Zachary Worden, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY, Alta – The U Sports #3 ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears and Mount Royal University Cougars tipped-off their weekend series at Kenyon Court on Friday night.
The Golden Bears were able to overcome a halftime deficit to win the game 67-55. They were led by Austin Waddoups who scored 16 points, grabbed four rebounds, had four assists and two steals in an all-around effort. Lyndon Annetts and Brody Clarke both added nine points and six rebounds to the Golden Bear victory.
The Cougars took an early lead by crashing the glass on the offensive end and finding success on their shots.
The Golden Bears were able to respond to the Cougar's early 10-3 lead, by going on a run of their own to cut the lead to two.
The Cougars didn't back down from the Golden Bears attack and continued their success on the offensive end taking a 23-17 when the first 10 minutes expired.
The Golden Bears couldn't knock down their open looks in the quarter only making 16% of their threes.
Hegwood was huge for the Cougars early scoring 11 points in the quarter, getting to the rim at ease, including a huge posterizing dunk in the final seconds giving the Cougars a momentum boost heading into the second quarter.
The Golden Bears wouldn't let the Cougars run away with the game as they came out of the quarter break on a 9-5 run closing the gap on the Cougars lead.
Once again, the Cougars wouldn't let a Golden Bears run affect their game and maintained their lead throughout the quarter and took a 37-29 lead heading into the halftime break.
The Golden Bears had a tough shooting half only converting on 30% of their shots and only made one of their 11 three-point attempts.
Josh Ross was on triple-double watch for the Cougars after the first half, as he had five points, four assists and three rebounds.
The Golden Bears came out of the halftime break on a 7-2 run, putting themselves in reach of the Cougar lead. They found their success by working the ball inside, as they still struggled getting their outside shots to fall. Clarke had 6 Points in the quarter taking advantage of the Cougar defense in the paint.
This time the Cougars couldn't hold on to their lead as the Golden Bears took the lead with two minutes remaining in the quarter and took a four-point lead into the fourth.
The Golden Bear defense stepped up huge in the third quarter, holding the Cougar offense to six points on 20% shooting and forcing six turnovers.
The two teams struggled to get their shots to fall to start the quarter as both teams only combined to score 10 points in the first five minutes.
Despite the early struggles the Golden Bears were able to slowly grow their lead throughout the quarter, as they kept the Cougar comeback attempt at bay.
After struggling from the field in the first half, the Golden Bears were able to shoot 40% on their field goals and 46% from three in the second half.
The Golden Bears win gave them a record of 14-1, while the loss drops the Cougars to 7-8.
The second game of the series goes Saturday night at 6 p.m. MDT at Kenyon Court and can be streamed live on www.canadawest.tv.