Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – The Alberta Golden Bears were red-hot offensively and airtight defensively on Friday evening, and it all added up to a long night for the University of the Fraser Valley men's basketball team.
The U SPORTS No. 5-ranked Golden Bears shot 54.4 per cent from the field, including a scorching 51.9 per cent (14-for-27) from beyond the arc, on their way to a 99-69 victory over the Cascades at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.
The hosts, meanwhile, struggled with their shooting, hitting just 34.2 per cent of their attempts including 20.7 per cent (6-for-29) from long distance.
Alberta (3-2) and UFV (1-4) clash again on Saturday evening at the EFAC (7 p.m., CanadaWest.tv).
The Bears raced out to a 24-10 lead at the end of the first quarter behind a trio of three-pointers from Ivan Ikomey, and expanded the margin to 50-25 at the half. The deficit proved too much for UFV to overcome.
Brody Clarke led the Bears' balanced attack with 17 points and added nine rebounds. Rookie Adam Paige, a Surrey, B.C. product, posted 14 points and six boards, while Geoffrey James and Brandon Meiklejohn notched 10 points apiece.
"I thought we brought good energy from the opening tip, and we did a good job playing together as a unit," Alberta head coach Barnaby Craddock said.
"Adam Paige was the real deal tonight – he played really well. Had some confidence back in his home province, so that was really nice for him in front of family and friends. We're happy to see him make a few shots and have some success. He's been working hard for us, and he deserved it tonight."
The Cascades, missing second-leading scorer Sukhjot Bains due to injury, were paced by Vick Toor's 16 points off the bench. Mark Johnson scored 11 and Andrew Morris had 10.
"Alberta is a very good team," UFV head coach Adam Friesen noted. "If you don't come out with energy and compete as hard as you need to, stuff like this can happen. We just didn't compete hard enough and didn't bring the energy needed, and things kind of snowballed from there.
"We had a tough start offensively, and they came out really quick. It was tough to respond from that point."