|CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE|
|Pts: 2 Players (#7, #8 – 13)||Pts: Jordan Baker – 17|
|Reb: TEAM – 8||Reb: Jordan Baker – 9|
|Ast: Marquis Clayton – 5||Ast:|
|Team Statistics||Saint Mary’s||Alberta|
|Field Goal %||35.5% (22-62)||40.0% (26-65)|
|Pts off Turnovers||18||12|
|2nd Chance Pts||2||8|
|Pts in the Paint||12||36|
Courtesy of host organizing committee / Photo creditValerie Wutti
OTTAWA (CIS) – The third-seeded University of AlbertaGolden Bears are one step closer to capturing their fourth nationaltitle following a 72-62 victory of the No. 6 Saint Mary’sUniversity Huskies in the first quarter-final of the ArcelorMittalDofasco CIS men’s basketball championship, at the CanadianTire Centre on Friday afternoon.
The Canada West champion Golden Bears opened the game with sevenstraight points, making their first Final 8 appearance since losingthe 2012 final.
Bears’ fifth-year forward Jordan Baker sank a pair of freethrows at the end of the first to finish the quarter with a 16-13lead.
The second quarter was a different story as the AtlanticUniversity Sport champion Huskies opened with a 9-0 run and did notrelinquish the lead to take a 37-33 lead into halftime.
“We just knew they played a better half than us and weneeded to regroup and play our game,” said Golden Bears headcoach Barnaby Craddock. “I think we started to play theirgame a little bit, a little too much one on one and we wanted toexecute better as a group.”
The third quarter featured good, fast paced, back and forthaction from both teams. The score was tied for the majority of thequarter, but Alberta was able to grab a lead thanks to a late threepointer from Youssef Ouahrig to head into the final frame with a53-48 lead.
The Golden Bears never looked back and dominated the fourth.They opened with 10 straight points and never relinquished the leadthey built up.
“They played good pressure defense on us and it took us acouple possessions to adjust on it, but it’s a forty minutegame and luckily we came to life in the second half,” saidBaker, who was named Alberta player of the game thanks to his matchhighs in points (17), rebounds (9) and assists (5).
Joel Friesen’s huge two-handed dunk with 38 seconds leftcapped a great fourth quarter for the Bears.
“I thought Saint Mary’s outplayed us for two and ahalf quarters to start the game and we finally got out mojo back alittle bit,” Craddock said. “It was nice to grabcontrol of the game there in the early fourth quarter.”
For Saint Mary’s the loss means they will not be able tocapture their fifth W.P. McGee Trophy. Their four championships arethe most from any AUS university, but they have not triumphed since1999.
“I thought it was more so of what Alberta did than what wedidn’t do, our guys played hard,” said Huskies headcoach Johan Taussig, who was one of Saint Mary’s star playerduring their 1999 championship run. “I thought both teamsplayed their hearts out. Alberta’s (record is) 31-3 for areason, they’re a very good team.”
In Saturday’s first semifinal at 6 p.m. – live onSportsnet 360 – the Golden Bears will face either the McMasterMarauders or the three-time reigning champ Carleton Ravens, theteam they lost to in the 2012 final.
“Carleton’s set the bar high over the last 10 yearsin the CIS and like every team you want to challenge yourselfagainst those guys,” Craddock said. “It’s achance to test yourself against the best competition around andthat’s what we want to do.”
Saint Mary’s moves to the consolation side of the draw andwill battle the loser of the McMaster-Carleton contest Saturday at12:30 p.m.
SMU: 13-24-11-14: 62
ALB: 16-17-20-19: 72
Points: Jordan Baker (17), Joel Friesen (11), YoussefOuahrig (10)
Rebounds: Jordan Baker (9), Todd Bergen-Henengouwen (8)
Assists: Jordan Baker (5)
Player of the game: Jordan Baker
Points: Marquis Clayton (13), Boyd Vassell (13), TheonReefer (10)
Rebounds: Harry Ezenibe (5), Riley Halpin (5)
Assists: Marquis Clayton (5)
Player of the game: Marquis Clayton
CHAMPIONSHIPSCHEDULE (all times EASTERN TIME)
Friday, March 7
12:30 Quarter-final 1: Alberta 72, Saint Mary’s62
14:30 Quarter-final 2: No. 7 McMaster vs. No. 2 Carleton (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
17:30 Quarter-final 3: No. 5 McGill vs. No. 4 Victoria (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
20:00 Quarter-final 4: No. 8 Saskatchewan vs. No. 1 Ottawa (
Saturday, March 8
12:30 Consolation 1: No. 6 Saint Mary’s vs. Loser QF2 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
14:30 Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
18:00 Semifinal 1: No. 3 Alberta vs. Winner QF 2 (Sportsnet 360 /www.CIS-SIC.tv *)
20:00 Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4 (Sportsnet 360 /
* The webcast of all 3 televised games (semifinals & final)will be on pay-per-view basis.
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body ofuniversity sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and700 coaches from 55 universities and four regional associations viefor 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS alsoprovides high performance international opportunities for Canadianstudent-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well asnumerous world university championships. For further information,visit www.cis-sic.ca or followus on: