The province of Alberta reigned supreme on Saturday in Calgary, as the #1 Calgary Dinos and #3 Alberta Golden Bears emerged victorious in the medal round of the Canada West men’s basketball Final Four.
Bronze Medal Game | (1) Calgary 111 – 106 Saskatchewan (2) FOT
Dinos guard Thomas Cooper scored 21 of his team-leading 32 points in the final 15 minutes of play to help lead Calgary to a come-from-behind victory over Saskatchewan on home court Saturday night.
Trailing 93-87 with 1:37 to play in the fourth quarter, Cooper was able to sink two straight treys 34 seconds apart, and added a clutch jump shot with 28 ticks left, to tie the game at 95’s.
His three-pointer with 3:40 left in the extra session gave Calgary a 100-97—a lead they wouldn’t relinquish for the duration of overtime.
Led by guard Lawrence Moore’s 33 points, the Huskies were able to dictate the tempo offensively for upwards of 30 minutes of play. Saskatchewan fell flat late however, letting the contest slip away.
Perimeter play was a big factor down the stretch. The Huskies sank eight shots from the land beyond in the first half en route to an eight-point halftime lead. They had just three in the second half and overtime combined though, with Cooper recording that many in a span of just over three minutes, towards the end of the contest.
The Dinos also did an effective job containing forward Shane Osayande, who had nine points in the opening quarter but just six the rest of the way. Foul trouble was an X factor, as both he and impact-guard Jaylan Morgan played with four for the vast majority of the second half, with Morgan eventually fouling out after scoring just 11 points.
Gold Medal Game | (3) Alberta 92 – 73 Manitoba (5)
After a two-year drought, the Alberta Golden Bears are back on top of the Canada West conference, thanks to a 92-73 victory over the red-hot Manitoba Bisons, ending the Bisons Cinderella story.
Alberta controlled the game on both ends of the court, winning every quarter. They played to their strength offensively, shooting 47.6 percent from the perimeter, while also finishing plus-19 on the boards. The rebounding statistic was most telling on the defensive end for the Golden Bears, where they recorded 22, compared to just nine offensive boards for Manitoba.
Offensively, Golden Bear guards Austin Waddoups and Geoff Pippus combined to shoot 6-of-11 from three-point range, while Manitoba shot just 4-of-22 as a team, as they scrambled to keep up with the conference’s best shooting team from beyond the arc.
Forward Brody Clarke provided an invaluable inside presence for Alberta, leading all scorers with 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field. Swingman Keith Omoerah finished with another double-double for the herd, registering 17 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
Teeing up next week
Despite the loss, the Bisons will still be advancing to Halifax next week for the U SPORTS Final 8, along with the Golden Bears.
With their win, the Dinos still have a chance of slipping into the big dance. Much like the Brock Badgers in the OUA, they will await the decision of the selection committee tomorrow evening to determine their fate.