EDMONTON, AB – The UBC Okanagan Heat were unable to contain Jordan Baker as the Canada West first team all-star picked up another double-double en route to leading his University of Alberta Golden Bears to a 87-54 win Saturday night in the Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton.
Baker, the fourth leading scorer and second leading rebounder in Canada West, picked up a game high 22 points and 13 rebounds to pace the Bears to the win. Matthew Cardoza, the 2008 Canada West rookie of the year in track and field for Alberta (long jump) had a fine night for Alberta, scoring 14 points and seven rebounds, while fifth-year guard Daniel Ferguson added 13 points.
Vancouver native Yassine Ghomari (3rd year guard), who sits at 0.1 point per game less than Baker (good for fifth in Canada West), led the UBC Okanagan squad in points with 18 – 16 coming in the first half, while point guard Bret Macdonald (Port Coquitlam, BC) came off the bench to chip in with 11 points.
“Bret really gave us a spark today,” said Heat head coach Darren Semeniuk. “As soon as he felt good enough to play there was no way I was going to keep him out of the lineup. He is a warrior.”
UBC Okanagan was outrebounded by the Bears by a three to one margin (45-15), making it very hard for the Heat to gain any kind of momentum against the fundamental and versatile Alberta squad. Alberta had as many offensive rebounds as the Heat did on the defensive end with 15 apiece.
The Bears started strong on Saturday, earning a 13-1 rebound advantage in the first quarter to open up a 23-16 lead. After 20 minutes, they increased that lead to 55-34 and 20-3 advantage on the glass.
The teams traded buckets of equal value in the third but the Heat could draw no closer to the Bears, who poured it on in the fourth to close out the game 87-54.
“This team showed a fierce amount of compete this weekend. With the mixed health of a few key players we needed a real team effort just to be competitive and I think we got that,” adds Semeniuk. “A number of our players are from Vancouver and so we will be looking forward to our matchup with the T-birds.”
Alberta improves to 10-4 on the season and continues to occupy first place in the Prairie Division. They hit the road next weekend to take on the 4-10 Calgary Dinos.
UBC Okanagan drops to 2-10 in their first season of CIS basketball. They hit the floor next weekend in Vancouver as the UBC versus UBC matchup will shift to basketball when the Heat travel to play the UBC Thunderbirds in a doubleheader at War Memorial Gymnasium. Friday the game will start at 8 p.m. PST, Saturday tipoff is an hour earlier at 7 p.m. PST.
HEAT NOTES: Since coming back from the winter break Heat third year swingman Ed Dane Medi has been averaging 26.8 minutes per game. He has been making the most of his play time as well, shooting 5110.1% in that time span. Before January, Medi averaged 17.2 minutes per game and finished his chances at 17.2%…Triple sevens lucky? The Heat have scored 777 points up to this point on the season.