VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds fell 90-65 to the defending conference champion Alberta Golden Bears on Friday night in Canada West men’s basketball action in Edmonton.
Tommy Nixon led UBC with 18 points while Andrew McGuinness chipped in with 14. Joel Friesen recorded 33 points for Alberta while chipped in with 18 and added a game-high eight rebounds.
Friesen hit three three-point baskets as part of a 12-0 run by Alberta in the first quarter that gave the Golden Bears a 20-5 advantage and set the tone for the rest of the game. Friesen ended the night with seven baskets made from beyond the arc, and Alberta finished with 14 in all.
The T-Birds couldn’t gain any traction in the second quarter as the hosts built their lead to up to 30 points before a Nixon foul shot near the end of the half made the score 51-22 at the break.
UBC opened the second half with a 7-0 run on a pair of layups and a foul shot by Tonner Jackson along with a basket from McGuinness. But by the end of the period, the Bears had regained their 30-point lead.
The T-Birds opened the fourth quarter strong as well with a 5-0 surge but the home side’s large lead was too much to overcome.
The Golden Bears out-rebounded the Thunderbirds 40-19 and were 30-of-56 shooting from the field. UBC was 23-of-56.
UBC drops to 0-3 with the loss while Alberta improves to 4-1. Saturday’s rematch is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. PT on CanadaWest.tv.