EDMONTON - The No.6 University of Alberta Golden Bears got back into the win column with a 103-78 victory over the Mount Royal Cougars, Friday night at Saville Community Sports Centre.
The Bears showed spectacular shooting from beyond the arc, finishing the game with 47% shooting percentage for treys, Ivan Ikomey’s game-high 21 points leading the way.
“Credit to my teammates and coaches for setting me up to succeed” said Ikomey after the game. “They knew I was hot and kept feeding me the ball.”
Ikomey finished 6-for-10 from beyond the arc, just shy of the Golden Bears single game record (held by former Golden Bears greats Greg DeVries and Mark Filteau - 8 each), but it wasn’t just Ikomey hitting big shots. Four players from Alberta were better than 50% from deep, including Brandon Meiklejohn’s 4-for-7 performance.
Alberta forward Adam Paige was 8-for-11 from the field, scoring 19 points for the Golden Bears, adding eight rebounds and three steals. In total, Alberta had five players scoring in double digits on Friday evening.
The box score may look to be all Alberta, yet Mount Royal got off to a quick start, as Lincoln Anderson scored the first bucket of the game, as well as the first nine points for the Cougars, on 4-for-5 shooting. The Cougars took a 3-0 lead early, but that was the first and last time they would lead. Anderson finished the game with a team-high 18 points in just under 25 minutes of playing time.
The story of the second quarter was all about momentum. The Golden Bears opened up a 22-2 run over the Cougars, and looked like they were running away with the game early. The Cougars bent, but they did not break. They responded with an 11-2 run of their own to close the gap to 44-36 at halftime.
Alberta opened the second half with a 15-7 run, and never looked back. The Golden Bears were ferocious at both ends of the floor, out-rebounding the Cougars 55 to 33, while also scoring more off second chances, fast breaks, and creating more turnovers.
Friday night was a great showcase for the Golden Bears depth, with their bench outscoring Mount Royal’s 10-0 in the first frame, and 54-22 overall.
With the win, the Golden Bears improve their record to 6-1, while Mount Royal drops to 3-2, losing their second consecutive game.
Alberta and Mount Royal will conclude their weekend series tomorrow, with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MT at Saville, the last home game of 2019 for the Golden Bears.