Saskatoon (ISN) – Holding on to a small early lead, the University of Alberta Golden Bears knocked off the No. 1-seed University of Saskatchewan Huskies 89-73 in the second conference semifinal at the Canada West Men’s Basketball Final Four at the PAC in Saskatoon Friday night.
Alberta found their legs early and kept ahead of the hometown Huskies throughout the first two frames. The Golden Bears led 23-18 after one and 43-35 heading into halftime. The small lead was enough to hold the Huskies, who couldn’t find their legs on defence to get back into the game.
The Huskies made a bid for a comeback in the second half bringing the Golden Bears lead to one after a block by sophomore Ben Baker and a three-point play with just over five minutes left in the third quarter. The Huskies tied the game at 50 shortly after. But Alberta answered the Huskies quickly and restored a seven point, 64-57, lead by the end of the third. In the fourth, Saskatchewan had the game within two points with six minutes left but once again the Huskies couldn’t stop Alberta’s shooters. Two points was as close as the Huskies could get before the Golden Bears 89-73 win.
Three Golden Bears were the rallying point for Alberta. Conference all-star Jordan Baker tallied a game-high 24 points, while Sahr Saffa added another 20. Daniel Ferguson also added to Alberta’s win with 18 points in the game. Baker also led the Golden Bears on the boards nabbing nine rebounds.
Jamelle Barrett was the best on the night for the Huskies netting 24 points, followed by a double-double by Michael Lieffers with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Peter Lomuro chipped in another 12 and Ben Baker added 10.
Alberta finished the game shooting 47%, while Saskatchewan shot 35%. The Huskies won the battle on the boards out rebounding Alberta 50-38.
Alberta will face Fraser Valley, who defeated the Victoria Vikes 63-62 in the first semifinal Friday, in the Canada West Final Saturday night at 8p.m. at the PAC. Both teams also qualify for the CIS Championship. Saskatchewan will meet Victoria for bronze at 6:15 p.m. Saturday. Both Victoria and Saskatchewan will look to win the final game to be in the hunt for a CIS wildcard spot at the national championship.
Both games will be webcast on www.canadawest.tv