In what was an energetic, very physical game in Calgary, Montana State went to 2-0 on their tour of Canada, holding off a couple of second-half Golden Bear runs for a 78-69 victory.
Alberta trailed by double digits for most of a listless first half during which the Bears missed their first 6 free throws and shot just 1 for 13 from three to trail by 12 at the half. But Alberta turned it around in the second half, shooting over 50% after halftime as 6’1″ Austin Waddoups got going early in the third with 5 consecutive points, 6’2″ Andre Kelly (17 points, 3-7 3’s) knocked down a pair from long distance and when 6’6″ Mamadou Gueye got to the rim late in the third, the Bears had it to single digits down 54-45. Gueye led the way for Alberta with 21 points on 9-17 from the floor however shot just 3-11 from the line.
Later a 9-2 run keyed by Kelly, Gueye and 6’7″ Brody Clarke (14 points/6 rebounds) brought it back to a 6 point game at 62-56 with just over 7 minutes to play. But Montana started to deal with Alberta’s match-up zone and Gueye’s struggles at the foul line keyed an 11-4 Bobcat run that allowed the Bobcats to remain undefeated.
Alberta shot just 3 for 19 from beyond the arc – playing without 6’5″ Geoff Pippus one of their more consistent three-point shooters – and 50% from the line but pushed a very good Division 1 team throughout. These teams meet again on Sunday but the Bobcats also play tomorrow afternoon against Calgary.