EDMONTON – The University of Alberta Golden Bears basketball team showed why they began the season as the top-ranked team in Canada West, earning a decisive 93-52 win over the Trinity Western Spartans, Saturday night at Saville Community Sports Centre.
The win was the second-straight for Alberta over the Spartans, following their 12-point win on Friday. The Bears open the conference season 2-0, looking for back-to-back Canada West titles, while the Spartans fall to 0-2.
The Bears were led by Mamadou Gueye and his 21 points on 8-16 shooting, while Geoff Pippus added 16, and Lyndon Annetts dropped in 10. Three Spartans also finished with double digit point totals, led by the 14 points from guard Pogos Trunyan (Sacramento, Calif.).
The series rubber match was never really in doubt for Alberta, who raced out to a commanding 24-11 lead after the opening quarter. Gueye led the charge with five early points, while forward Brody Clarke scored four of his eight on the night in the opening frame.
The Spartan offence had trouble all night finding their rhythm, finishing the first half with just 21 points, shooting a dismal 25% from the floor. By comparison, the Bears put up 43 first-half points, shooting an steady 46% from the field, and 82% from the free throw line.
Even with a majority of the Bears starters finding their way out of the match in the second half, the scoreline remained the same. Alberta added another 50 points in the second half, eventually winning the game by 41.
Both teams will continue their conference seasons next weekend, as the Spartans head home for a series against the UNBC Timberwolves, while the Bears will head to Winnipeg for a set against the Wesmen.
Head Coach Aaron Muhic
"We lost a tough one, but the score does not have any indication of our effort and hustle. I thought we battled on the boards. Alberta was the more physical team and played some tough defence. Steve (Sesink, Edmonton) played a great game and I was very happy our team go him the ball where he needs to be successful. He was very tough in the paint. We are going to get better and continue to grow as a team. We just need to continue to value each and every opportunity and know that nothing is easy in Canada West."
The Spartans return to Langley, B.C. next weekend to host UNBC Nov. 3-4 at the Langley Events Centre.