Bears and Cougars on to Quarter-Finals


Gueye carries the heavy load in Alberta’s game 3 win

Mamadou Gueye scores 29 of Alberta's 55 points in a narrow win over GMU.

Mamadou Gueye scores 29 of Alberta’s 55 points in a narrow win over GMU.     photo  – U of A Athletics

 #9 Alberta Golden Bears  55  at  #8 MacEwan  Griffins  54   –   We have hand -to – hand combat in Edmonton in the nervy ‘3rd and deciding’.  The Bears use the foul shot to crawl back in the final stages, with 9 of their 15 points in the 4th coming from the line. GMU has a 6 point lead, but stall out in the last several minutes after looking like might  advance.  D’Wan Williams  (3 of 4 FG) hits the winner in the last seconds, and it’s not the only clutch hoop for him on the day.  But really, Alberta was dragged to this win by Mamadou Gueye’s 29 points, the only GB who is close to double figures. Alberta wins while shooting 37% vs 33% for the Griffs. The 49 – 35 rebounding edge for U of A was as important a stat as any, as Gueye gets 5  offensive boards himself, overcoming the 20 Alberta turnovers. Keith Gerdes scores 18 for Mac, with Denzel James and Chris Mooney adding 10 each.  Great support for the teams this weekend, and it augers well for the future of this as an intra-city rivalry.  Alberta at Calgary next weekend in the Quarter-finals, starting on Friday, 7 pm Mountain time.   Box Score 

Igual leads short-handed Cougars squad to 3rd game win

Import guard, Alex Igual, is hot from outside, and carries the Cougars past Winnipeg.

Import guard, Alex Igual, is hot from outside, and carries the Cougars past Winnipeg.               photo – U. Regina Athletics

  at #7  Regina Cougars 75    #10 Winnipeg Wesmen  69 –    The Cougars advance in a war of attrition, as Alex Igual plays an inspired game, and Regina defend Winnipeg’s speed.    For a guy who was suffering from a flu bug, Jonathan Tull showed a lot of energy tonight as well.  UR seemed to play with an increased determination, and won the game despite having a limited bench in a 3 game series. Igual notched 17 points / 6 boards/ 5 steals,  and hit 4 of 7 from 3 point range, while J. Tull had 15 / 6 boards, and Brandon Tull scores 12 with 5 assists / 4 steals. Winnipeg hit only 33%, and shot selection suffered badly in the 2nd half; Jelane Pryce scored 19 points/ 5 rebounds, with 17 points each from Ryan Oirbans (10 rebounds), and Jamar Farley.  Regina will get a very brief respite, then travel to Kamloops to play Thompson Rivers, the top team in the Explorer Division in the Quarter-finals starting Thursday night – 7 pm Pacific.     Box Score



Quarter Finals in Canada West – Best of 3 games series’

Thursday – Fri – Sat …
#7  Regina  at #2  Thompson Rivers – (Pacific – 7 pm, 7 pm, *7 pm, if necessary)
#6  Lethbridge  at #3  UBC –    (Pacific – 7 pm, 7 pm, *7 pm – if necessary)
#5  Fraser Valley  at  #4  Manitoba – ( Central – 7 pm, 7 pm,  *3 pm, if necessary)
Friday – Sat- Sun …
#9  Alberta  at #1  Calgary  –  (7 pm, 7 pm, *2 pm, if necessary)


Overtime – 

  •   For a taste of the rugged reality of the Canada West play-off schedule, imagine you’re the Regina Cougars at 9 pm Sunday, you celebrate a hard-fought win in the play-in series. You’ll be up for  classes on Monday morning , Tuesday, and,  on Wednesday, you catch a plane in the morning, stopping in Calgary  … 5 – 7 hours later, you’re in Kamloops.  Shooting practice that afternoon / evening.  Game 1 is on Thursday at 7 pm. After game 2 on Friday at 7 pm- 9 pm, you will have played 5 games in 7 1/2 days, and you may have 1 left on Saturday.  Fly home on Sunday.  (You’ll hope you haven’t caught the ‘flu’ virus running around the campus.)
  • Mac fans 'represent' in their home gym vs the cross-town Bears.

    Mac fans ‘represent’ in their home gym vs the cross-town Bears.

    Congratulations to GMU Athletics for the crowds and the atmosphere in their gym this weekend for the Bears – Griffins series.  Game attendance is a major focus – point for the League, and the promise of bigger fan turn-out for next year’s new schedule will be encouraging.  Marketing of CIS basketball can draw from a large community fan base, with the game growing increasingly popular among our youth.

Comeback Wins to Bears and Wesmen


Defense rules as Alberta comes back to take game 1

Colby Jackson scores 21 to lead the Bears to a game 1 win.

Colby Jackson scores 21 to lead the Bears to a game 1 win.    photo- U. Alberta Athletics

#9 Alberta Golden Bears 67  at  #8 MacEwan Griffins  58 –   The conditions seemed ripe for a Griffins ‘upset’ early in this well-attended game in North Edmonton. GMU fans were raucous, and the visiting Bears were struggling to score, as the home side were up 36-28 at the half. Alberta’s inside game never did dominate as might have been expected, but their shooters were much sharper in the final 20 minutes, led by guard, Colby Jackson, who scored 21 points on 4/8 treys, adding 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Mamadou Gueye had an off-night shooting-wise, but still managed 14 points / 5 rebounds/ 3 steals.  The Bears went to the line 22 times vs just 8 for Mac, and UA tallied 16 points there against only 5 for MacEwan. Defense stole the show overall, as Alberta ‘out-shoots’ GMU 33% to 28% from the floor; the Griffs had 13 from Thadius Galvez plus 5 helpers, and Chris Mooney claimed an amazing 19 rebounds to go with just 7 points.  Game 2 is at 7 pm Mountain at MacEwan.  Box Score 


Big finish produces road win for feisty Wesmen

Big man, Ryan Oirbans, dominates the middle in a huge Winnipeg comeback win.

Big man, Ryan Oirbans, dominates the middle in a huge Winnipeg comeback win.

#10 Winnipeg Wesmen  80 at #7  Regina Cougars 73 –   With a 10 point lead at the break, Regina looked to be set to take charge against the visiting Wesmen, but the shots stopped falling and the fouls on the Cougars sent Winnipeg to the line with regularity.  The Ws find their sweet spot on offense, and post 29 in the 4th quarter to snatch a 1 game lead in this best -of-three. Ryan Oirbans plays like an ‘Aussie on a mission’, with 21 points, 15 rebounds, and a pair of blocked shots, leading UW’s 5 men in double figures. William Sesay also has a double-double, with his 10 points/ 10 boards, and Jelane Pryce adds 15 points, and 6 rebounds. Winnipeg scores 21/37 free throws vs just 5/12 from Regina, who get 22 points and 5 rebounds from Jonathan Tull, a 10/10 double by Will Tallman, and 14 points / 9 boards for Alex Igual.  Game 2 is set for 5 pm Central.  Box Score 



 More CIS Scores  –

Atlantic –  at Cape Breton 85 #10 Dalhousie 84, at UNB 102 UPEI 87, at Memorial  104 St. FX  84 ,

Ontario – #5 McMaster 80  Brock 69  (Weds) … Friday –  #1 Carleton 87 at Laurentian 67, #2 Ottawa 74 at Nipissing 49 , #3 Ryerson  70 at Queen’s  68 , #5 McMaster 89 at Guelph 76 , at Western 84 Lakehead 69, at York 97 Toronto 93



