Tyler Crayston, Brandon University Athletics
BRANDON, Man. – The Alberta Golden Bears rose to the occasion and got a 93-75 road victory over the Bobcats at the Healthy Living Centre on Saturday night.
The Golden Bears scored 32 third-quarter points en route to picking up their eighth consecutive conference win.
"They executed and we were casual with the ball and had some careless turnovers, which ignited them a little bit," said Bobcat coach Gil Cheung. "We did battle back after that, but could not close the gap."
BU got behind the eight ball early as Alberta built a 21-6 lead in the first.
The Bobcats countered with a 15-2 run in the second quarter to grab a 26-25 lead. Tyvon Cooper hit a buzzer beater and Brandon trailed 42-40 at the break.
The main difference in the first-half was free throws. The Bears went 7-for-8, while the Bobcats were 8-for-16 from the charity stripe.
The Bears started the third quarter with an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 50-40. Alberta's advantage ballooned to an 18-point spread thanks to a big contribution by the Bears' bench. Lars Ishimwe drilled a momentum building three-pointer and then a layup shortly after as part of a 10-2 run to make it 66-48.
"Obviously we have certain guys, we want in certain situations to score the basketball, but when you are called upon you need to be ready. That has been something that has been harped on in practice a lot this year," said fourth-year Alberta forward Brody Clarke. "Guys are starting to get more confident with our systems and it is starting to show and pay off for us."
The Bobcats started the fourth quarter with a 9-2 run to trim the deficit to nine, before Alberta pulled ahead for good.
Clarke had a double-double with 21 points and 18 rebounds for the Bears who improved their Canada West record to 11-and-3.
The Bobcats' top scorer was Pookie Saunders who had 20 points as BU slipped to 2-and-12.
Brandon is back on home court this coming week with games against the UBC Thunderbirds. Friday's contest against the T-Birds is a matinee affair with over 1,000 students from schools across western Manitoba expected to attend to cheer on the 'Cats.
Meanwhile, Alberta will look to continue their winning ways when they welcome the UNBC Timberwolves on Friday and Saturday.
(Photo courtesy: Milana Paddock)