UBC (16-1, 10-1) 78, Alberta (18-5, 11-2) 68… 6’6″ All-Canadian Jordan Jensen-Whyte had 13 of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter including 7 consecutive midway through the frame to give the T-Birds the lead for good after star 6’9″ forward Conor Morgan went down temporarily with an ankle injury, allowing UBC to hold off a determined, foul-plagued Golden Bears team in Vancouver. After Alberta took their last lead of the game at 58-57 on a transition “and 1″ finish by 6’7” Mamadou Gueye – his only points of the game – Jensen-Whyte took over, attacking the rim on virtually every possession after UBC spent much of the night settling for perimeter jumpers. Jensen-Whyte also knocked down a big transition 3 during the run, taking over the offense which to that point had relied on the stellar inside/out play of Morgan, another CW POY candidate who had 24 points and 6 rebounds including 4-6 3’s. Morgan did return late in the game and made a clutch three pointer that extended UBC’s late lead to 10 in a game that was much closer than the final score may have indicated. 6’7″ sophomore forward Brody Clarke, who also battled foul trouble much of the night, led the way for Alberta with 16 points and 4 rebounds while import 6’1″ guard Austin Waddoups added 14 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists for the Golden Bears. Gueye played only 21 minutes as Bears were whistled for 25 fouls against 17 for UBC. Bears, normally one of the top three-point shooting teams in the nation, shot just 6 for 30 (20%) from downtown. The game featured some high-end athleticism and evoked just enough positive emotion from both teams to bring post-season-like intensity to the affair. Expect much of the same this evening as the team’s meet again in Vancouver.
Saskatchewan (11-5, 7-4) 89, Lethbridge (12-7, 8-5) 83… 6’6″ Matt Forbes put on another all-conference-like performance with 24 points and 10 rebounds, leading the game-deciding 11-2 run midway through the fourth that broke a 66-66 tie as the Huskies won the first of two at Lethbridge. Forbes, who missed all of last season with an injury, continues to round into the kind of form that could lead the Huskies back into the Canada West Final 4. The thick, aggressive forward first found 6’0″ Alex Unruh for his only basket of the game to give Huskies the lead for good and then later scored 7 consecutive points to allow Saskatchewan to pull away. Fellow 6’6″ forward Shane Osayande had a stellar second half with 15 of his 17 points after halftime, adding 8 rebounds and 5 assists as Huskies won without 6’2″ starting and impact sophomore guard Chan DeCiman, out indefinitely with a separated shoulder. Sask’s U.S. import 6’2″ guard Lawrence Moore continues to get more comfortable with the offense, adding 21 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals. 6’6″ Elliot Sentance had a game-high 29 points for the Pronghorns, who had several open looks late in the game but could not convert when it mattered. Sentance added 8 rebounds and 5 assists before a near-capacity crowd that made for a wonderful environment. The teams meet again this evening.
For much more on last night’s Canada West action, please visit Wayne Thomas’s CanadaWestHoops site.