Overtime –   

  • Manitoba Head Coach, Kirby Schepp,  on his Bisons strong run into the CW play-offs this season, “People saw both programs [Manitoba and Winnipeg] in the city as not winners and not something they wanted to be a part of,” Schepp said.“Winnipeg’s certainly done well in the last few years and they’ve brought things around. Obviously I’m really proud of what we’ve done here and gradually each year we’re getting better and better and better and being more competitive and more consistently a playoff team.”  From this story in The Manitoban. 
  • More excitement at MacEwan on Friday, with a much bigger crowd than we see at Regina.  The fans are into the game, and the Griffs are equiting themselves pretty well in the early going against their older ‘cousins’ from the South side. Winnipeg is unaffected by the Regina fans, and work their way back into this game in the 2nd half with an inspired effort.
  • Here’s an example of ‘Player Media Training’  engendering the stock response –  From The Golden Bears’ 2nd year guard, Andriy Halushko,  asked whether the match-up with MacEwan was a particularly notable game, “This game has the same level of importance to us as any other game this year,” Halushko said. “MacEwan is just another team on the list we’re trying to defeat in order to win the championship. The strategy for the game remains the same: be the best we can be.” (C’mon Andriy !  Any All-Edmonton playoff tilt has to create a special buzz for the Griffins and the Bears ! ) From this story in The Gateway 

‘Play-ins’ at MacEwan and Regina


‘Play-ins’ Are Tough To Call –

Thadius Galvez, MacEwan Griffins' guard, will be a key man as they host the U of A Golden Bears in one 'play-in' series this weekend.

Thadius Galvez, MacEwan Griffins’ guard, will be a key man as they host the U of A Golden Bears in one ‘play-in’ series this weekend.  photo – MacEwan Athletics

#9  Alberta Golden Bears   at  #8  MacEwan Griffins –  You would have thought these two schools would have found each other before now, but Friday’s 1st game of this best of three series will be the 1st time the Griffins and Bears have met.  Predictions really go out the window, other than we would expect a ‘full house’ at Mac, as the Edmonton basketball community comes together to witness a bit of history in the making. (Wouldn’t our friend Phil Allen have been excited to have seen these games !)  GriffinsHome copy

The Griffs and Bears may well produce a low-scoring series, with both teams relying on defense, and neither consistently pushing the ‘running game’.  Mac Coach Eric Magdanz suggests, “We have to contend with their bigger, stronger front-line, where they do most of their scoring. Our guards (Thadius Galvez, Denzel James, and Chris Mooney) have generated a lot of our scoring, so it’s a bit of a contrast in styles.”
Who to watch-
Bears – Mamadou Gueye – 6’7’ ‘small forward’ … 18 ppg and 7.2 rebounds,  Brody Clarke – 6-8 post … 12 ppg and 6.3 rebounds, Colby Jackson – 5-9 point … 8 ppg and 4.7 assists.
Griffins –  Denzel James –  6-3 wing …14 ppg / 5 rebounds/ 1.5 steals,  Thadius Galvez – 6-2 guard …13.5 ppg/ 3.5 assists/ 2.1 steals, Chris Mooney – 6-3 guard … 9 ppg . 6.7 rebounds, 3 asst.
Bears 3 copyAlberta has a long history in the CIS, with Canada West and National championship trophies in their collection, while MacEwan was, up until 2 years ago, playing at the Canadian Colleges level in the ACAC.  But we’ve seen former ‘College teams’ like TRU and Fraser Valley have playoff success against Pioneer programs.
“There’s great excitement in Edmonton surrounding this series; there are no big high school tournaments competing for fans, so we expect a big crowd”, says Coach Magdanz.
Game times –  Friday, Feb. 26 – at 6 pm, Saturday, 27th- 5 pm, and Sunday, 28th (if necessary) at 2 pm (times are Mountain).   The winner of this series will meet the Pioneer Division leaders and #1 seed Calgary Dinos in one Quarter final series ‘A’  in Calgary.

Jonathan Tull, Regina's high scorer, will be a focus for UW's defense in the 2 Pioneer teams' play-in series in Regina this weekend.

Jonathan Tull, Regina’s high scorer, will be a focus for UW’s defense in the 2 Pioneer teams’ play-in series in Regina this weekend.

 #10 Winnipeg Wesmen  at #7  Regina Cougars –   Here’s a tough series to get our heads around, hoops fans !  Winnipeg, since winning 6 straight to start the 2nd half of the season, have dropped 5 of their final 6 League games; they also lost 2 to Regina back in early December. The home-standing Cougars have that obvious advantage, but, since a huge win at UBC on January 23, UR has lost 5 of 8 to finish up at 11-9. Unknown-2
Winnipeg have their high scorer, guard Denzel Lynch-Blair (17.5 ppg, 3 steals) ‘somewhat doubtful’ for this series, having missed the UBC game last Saturday. Their offensive is12th in Canada West in points /game at 72, and they shoot 39.5%, which is 14th in CW. They can, however, play defense – 2nd in steals and blocked shots, and they allow only 75 ppg.  Their rebounding is a weakness, with a -6 margin, among the League’s worse.
Unknown-1Regina scores more – 81 ppg, and get to the line quite often (24 /game), but they allow more points as well – 77.5 /game.  Besides the home court, the Cougars appear to have more functional depth than the Ws, with scoring spread 7 or 8 deep, and key subs in guard Aaron McGowan and forward Brian Ofori.  Key players in this series –
Wesmen – *D. Lynch-Blair (if he can go) – 6-4 guard, who can score, and disrupt on the defensive end, he has often been the catalyst on offense.  Jelane Pryce – 6-7 forward …  15.2 ppg/ 5.3 rebs/ 1.4 blocks . Ryan Oirbans – 6-9 forward … key rebounder (8.1 per game)  9 points.  William Sesay – 6-3 rookie guard … quick defender, 6.8 rebounds, 9.7 ppg/ 1.8 steals.
Cougars – Jonathan Tull – 6-4 guard …  17 ppg/ 5.2 rebs/ 2.5 steals .  Brandon Tull – 6-4 guard … 11.8 ppg / 3.8 reb./ 2 steals.  Brian Ofori – 6-6 forward … 8 ppg/ 5 rebs .  A. McGowan – 6-1 guard … top-notch 6th man, 9.5 ppg/3.5 rebs/ 2.8 asst.

The Cougars do have the home court, and, if their offense can crank it up, they may have too much scoring for the Wesmen to match.  If nerves hit Regina, the Winnipeg defense could turn this series on it’s ear.  An upset here is not impossible, but our guess would be that UR’s depth will give them the edge.
Game times –  Friday, Feb. 26 – 27- 28 (if necessary)  all at 7 pm  Central.  The winner of this series will meet the Explorer Division’s top team, #2 Thompson Rivers, in Kamloops in  Quarter-Final  ‘B’.

CIS Scores –  (Tuesday) … Saint Mary’s 90  Acadia 74


Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 3.01.34 PM

Don’t look now, but guess who’s back on top ?  Yes fans, it’s the Carleton Ravens , the same birds who’ve won of 11 of the past 13 CIS Championships !

