a majority of their bench in the final quarter, but the result was the same as the home side finished the game with a 25-15 fourth.
After four straight home games to start 2018, the Bears will finally head back on the road, as they visit the Mount Royal Cougars next weekend in Calgary. Regina, meanwhile, will return for four straight of their own at home, starting with the Brandon Bobcats on Friday night.