6’7″ Mamadou Gueye had a season-high 33 points and the Golden Bears jumped out to a comfortable double digit lead and then hung on late for a six point win at Saskatchewan, eliminating the Huskies from the Canada West playoff race and clinching their own spot in the post-season. Alberta’s win also officially eliminates Victoria Vikes from the post-season meaning both of last season’s Canada West representatives at the CIS Nationals did not make the post-season. Alberta got 6’2″ Dwan Williams (Toronto Oakwood), who had been out with a wrist injury for since before Christmas, back in the lineup – Williams had a big basket down the stretch – and also got 20 points from fellow-Oakwood/GTA product Brody Clarke.
Winnipeg clinched their spot in the playoffs with a 9 point win over Lethbridge, gaining a split of the weekend series as Wesmen enjoyed the return of 6’3″ Denzel Lynch-Blair (15 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists) who sat out Friday’s loss due to excess technical fouls accrued throughout the season. Pronghorns have also clinched after their win on Friday and played the weekend without their star 6’2″ fifth-year guard Rob Oslen (15.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.8 apg and shooting 42% from 3 point range) who remained home in Lethbridge to be with his wife who is expecting their first child. Congratulations in advance to Rob and new young family.
By virtue of Alberta’s win at Saskatchewan, the 7 playoff teams from the Pioneer Division are set however positioning is not. In the Explorer, MacEwan firmly grabbed the reigns for 3rd spot with a sweep at UBC-O and needs only one win in their final two games – home fixtures against last place UNBC – to clinch third spot. Despite another win by Fraser Valley over Thompson Rivers, the WolfPack will finish in top spot while Cascades are locked in second place OR in the nomenclature below E1 = Thompson Rivers, E2 = Fraser Valley, E3= MacEwan.
Much thanks for the multiple readers who rightfully reminded that I got the playoff match-ups incorrect in recent posts. Here is the skeleton format:
XX = eliminated from playoffs
P1: Calgary 16-3 (one game remaining at Alberta next Saturday)
P2: UBC 14-4 (home to Winnipeg for two next weekend)
P3: Manitoba 15-5
P4/P5/P6: Lethbridge 10-8 (home to TWU twice next weekend)
P4/P5/P6: Regina 10-8 (home to Saskatchewan twice next weekend)
P4/P5/P6: Winnipeg 10-8 (at UBC twice)
P7: Alberta 10-9 (home to Calgary next Saturday)
XX=Saskatchewan 7-11 (at Regina for two)
XX=Victoria 7-11 (home to Brandon for two next weekend)
XX=Trinity Western 1-17.
With a victory over Alberta next Saturday, Calgary will put themselves in position to host the Canada West Final Four assuming that Dinos can win their CW quarter-final series.