Who knows if they’ll win in the OUA play-offs, but this week, the Ravens are #1, as Ryerson has a small hiccup in Guelph.  Ottawa wins and gets #2, while Calgary stays at #4, UBC #6, and Manitoba rises to 9 without even playing!  We continue to believe that UBC and 2 other Canada West teams will be in the Final 8, but not a 4th by a wildcard choice.



Overtime –   

  • In a comprehensive article by Wayne Kondro of the Ottawa Citizen , U. Ottawa Coach James Derouin, says that the FIBA rules played in the CIS require players to make quick decisions. “That’s the key,” he says. “Can you teach your players to play without them having the crutch that a coach can call a timeout and bail you out of any situation? You definitely have to develop their decision-making a lot more.”
  • Manitoba Head Coach Kirby Schepp signs a big man from Winnipeg’s talent-rich high school ranks in St. Paul’s High School forward, Cameron O’Hara.  O’Hara played on Manitoba’s provincial U17 and U16 the past 2 summers. At 6-7,   245, he will be a ‘space-eater’ in the lane for the Herd.
  • Sorry about the ‘A-D-B-C’ mix-up in our last post.  To clarify the play-offs – Winners of series’  A plays the  D winner and the B series winner plays the C winner.   S-o-o-o-o …in the March 3-4-5-6 QUARTER-FINALS – we have …
    A – GRIFFINS / BEARS winner  at #1 CALGARY
    D- #5  FRASER VALLEY  at  #4  MANITOBA – Winner of series A vs Winner of D at the Final 4, March 11/12
    B – COUGARS / WESMEN winner  at   #2  THOMPSON RIVERS
    C – #6 LETHBRIDGE  at #3  UBC – Winner- series B vs Winner of C at the Final 4

Cascades Inch Closer With Sweep of TRU


Fraser Valley Finds a Way, as Dhillon Hits from Outside

Vijay Dhillon's outside shooting carries UFV to a 2nd win over TRU on Saturday in Abbotsford.

Vijay Dhillon’s outside shooting carries UFV to a 2nd win over TRU on Saturday in Abbotsford.  photo – Fraser Valley Athletics

at Fraser Valley  67   #9 Thompson Rivers  62 –  If the Wolf Pack (14-4) look in their rear -view mirror, they may see the Cascades’ (12-6) bus closing in rapidly !  UFV fight back in the last 2 minutes for the win after TRU had tied the game at 60.  The ‘Pack hit a dismal 27% from the floor, with UFV just a bit better at 36%, as the rims get smaller in this battle of 1 and 2 in the Explorer Division.  Kevon Parchment has 20 points/ 7 rebounds for the Cascades, while Vijay Dhillon hits 17 on 6/11 and 5/8 from outside the arc. Josh Wolfram records a double of 16 points / 15 rebounds for the ‘Pack, and Volodymyr Iegorov also doubles, with 12 points/ 10 boards. UFV travels to Mt. Royal next weekend, while TRU are at home vs UBC-O.  Box Score

MacEwan  71  at UBC-Okanagan 62 –  MacEwan grabs a huge sweep on the road vs Okanagan with a 24-12 final quarter seeing them roar by the Heat.  Mac is now alone in 3rd place at 9-9, while UBC-O falls back to 8-10, with their playoff chances slipping away. The Griffins shoot 51% from the floor vs 39% for the home team, and 22 turnovers from the Heat pretty-well seal their fate tonight. Thadius Galvez posts a 20 pt / 7 reb/ 4 steal game to lead the Griffs, with Denzel James adding 16 points / 5 boards/ 4 helpers.  Okanagan get 16 points apiece from Aldrich Berrios and Cameron Friesen (7 rebounds).   Mac is at home next week vs UNBC. Box Score

MRU's Derek Wolfe bombs UNBC with xxx points

MRU’s Derek Wolfe bombs UNBC with 39 points, as the Cougars win 2 this weekend.

Mt. Royal 87 at UNBC 80   –   Derek Wolfe has the game of his CIS career on Saturday in Prince George, as his MRU Cougars get a sweep.  Wolfe hits 8/12 from 3 point range, including a couple in the 4th quarter, as  the Cougars shoot 53% from the floor to just get by the stubborn T’Wolves. Brett Layton has another double-double, with 15 points/ 11 boards for Mt. Royal, who are 8-10, and still chasing a playoff chance.  Rhys Elliott scores 27 ( 7 rebounds)  and Marcus MacKay 20 for UNBC.   Box Score


Wesmen Rebound for Key Win Over Lethbridge

Ryan Oirbans powers Winnipeg to a 'must-win' home victory vs Lethbridge.

Ryan Oirbans powers Winnipeg to a ‘must-win’ home victory vs Lethbridge.

at Winnipeg 79 Lethbridge 70   –   The Wesmen come through with a crucial win on Saturday with more aggressive play on both ends of the floor. Their offense takes it directly at the ‘Horns’ ‘D’ , and UW cashes 18/28 free throws vs 5/9 for Lethbridge.  The Winnipeg defense forces 23 UL  turnovers , resulting in 23 UW points. Ryan Oirbans has a stellar game for the home team, with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Jelane Pryce finds his touch, scoring 17 and grabbing 9 boards.  Denzel Blair-Lynch who returned after a 1 game absence, tallies 15 points, 4 red, 6 asst, 4 steals to breathe new life into the Ws. Lethbridge is not as sharp, and they give up too many offensive possessions, and look less confident in the attacking zone. Both Brandon Brine and Dejon Burdeaux claim 10 rebounds, and Brine leads UL scoring with 19, while Burdeaux adds 12 and 5 rebounds. These 2 teams are tied at 10-8, with Lethbridge at home to Trinity next week, and Winnipeg traveling to UBC in the final League games.    Box Score

Alberta  85 at Saskatchewan  80 –  Not wanting to do anything the easy way, the Golden Bears come close to frittering away a 16 point 4th quarter lead, as both teams treat  the ball like it was a grenade on late-game possessions. Lyndon Annetts hits 4 free throws for the Bears down the stretch to secure the win. Credit U of A with bouncing back from a rough game on Friday for a road win which may cement a playoff spot for them. Mamadou Gueye has a big 33 point/ 12 rebound game for Alberta, and he gets help from Brody Clarke (20 points / 6 boards, with Annetts tallying 16 points.  Saskatchewan are just 37% from the floor, as they have Shane Osayande hit 19 points plus 9 rebounds.   Alberta has a single game at home next Saturday vs Calgary, while the Huskies go to Regina for a pair.   Box Score

#7  UBC 84  at Brandon  68 –  After conceding a 4 point Brandon lead at the half, the Thunderbirds ‘get it in gear’ in the 2nd, with much sharper shooting, and more aggressive defense, which forces 26 deadly turnovers from the ‘Cats. Jordan Jensen-Whyte attacks the rim for UBC (14-4), and gets rewarded with a double of 14 points (11/12 from the line), 10 rebounds, plus 5 assists ; Conor Morgan also benefits from free throws, going 8/11 on his way to 20 points, the same as guard Phill Jalalpoor (4/7 from 3 point range). The Bobcats (1-17) look at some new faces in their line-up tonight, but still rely on their top 2 point-getters, D.J.  Jordan (21 points in as many minutes), and Earl Thompson Jr. ( 10 points / 4 assists).  Box Score

