Regina (4-8) 74, Alberta (5-2) 72… With thanks to our Hemingway-esque Southern Alberta correspondent… Seemingly spring-loaded 6’6″ (or so the roster says) Regina Cougar leaper Brian Ofori used a 15-foot jump shot that tickled the twine with .8 seconds as a lethal weapon Saturday in a game played in Lethbridge.
It was obvious from the start both teams were very intent on earning a win after dropping Friday contests (Regina lost to Lethbridge, and Alberta went down to NAIA DI Carroll College from Helena, Montana.) Regina used all of their regulars with the exception of burly post 6’7″ Stephen Shields who remained in dry dock with a nick. Alberta had every player on their roster ready for action, including 6’2 Toronto products Dwan Williams and 6’8″ Brody Clarke, who nursed injuries Friday.
Even though the benches were full the rotation players received the vast majority of the playing time for both sides.
The tilt was tied 18-18 after 10 minutes. Bears were on top 43-30 at the intermission and 58-46 following three quarters, but Regina found the range late and celebrated the triumph uproariously for a non regular season affair.
Final stats seemed a big sketchy (especially for Alberta after inserting new players into the computer system), but there could be little doubt three impact Cougar performers were 6’4″ Spanish guard Alex Igual, 6’1″ high-flying Nova Scotia product Johneil Johnson and Montreal’s (by way of UPEI) Ofori. Regina shot poorly against the Bears man-to-man defence in the first half, but improved markedly down the stretch especially against zone. Starters included Igual, Ofori, 6’1 guard Aaron McGowan, 6’4″ wing Brandon Tull and 6’4″ 4-man Travis Sylvestre. Ofori is almost certainly not the listed 6’6″, but there must be few bouncier posts in U Sports.
Four starters were significant offensive contributors for Alberta including 6’2″ Salt Lake City Community College transfer 1 Austin Wauddups (who started his post-secondary career at NCAA DI Southern Utah, after returning from a Mormon mission), 6’6″ Mamadou Gueye (who this wag feels has a comparable style game to Demar DeRozen), 6’8″ Brody Clarke and 6’5″ wing Geoff Pippus (a UBC transfer.) Andre Kelly, a 6’2″ wing from Hamilton/Florida prep school, didn’t start, but showed some solid solid flashes.
Regina hosts UVic in a two game Canada West regular season opening set next weekend, while Alberta entertains Brandon for a pair.