Connor Hood, Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON - In an uber tight and physical battle, the No. 3-ranked Calgary Dinos completed the series sweep over the No. 4 Alberta Golden Bears with a 74-68 win, Saturday night at Saville Community Sports Centre.
Alberta held the lead for a majority of the game, before Calgary took their first lead of the game at 65-62, holding on for the six-point win.
Mambi Diawara led Calgary with a game-high 23 points on just 4/8 shooting, adding 14 points from the free-throw line. Lars Schlueter also added 15 points for Calgary, who improve their conference record to 4-0 this season.
Brody Clarke once again paced the Bears on Saturday, recording his eighth-straight double-double with a 19 point, 13 rebound performance. Dwan Williams chipping in with 18 points and seven rebounds, while first-year Bear Tyus Jefferson added 13 for Alberta (2-2).
Alberta opened the series finale red hot, hitting five three's in the opening quarter to take a 23-12 lead. By comparison, Calgary had just five made shots total in the first quarter, hitting just one of their five shots from deep. 12 of Williams' 18 points came in the opening quarter, as he didn't miss a shot in the first 10 minutes.
While their shots from beyond the arc weren't as effective in the second quarter, Alberta had more success shooting from inside the paint. Clarke dropped in six points in the second, while Jefferson added eight. However, a much better quarter from Calgary saw them slice into the Alberta lead. Calgary connected on 10 of their 16 shots, trimming Alberta's lead down to just four heading into the half.
Continuing their trend of missing from deep, Alberta's shooting woes carried into the second half. The Bears missed all six of their shots from three in the third, mustering a measly 27% total shot percentage in the quarter. While not playing significantly better, Calgary was able to tie the game at 54 heading into the fourth.
While they didn't get their first lead of the game until late in the fourth, it was a quarter largely dominated by Calgary. The Dinos stingy defence held Alberta to just four jump shots on 18 attempts, also forcing five turnovers.
Diawara added 13 of his 23 in a dominant fourth quarter, including eight via free throws, as he led the Dinos late surge.
Calgary will return home next weekend for a series against Saskatchewan, while Alberta will travel to Abbotsford to take on the UFV Cascades.