Manitoba  91  at Trinity Western  87-   The Bisons prevail in a wild game which almost ignored the defense both ways. The game is tied after 3/4s, and Manitoba wins with a 53 point 2nd half. A trio of Bisons in the 20s, with Keith Omoerah the leader with 24 / 13 rebounds, then A.J. Basi scoring 22, and Justus Alleyn 20. TWU get 24 from Vartan Tanielian off the bench, as he hits 6/12 from 3 point range.. Lucas Mannes has another strong game with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists for the Spartans. Manitoba finishes their regular season at 15-5, in 3rd place, awaiting their playoff match-up. Box Score


 Other CIS Scores Saturday –
Atlantic – at St. Marys 77 Cape Breton  58 , at UPEI 97 Memorial 87, at UNB 96 St FX 70
Ontario – #3 Carleton 74 at #6 McMaster 65, #2 Ottawa 89 at #5 Brock 82 , at Laurentian 84 Nipissing , Western 81 at York 80 ,  at #1  Ryerson 98 Algoma  56, Windsor 93  at Queen’s  87 ,  Guelph 90 at Waterloo 75 , Lakehead 89 at Laurier 85

Overtime –  

  • Tribute words from Coach Adam Friesen, Fraser Valley Cascades, about his 5th year star Kevon Parchment , “He’s had to step up this year in terms of leadership because of all of our injuries and he’s provided a lot of stability for this group. We can always look to him to perform and give everyone a sense of calm. He keeps us in games and gives us a chance to win.” From a nice article in the Abbotsford News by Ben Lypka. 
  • U of L Coach Mike Hansen, after their Friday win at Winnipeg, “It’s scary to know we still haven’t clinched,” said Hansen. “We could still finish as high as fourth, but we could drop to seventh.”  The Pronghorns made the trip without senior guard Rob Olsen, whose wife is expecting.  From the Lethbridge Herald  ( With Saturday’s loss, U of L will be happy to return home for their final 2 League games, after going 1-3 on the road the last 2 weekends.)

Showdowns Feature Prairie Teams



Prairie Rivalries  are Focus This Week

Brandon Brine's and the 'Horns are up against Lars Schleuter and the Dinos in Calgary this week.

Brandon Brine and the ‘Horns are up against Lars Schleuter and the Dinos in Calgary this week.

The first week in February for Canada West sees the two most telling series tipping off in Manitoba and Southern Alberta.  Four teams who sit at 9-5 or better in the Pioneer Division duke it out this Friday and Saturday, with playoff slots on the line.  The difference in winning 2, splitting, or dropping both can mean in or out, home court, or a very different playoff draw.  We also have Mt. Royal hosting MacEwan with neither team having the luxury of absorbing a loss if they are to get a decent shot at a playoff slot from the Explorer Division.
Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.07.20 AM Lethbridge (9-5) at  Calgary (12- 3)  –  The Dinos have home court and are coming off a bye week, while the ‘Horns are fresh from last week’s pummelling of the Golden Bears.  Both teams appear to be at full strength, with Calgary having had a chance at recovering from ‘small hurts’, and Lethbridge seeing the return to form of import guard, Dejon Burdeaux, who is such a key for them.
Both teams have depth, with the Dinos featuring a dominant scorer, Thomas Cooper (tops in Canada West at 24.7 ppg) and Lars Schleuter at 11.5 ppg , while the ‘Horns have 3 in double figures – Brandon Brine (18.2 ppg) , Rob Olsen (15.1), and Burdeaux (13.8).
We  expect a high-scoring affair, with both teams near the top of the ppg average in the League.  Calgary’s challenge will be  to crack the Pronghorns zone / press defense, and the ‘Horns’ to get their offense rolling with their running style against the quick UC guards.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.17.43 AMWinnipeg (9-5)  vs  Manitoba (11-5)  (Home and home series – at Manitoba Friday, and Winnipeg on Saturday)  –  These cross-town rivals are both peaking for this match-up, with the Wesmen winning 7 of the latest 9 games they’ve played.  The Bisons would appear to be the deeper team, with the more explosive offense, but they have been without Ilarion Bonhomme, who is so valuable off the bench at the point, and 5th year post, Wyatt Anders saw limited action last weekend.  Winnipeg will need a huge team effort on the boards, and to capitalize on their opportunistic defense, if they are to slow down the Bisons attack.  A lower-scoring game might be to Winnipeg’s liking, while A.J. Basi and his Manitoba teammates like a more wide open style. ‘At least a split’ … this goes through both coaches minds, we can be sure !

Also in the Pioneer Division –

Jonathan Tull will try and help his UR Cougars fend off the Vikes.

Jonathan Tull will try and help his UR Cougars fend off the Vikes.

Victoria (7-9)  Regina (8-6) – This is a ‘survival series’ for both the Vikes and Cougars, as they’re  coming off disappointing 2-loss weekends, and are now wanting to get a place in the top 7 for playoffs.  UVic has a tough road assignment, as last year’s Canada West champs looked particularly shaken vs UBC in their 2 blow-out losses. Veterans like Reiner Theil, Brandon Dunlop, and Mack Roth will need to get their troops ready, or they will be out before they know it.
Regina will need offensive production from Jonathan Tull, and a better series from big Will Tallman;  big men Stephen Shields and ‘Pops’ Ndiaye could be a handful for the smaller Vikes.

Brandon (1-13)  at Saskatchewan (4-10) –  Neither of these teams are playoff bound, but will still want to finish up their season on positive notes.  The Huskies may be particularly motivated by home court, and by wanting 5th year Saskatoon star, Evan Ostertag, to get some more satisfaction as his career winds down.
One very nteresting match-up – Huskies Chan DeCiman (Regina) vs Bobcats ‘Pookie’ Saunders (Calgary) … two rookies who are playing well.

Trinity Western (1-13)  at Alberta (7-8) –  Even with their 2 ugly losses at Lethbridge, the Bears can still get things on track for a playoff berth, starting with a good home stand against the Spartans. Alberta really has been most unlucky with injuries, and can only hope they have starters back healthy this week.  Brody Clarke is a key for U of A, if he is 100%, and Colby Jackson is needed at the point.  TWU have a win, and can use more defensive consistency as they try and take it on the road.


TRU at home and ‘sitting pretty’ in the Explorer

Colin Plumb and his T-Wolves 'mates will be sorely tested at TRU.

Colin Plumb and his T-Wolves ‘mates will be sorely tested at TRU.

With a ‘death-grip’ on the #2 seed in the Canada West playoffs, the TRU Wolf Pack are trying to tune up their game, and be ready to take the steps necessary to reach the Final 4, then the CIS Nationals in Vancouver.  Not unreachable goals, but like every team in the competition, it’s one step at a time (We can hear Coach Scott Clark, even as we write this).
UNBC (3-11) at Thompson Rivers  (12-2) –  This is a high hurdle for the struggling Timberwolves, with an away series against a stacked TRU roster. UNBC has Rhys Elliot, but even he, at 18 ppg, has suffered with the loss of 5th year lead guard, Billy Cheng, out with injury.  Colin Plumb has played well on the forward line, but he faces a killer trio in Josh Wolfram, Volodymyr Iegorov, and Luke Morris.  This should be two routine wins for the ‘Pack as they stay ahead of the other 5 chasers.


Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 2.07.42 PMFraser Valley  (9-5)  at UBC-Okanagan (7-7) –  UFV Coach Adam Friesen will be looking for some indication of playoff readiness from his experienced group, led by all-star, Kevon Parchment, and shooting guard Vijay Dhillon.  One question is, “Can Fraser Valley get players back in the rotation” ?  They’ve had only  7 or 8 players available, and that has hurt.  UBC-O are the challengers here, and will have a home crowd to help their cause.  Big match-up – the Heat’s Aldrich Berrios at the point going up against the taller and more seasoned Manny Dulay of UFV.  If Okanagan is to catch the Cascades for 2nd, they will need a sweep here we think, and Fraser Valley is likely too tough for that to happen.

Rookie post Brett Layton has been an offensive leader for the MRU Cougars.

Rookie post Brett Layton has been an offensive leader for the MRU Cougars.

MacEwan (6-8)  at Mt. Royal (5-9) –  Well, we know the Cougars need  both these games to have a reasonable shot at a playoff berth, and MacEwan is really in the same boat, as they look up at UBC-O ahead of them. This should be a close set of games, with MRU’s aggressive defense, and play of 2nd year guard Glen Yang, and 1st year post man, Brett Layton giving them a real boost.  Mac responds with guards Thadius Galvez and Denzel James, their 2 high scorers and floor leaders.  The Griffs have more experience, but road wins are hard to come by; the pressure is on both teams to secure a sweep … something has to give !


 Wednesday CIS Scores   –  
at # 1 Ryerson  104  # 5  Brock   79 –  The Rams are decimating their OUA challengers in the past several weeks, and further justifying their top ranking.



‘Old’ Pioneer Powers Scrambling




Changing of the Guard in Canada West ?

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 7.38.26 AM
After watching all 3 of Victoria, Alberta, and Saskatchewan absorb two losses each this past weekend, we find ourselves in the ‘New Order’ of Canada West Basketball.  These three teams  have figured prominently in Canada West and CIS hoops for years past;  the last 5 Canada West championship games were won by –  2015 – Victoria over Saskatchewan, 2014 – Alberta over Victoria, 2013 – UBC over Victoria, 2012 – Alberta over Fraser Valley, 2011 – UBC over Saskatchewan.

 The T-Birds are still good bets to be in the Final 4, and, of course, host the CIS Nationals, but what of the Bears, Vikes, and Huskies?  It would seem unlikely, or even shockingly improbable for all 3 strong programs to have such a difficult year.  We certainly think U of A and UVic still have playoff shots, but U of S has faded too far South;  graduation of key players, injuries, and defections have conspired to reduce these teams to chasers rather than the leaders they had been for so long.

We suspect they will all be back next season with their usual competitive squads, but, for now, they have given way to ‘upstart teams’, like Calgary, Lethbridge, Manitoba, and Thompson Rivers.  We have 3 weeks of play remaining in both Divisions, and it’s highly likely that we may have a very different slate of teams competing in the Final 4 come March 11-12.

Four Series Sweeps Change the Standings

Manitoba copyWe had 5 series in the Pioneer last weekend, as the 6 Explorer teams and the UC Dinos had the weekend off. We saw movement away from the middle of the standings by several teams, as 4 of these series’ ended with 2-game sweeps.
> Manitoba has officially exorcised their 2nd half of the season ghosts of past years; they pounce all-over the Regina Cougars, 89-82 and 77-63, and sit at 11-5.
> Across town, the Winnipeg Wesmen prepared themselves for the ‘Red River Rivalry’ series by dispatching a scrappy U of S Huskies squad 81-77 and 81-72 to win their 6th in a row for a 9-5 mark.
> At Lethbridge, the short-benched Bears were trounced by a running, pressing Pronghorns team, who used 2nd half onslaughts to dispatch their Northern rivals 93-61 and 88-62.
> In their brand-spanking -new Carsa Centre, the ‘rebuilding‘ Victoria Vikes were sorely pressed to stay anywhere near the visiting UBC Thunderbirds.  UBC took both games with unusual ease … 79-51 and then 86-67.
> It was fitting that both Brandon (Friday) and Trinity Western (Saturday) got their first wins of the season in their series in Langley.  No playoff chances, but the shut-out is averted!

Top Performers last weekend –

Keith Omoerah is a difference-maker for the Herd this season.

Keith Omoerah is a difference-maker for the Herd this season.  photo- Bisons Athletics

  • Keith Omoerah may not have a big ’S’ on his chest, but he should have !  Keith’s return to the Bison Herd has put this team on a path for championship contention, with his rebounding, scoring, and defensive effort.  16 points / 14 rebounds/ 6 assists on Friday, then 18 boards plus 12 points, 3 asst, 4 steals in the Saturday win. Oh, and we might mention A.J. Basi’s  significant sharp-shooting role … 27 points Friday, and Jonathan Alexander chipping in both nights for totals of 26 points and 14 rebounds.
  • Winnipeg’s  Denzel Lynch-Blair has to be in the  all-star discussion, with yet another week of multiple contributions for UW, with 49 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists, and 12 steals.  Nicely done, young man !  Ryan Oirbans with his rebounding and a 29 point night on Saturday from Jelane Pryce pace the Ws to a sweep.
  • Brandon Brine hits 37 points, with a scoring frenzy at home for the ‘Horns on Friday, then Jared Baker takes over on Saturday, hitting 3s everywhere, and scoring 17 points / 5 assists.  Lethbridge has a ‘not-so-secret-weapon’, however;  Dejon Burdeaux, back to ‘match-fitness’ is a dominant force at both ends of the floor … 31 points over 2 nights, to go along with 16 assists and 12 steals off the very effective UL press.
  • UBC has a varied attack, as they get 8 players contributing in both definitive victories at UVic … their depth is apparent, when their scoring leader Conor Morgan has a quieter weekend, but rookie Taylor Browne steps up with 15 points/ 4 reb, 3 asst on Saturday, while the night before David Wagner returned to the ‘Birds line-up with 12 points/ 6 rebounds.
Lucas Mannes sparks TWU win on Saturday.

Lucas Mannes sparks TWU win on Saturday. photo – TWU Athletics

A round of applause for the TWU Spartans’ Lucas Mannes with his tour de force of 56 points/12 reb/14 asst/6 steals; his teammate Kelvin Smith chimes in  with 49 points/ 14 rebounds/ 5 steals.   Brandon’s Earl Thompson pots 37 points / 19 rebounds in the split series, and the Bobcats’ rookie, Pookie Saunders, gets our attention with a combined 39 points /12 boards / 10 asst/ 5 steals.




 CIS Scores  on Sunday –  
Atlantic –   UPEI  97  at Cape Breton   80  … a split of their weekend pair, leaving the Panthers (10-4) in a 1st place tie with Dalhousie, and the Capers (7-6) scratching for a playoff spot, back in 5th spot .


Overtime –   

  • UBC are wanting to try and duplicate the feat of the 1982 UVic Vikes under Coach Ken Shields, who won the CIS Championship at Memorial Arena in Victoria that season, the 3rd of 7 straight for the Vikes.  The Birds don’t yet have that kind of roll going, but UBC Coach Kevin Hanson wants to start this March !
  • As for the 7-9 Vikes, Coach Craig Beaucamp says , “We’re trying to stay up in a down time.  There is so much left to play for. We’ve got a good nucleus and can’t lose sight of the big picture. We can still make some noise.” From the Victoria Times-Colonist, Cleve Dheensaw
  • Speaking of the U of A Golden Bears , who his UL team beat twice last weekend in Lethbridge, “They’re a banged up group,” said Horns coach Mike Hansen. “It’s a reversal of fortune. We limped up there last season and lost and this time it was their turn to have a bunch of injured guys. Our guys played great D all weekend,” said Hansen. “Jared Baker and Dejon Burdeaux at the top of our press were great both games.”  From Dylan Purcell in the Lethbridge Herald.

