In a recent “guest” post here on this site on the topic of first-half-of-the-season Canada West all-stars, some eyebrows were likely raised upon first glance of the First Team, which included Lethbridge’s 6’6″ Brandon Brine. For the doubters, consider that post somewhat of a foreshadowing as the athletic forward from Australia painted a career-night portrait, especially in the third quarter of last night’s 91-63 Pronghorn shellacking of visiting Alberta Golden Bears.
Breaking open what was a 1 point game at halftime, Brine knocked down three 3’s as part of a 19-point performance in the third quarter alone, finishing with a career-high 37 points (7 of 9 from downtown) and 6 rebounds in only 22 minutes. 6’1″ Dejon Bordeaux, questionable in the pre-game because of a series of nagging injuries, led the way defensively, creating numerous turnovers (8 steals) as Lethbridge selectively trapped out of their zone, adding 10 points and 8 rebounds in a near triple-double.
6’6″ Lyndon Annetts was the catalyst in keeping Alberta close for the first 20 minutes, scoring 18 of 20 before halftime including 4 of 7 3’s but Horns big third quarter allowed both coaches to rest all key starters early in anticipation of tonight’s important second game between the two teams in what becomes an almost “must win” for Coach Barnaby Craddock’s Golden Bears.
Brine’s journey to Southern Alberta is an interesting tale and with the Horns now comfortably in a playoff spot there appears much more to be done.
Congratulations to UBC Head Coach Kevin Hanson who, after last night’s 79-51 route of the UVic Vikes in Victoria is now 2nd on the Canada West career coaching victories list. T-Birds broke open an early 23 all tie with 4 players in double figures, dominating the glass (45-26) while holding Vikes to just 2 for 18 from downtown.
After the game, Hanson was appreciative during an interview with UBC Sports Info: “It is a special moment and coming over here I had a bit of mixed emotions,” said UBC’s bench boss on surpassing Vetrie’s record of all-time wins. “I had a lot of respect for Guy Vetrie. He was a great coach, friend and person. It’s a piece of history that I really appreciate. I also want to recognize the coaches and players that have played for me and coached with me over the last 15 and a half years. It’s been a pretty special ride and hopefully it keeps continuing for more years.”
Manitoba Bisons held off a late Regina comeback in an important 89-82 with that keeps Bisons within striking distance of first place at 10-5 (see Canada West standings below). 6’0″ A.J. Basi had 27 points in the win including 5 for 10 from downtown while the player who potentially could be a catalyst to Manitoba’s chances for a Canada West crown, 6’4″ Keith Omoerah flashed his all-round abilities with 16 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists. Bisons held Cougars star wing Jonathan Tull to just 8 points on 0-7 shooting but as the Regina Leader-Post reports Tull has delivered for Regina. The teams meet again this evening beginning at 6 PM Central Time.
Winnipeg fortified their playoff hopes despite giving up a big lead before defeating visiting Saskatchewan 81-77 as Denzel Lynch-Blair had 22 points in the victory.
Canada West Standings after last night’s games:
#4 Calgary 12-3
#7 UBC 11-4
Trinity Western 0-13
If the playoffs were to begin today, both of the Canada West championship game participants and CIS Final 8 representatives from last season (UVic and Saskatchewan) would be eliminated from this post-season.