Winnipeg Teams Defend Home Courts


Jelane Pryce is big in the Wesmen win, as both Winnipeg schools finish of home sweeps on Saturday.

Jelane Pryce is big in the Wesmen win, as both Winnipeg schools finish off home sweeps on Saturday.


at Manitoba 77  Regina  63 –   The Herd rumble to a most convincing shut-down of the visiting Cougars, and get the sweep to improve to 11-5 for the season. Up by 15 at the half, the Bisons widen the gap in the 3rd, then waltz home with the W.  Regina just not in this one, as they hit only 28% from the floor, and are unable to take advantage of a generous 26 Manitoba turnovers. All 5 UM starters score in double digits, led by Keith Omoerah, who also claims 18 rebounds, 3 asst, 4 steals . Jonathan Alexander has a double of 12 points and 11 boards. Aaron McGowan is off the bench with 11 points / 5 asst  for the Cougars, who also have Jonathan Tull with 12, and Travis Sylvestre adding 10. Regina slips to 8-6, with UVic, Calgary, and Saskatchewan left.    Box Score

at Winnipeg  81 Saskatchewan  72 –  With foul trouble hanging over several players in the 4th quarter, the Huskies lost the lead they had for most of the game, as Winnipeg hit 11 points in the final minute from the foul line.  The foul shots really did determine the outcome as the home team shot  27/35, while the visiting Huskies had just 6/10.  Jelane Pryce, with 29 pts / 10 rebounds, and Denzel Lynch-Blair’s 27, with 5 reb/ 6 asst/ and 5 steals  filled the scoresheet for the Ws.  William Sesay added 11 boards, 3 assists, and 2 steals to help Winnipeg to the sweep. Shawn Lathan was good for U of S, with his 19 points/ 5 rebounds, and Mack Burns  grabbed all of 15 rebounds. The Wesmen move up to 9-5, in the thick of the playoff race, with 4 more home games coming up, while Saskatchewan are 4-10, with prospects fading rapidly.  Box Score

at Lethbridge  88  Alberta 62  –   Deja vu for the Bears and Pronghorns, as the home side takes a 5 point lead into the half, then steps up the pace to pull away quickly in the 3rd, with a 25-9 pasting. The U of A cannot match the 52% shooting of the ‘Horns, and the Bears relatively inexperienced back-court cough it up 29 times to add to the agony. Four U of L starters in double figures, with 21 points, 8 assists, 4 steals by import guard, Dejon Burdeaux, and 17 points/ 5 asst by senior guard Jared Baker, who is 5/7 from outside.  Alberta shoots only 33% from the floor, but go to the line for 25/32, as Mamadou Gueye counts 19 points/ 7 rebounds. Lethbridge get to 9-5 with the weekend double over Alberta (7-8), and the ‘Horns travel to Calgary next week to play the 12-3, first place Dinos.   Box Score

# 9  UBC  86 at Victoria 67  –   The UBC offensive power puts the Vikes away for a 2nd straight night, as the home team finds it tough to get inside hoops against the ‘Birds size.  Vic works hard at the defensive end, but the relentless attack by the Thunderbirds (12-4) proves decisive.  53-34 at half-time leaves little doubt as to the result, with UBC hitting 55% from the floor to only 36% for the Vikes. A team effort from the ‘Birds, with 3 players – Jordan Jensen-Whyte (7rebs), Philip Jalalpoor (5 boards), and 1st year guard, Taylor Browne (4 reb, 3 asst, 6/6 shooting) scoring 15 points apiece, then 2 others  with 12.  Victoria (7-9) never threatens, but get Mack Roth with a good shooting night (7/13) at 16 points, and Reiner Theil working hard for 6 rebounds and 13 points.    Box Score

A 36 point effort from Lucas Mannes leads Trinity to their 1st win on Saturday.

A 36 point effort from Lucas Mannes leads Trinity to their 1st win on Saturday.

 at Trinity Western 87 Brandon  78 –  Trinity uses home court on Saturday, and finally land their elusive 1st win of the season, after having come close at least a couple of previous times. A 52 point feast in the 2nd half allows the Spartans to overcome a 3 point half-time deficit, as they shoot 49% on the night to Brandon’s 40%.  Lucas Mannes had a terrific game for TWU, as he scores 36 points/ 6 reb/ 5 asst/ 5 steals, and Kelvin Smith adds 18 points / 9 boards.  Brandon’s rookie guard, ’Pookie’ Saunders, leads the ‘Cats with 21 points/ 7 asst/ 6 rebounds.  Box Score





CIS Scores  on Saturday –
Atlantic –   at Cape Breton  77  UPEI   63, at #10 Dalhousie 87 Acadia 68,  at UNB 108  Memorial 90,  Saint Marys 82  St. FX 69
Quebec – #7 McGill  at Bishop’s ,  at UQAM 98 Laval 97,
Ontario –  #1 Ryerson 97 at Nipissing 68, at #2 Ottawa 91 York 61,  at #3 Carleton 99 Queen’s 81, Guelph 80 at Algoma 60, at Laurentian 75 Toronto 74, at Lakehead 74        #4 McMaster  72 , Western 81 Laurier 60,  Windsor 86  Waterloo 58

Spartans – Bobcats After a Win


D.J. Jordan and his Brandon Bobcats will be looking for win # 1 at TWU this weekend.

D.J. Jordan and his Brandon Bobcats will be looking for win # 1 at TWU this weekend.

Spartans or Bobcats to ‘spoil perfect record’ –

Feature Series –  Brandon  at Trinity Western –  Heartlessly we refer to this as ‘The Battle of the Titans’;  two teams who are having very disappointing and frustrating seasons.  Don’t forget that you have very talented players on both teams, and they dedicate a great deal of time and effort to their sport.  Let’s hope the games are well-played and competitive !  Lucas Mannes, Vartan Tanielian, and TWU? Go Spartans !  Or will it be D.J Jordan, Earl Thompson Jr. and Brandon? Go Bobcats !

Alberta (7-6) at Lethbridge  (7-5) –  Two teams in the heat of the playoff battle, who would both love to sweep, but know the odds are on a split.  If the Bears get Sebastian Denault back on the court, their size / power may be a big factor, with Brody Clarke starting to put his stamp on every game. Alberta could use 1 more perimeter shooter to hit shots (couldn’t we all) against the zone defensive schemes of U of L.  The ‘Horns have been leaning heavily on their 2 mainstays, Brandon Brine and Rob Olsen;  they may need wider contributions, should either star have an off-night.

Can Jordan Charles and UVic knock off the UBC T-Birds in Victoria this weekend?

Can Jordan Charles and UVic knock off the UBC T-Birds in Victoria this weekend?    photo- AP

UBC (10-4) at Victoria (7-7) –  This, in past seasons would have been the ‘big show’, but for the rival Thunderbirds’ first visit to the new CARSA Centre, it lacks that drama, with the Vikes floundering in the middle stages of this season.  UBC comes with the ‘eye of the hunters’, as they chase the UC Dinos for top spot in the Pioneer, while UVic are fighting for their playoff lives.  The Vikes want to set themselves back on course, after dropping 7 of 10 games in the last 5 League weekend series’.  Which headline is more likely? “Conor Morgan comes home to lead the ‘Birds to victory”?  Or  “Vikes Rally, and Upset T-Bird Rivals” ?

Regina (8-4) at Manitoba (9-5) – Two top teams coming off big wins last Saturday (Regina at UBC, Manitoba at Lethbridge), and the home court is a reassuring sight for the Herd.  The Bisons have won 10 of the past 11 games against the Cougars, and both teams may as strong as they’ve been for at least the past 5 – 6 seasons. Keith Omoerah, A.J. Basi, Wyatt Anders, and Justus Alleyn have been stellar for UM, but Regina’s Tull brothers, Alex Igual, Aaron McGowan, and Travis Sylvestre will try to use their momentum to get at least a split.

Saskatchewan (4-8)  at Winnipeg (7-5) – With rumours of some discord in the Huskies camp surrounding rookie guard, Jacquin Bennett-Boire, Saskatchewan faces the Wesmen in Winnipeg. U of S may have their role reduced to ‘spoilers’, just as UW appears to be solidifying their game, and seeking a playoff berth.  Jelane Pryce, Denzel Lynch-Blair, and big rebounder, Ryan Oirbans have been coming on strong, as the Wesmen play the first of 6 straight home games. The ‘Dogs will look to big man, Shane Osayande, and guards, Evan Ostertag and Chan DeCiman to lead them back on the winning track.

Calgary is on a bye week in the Pioneer, and the entire 6-team Explorer Division are taking a mid-winter break.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 3.07.27 PMRyerson Rams- the New # 1

For the first time since November of 2012, a team other than Carleton or Ottawa is in the #1 slot of the Coaches Top 10 poll !  The Ryerson Rams, who beat both the Ravens and Gee-Gees last week in Toronto jumped ahead of their OUA rivals. McMaster jumps over Brock, while McGill loses 3 spots, with 2 losses, and Calgary climbs to # 6 with their 8th straight win.

> Note – the CIS Nationals wildcard spot will go to an OUA team – done!

CIS Scores –
Cape Breton  100  St. FX  86 – a sweep of the home and home series for the Capers, with this return match delayed by last week’s big storm.



Overtime –

  • MRU Coach , Marc Dobell, mirroring the thoughts of most Explorer
    MRU Coach Marc Dobell is happy to have time to rest his team.

    MRU Coach Marc Dobell is happy to have time to rest his team.

    teams getting this week off,  “It is good. We are banged up. We were playing without one player tonight (last Saturday at TRU). A fifth-year player (James Lefebvre, forward) who would have made a big difference for us. He is going to get a chance to recover along with another guy who played limited minutes tonight because he is sore. It is a good time for us to heal some of our nicks and wounds and start focusing in on the last three weekends.” From TRU Athletics – Larry Read.

  • Senior Nights honouring the ‘graduating’ 5th year players across the League are cropping as early as next weekend … Feb. 5/6/7, and through the last regular season games on Feb. 20.  Good reason to get to the gym and see the games live; if you’re alum, you can pay special attention to the young men who will be joining your elite group !

Regina and Manitoba Get Road Wins



A.J. Basi leads the Manitoba Bisons to a key road victory at Lethbridge.

A.J. Basi leads the Manitoba Bisons to a key road victory at Lethbridge.

Manitoba 102  at  Lethbridge   94 –  All offense, all the time, as the Bisons hand Lethbridge their first  home loss this season, and move up to 9-5, while the ‘Horns are back at 7-5.  The Herd share the scoring, with 6 in double figures, led by 21 from A.J Basi , who hits 4 trays, has 4 assists, 3 steals. Big game for Brett Jewell on the inside, as UM shreds the Pronghorn zone; Jewell has 19 and 4 boards, while Keith Omoerah gives the Bisons a double of 17 points/ 11 rebounds.  Lethbridge got close in the final minutes, with Rob Olsen cashing a pair of treys, but they can’t capitalize, as they have 15 turnovers (not that bad …), but Manitoba just 6 !  Olsen finishes with 25 points/ 8 assists, while both Brandon Brine (13 rebounds) and Zac Overwater score 20 in support.   Box Score

   Regina  83  at  # 8 UBC  79 –  Never say never !  The Cougars (8-4) play a gem of a game in one of the toughest gyms for visiting teams in Canada West!  Credit to the composure of Regina down the stretch; after they lose a 12 point lead with 4 minutes remaining, they battle back with a score by Aaron McGowan and clutch free throws from Jonathan Tull.  UBC (10-4) looked to have the momentum, but some reserve toughness by U of R turned the tables. Tull was the top scorer for Regina with 23, with Brandon Tull and Alex Igual adding 14, and McGowan 13.  Conor Morgan was the game-high scorer with 29 for the Thunderbirds, as he also counts 6 rebs/ 3 steals/ 3 blocks. Phil Jalalpoor chips in with 16 with 4/8 from 3 point range.  Box Score

# 7 Calgary 119   at Trinity Western  75 –   Free-wheeling by the visiting Dinos (12-3), who pour all the troops onto the floor for double digit minutes, and score 33-30-30 in successive stanzas, shooting 56% for the game. TWU (0-12) has the very short bench, and runs out of steam pretty quickly, as Calgary shows no let-up.  Thomas Cooper scores 28 points / 5 boards, and, off the bench, Mitch Ligertwood and Jasdeep Gill each tally 14 points, with Gilladding 6 boards/ 3 assists. Trinity gets 20 points from Kelvin Smithand 14 by Lucas Mannes.  Box Score

 at  Winnipeg 77  Victoria  64 –  The Wesmen (7-5) take a huge leap into the midst of the playoff fray with this 2nd win over the Vikes, and Victoria is slipping out of that group, as they suffer their 7th loss in 9 games. This was a game that turned on streaks of scoring, and Winnipeg came back from 31-23 down near the end of the 1st half to roar past the Vikes with a 17-2 run.  Jelane Pryce was the top scorer again for the Ws, with 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots. Denzel Lynch-Blair counted 19 pts/ 5 assists, and Jamar Farley contributes 18 points including 3/6 from 3 point range.  The Vikes (7-7) made it close into the middle of the 4th quarter, but untimely  turnovers and missed shots (39%) sealed their fate; Reiner Theil had 15 points, Brandon Dunlop 14, 5 rebs, 4 assts, and Jordan Charles 13 points.   Box Score

Alberta 68  at Brandon 54 –   Solid 2nd half defense for Alberta, and they get the sweep, moving to 7-6, while the ‘Cats are now 0-12.  The Bears shut down the Brandon offense, and BU hits a measly 29% from the floor compared to 41% for U of A, who also control the boards 50-34. Mamadou Gueye continues his fine play with 18 points/ 7 rebounds to lead Alberta, followed by 17 from lead guard, Colby Jackson, who also had 6 assists, and Brody Clarke with a double of 12 points / 10 rebounds. The scoring really dried up for the Bobcats in the final 3/4s, as only Chris Stanhope (11) and Earl Thompson (10) were in double figures.   Box Score

Saskatchewan has the bye this week.

Wolf Pack Pulling Away in the Explorer Race

Luke Morris is one of many weapons in the TRU arsenal, with 20 points vs MRU Saturday.

Luke Morris is one of many weapons in the TRU arsenal, with 20 points vs MRU Saturday.

 at #9 Thompson Rivers 81  Mt. Royal 62 –   A show of force tonight for the leaders, as they establish a 43-23 lead at the break, and finish off the sweep to now be at 12-2 and well clear of the Explorer field. A much looser game tonight with 43 total turnovers, as TRU cashes 19/22 (86%) free throws, and wins the rebound battle 51-35. The Cougars lose their zip tonight, and hit only 35% from the floor, and fall back to 5-9. Josh Wolfram frames a nifty 19 point / 13 rebound double to lead the Orange, with Luke Morris having a good night as well, with 20 points and 5 rebs. MRU gets 24 points from a rapidly improving Glen Yang from his guard spot, and Derek Wolf adds 15 points / 4 assists / 2 steals.   Box Score

UBC-Okanagan 78 at  UNBC 64 – Down by 7 at the half, the Heat put the defensive clamps on the home town T’Wolves, and blow by in the 3rd quarter. Now 7-7 on the season, Okanagan has some breathing room in 3rd spot. Guards Mitch Goodwin (25 points/ 4 rebs), and Aldrich Berrios (23 points / 4 boards/ 7 assists) provide the sharp point to the UBC-O attack, as the visitors are a hot 53% from the field, including 9/18 shots from beyond the arc. UNBC gets 17 from Elliot Rowe, but really hit a rough patch this weekend, and slide to 3-11.   Box Score

  at  MacEwan  74  Fraser Valley  54 –   Whoa cheval !   This is a big surprise; not a Griffs win, but 20 points?  And 54 for UFV ?  Every quarter, it’s Mac taking control, and the Cascades having no rhythm at all; a good indicator is the rebound total – Mac 51 UFV 34.  Illness, injury for Fraser Valley, maybe, as they are just 7 on the sheet. A 22 point night for Keith Gerdes of the Griffins, and he has help from Denzel James, who charts 15 points/ 6 rebs/ 4 steals, and Ryan Coleman off the bench for 13 points/ 4 boards.  Kevon Parchment with a 15 point / 12 rebound double for UFV, along with 12 points and 11 rebounds by Navjot Bains.   Box Score


CIS Scores on Saturday –
 Atlantic-  Dalhousie 79 at UPEI   78  … big road win for Dal over the AUS leaders.
Quebec – Concordia 68 at  # 4 McGill 57 – big change in the Q, as the Stingers get a home and home sweep over the  Redmen.  Bishops 77 at  Laval 73
Ontario –   at #5 Ryerson  #1 Ottawa   #2 Carleton 89 at Toronto  65,  at  # 6 McMaster 77  Western 61,   Laurier 97 at Laurentian 68 ,  at Nipissing 68 Waterloo   65 ,  Lakehead  73 at Algoma 65 , Queen’s 62 at York 59

Overtime –   

  • From our correspondent in L.A., David Wells, we learn that the absence of Dejon Burdeaux for U of L is due to a leg injury, and even after trying warm-up, the ‘Horns import guard could not answer the bell.  Manitoba was also short a lead guard, as veteran transfer (Brandon) Ilarion Bonhomme, who has been so valuable coming off the bench this season, was not dressed due to an ankle issue.
  • What do you do if you’re trapped  in the Atlanta, GA  airport overnight by extreme weather ?  Well, if you’re former Calgary Dinos  star Greg Hess (now living in Houston, TX) , you check out our Canada West Hoops web site for the latest news from Friday games. Nice to hear from Greg, whose aggressive style was part of Calgary’s Canada West championship success in 1976 along with teammates like Tom Bishop, Ted Hellard, Ken Rucker, Mike Santiago, Pat Lee, Phil Christie,  and Ian MacKay.

Pronghorns Bomb Bisons


Big shooting night for Olsen and Brine to lead Lethbridge

'Horns sharp-shooter, Rob Olsen bombs away vs Manitoba

‘Horns sharp-shooter, Rob Olsen bombs away vs Manitoba

at  Lethbridge  96 Manitoba  74 –  The Pronghorns win every quarter, and control this game at both ends, as they edge up to 7-4 on the season, close now to Manitoba’s 8-5. The deadly duo of Rob Olsen and Brandon Brine drives Lethbridge, as they hang one on the stunned Herd . 30 points on 13/17 for Olsen, and 27 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks for Brine, as the ‘Horns shoot 51% and out – rebound the Bisons 47-38. Justus Alleyn hit 9/18 for Manitoba on the way to 21 points, and Keith Omoerah scored 13, but U of M hit only 37% from the floor. Box Score



at # 8 UBC  78   Regina 57  –  Regina was willing, and, through much of the 2nd

 Punishing UBC defense wins a big one at home.

Punishing UBC defense wins a big one at home.

quarter, able to compete with the physical style of the T-Birds at both ends of the floor. But as the 1st half wore on, it was the foul total that climbed instead of points on the scoreboard for the visitors, and they go to the break down 41-34.

It wa UBC’s vigorous 2nd half defense that limited the Cougars to 31% field goal shooting, with UR stalwarts like Jonathan Tull (1/8), Brandon Tull (3/12), Aaron McGowan (1/8), and Will Tallman (0/4) not getting the good chances or the finish. The ‘Birds move on to 10-3 with a decisive team lock-down of Regina.

Conor Morgan was big for the Thunderbirds  in scoring 22 points including 3 treys and a couple of emphatic dunks plus 10 rebounds. He had guard, Jordan Jensen-Whyte, adding 18 points and 6 rebounds, as he and big post man, Patrick Simon, (17 pts) combined for 12/14 free throws, in attack mode in this key game. Regina were led by13 points from import guard, Alex Igual, and 12 off the bench by forward Brian Ofori. The Cougars, who fall to 7-4 , were seriously out-rebounded by UBC 52-32, and it may not be good news for new post man Rawane Ndiaye, who plays just 4 minutes, and collects 4 fouls and only 2 points/ 0 boards.  Box Score


A great 39 point game from Lucas Mannes for TWU, but still no wins!

A great 39 point game from Lucas Mannes for TWU, but still no wins!

# 7 Calgary 108  at Trinity Western 86 –  At the half, the Dinos lead by 5, but Trinity are in it through the 23 point explosion by guard Lucas Mannes. Calgary comes out running in the 3rd, and they rack-up 37 points to seize a 17 point lead, and spread the playing minutes around in the 4th. Thomas Cooper scores 23 and adds 7 rebounds and 3 assists, while Josh Owen-Thomas (16 pts), Lars Schleuter  (14 pts) , and Dallas Karch (13) combine for 10/17 from 3 point range.   Before fouling out in the 4th quarter, Mannes totals a game-high 39 points for TWU, as he hits 7/13 from way outside, and Vartan Tanielian is sharp from beyond the arc, at 5/9 for 17 points.  Calgary are now 11-3 , and Trinity, at the other end of the standings, 0-11 for the season.  Box Score

  at  Winnipeg 78  Victoria 70 –   Winning  their 5th of the last 7 games, the Wesmen hand the Vikes their 6th of their 8 most recent starts, and this is a game-changer for both teams. The Ws have their heads above water, at 6-5, while Victoria (7-6) is losing ground steadily since getting off to a good start in the Fall. UW wins tonight by establishing a 38-23 lead at the half, then coasting  in until a late trey by Uvic’s Jordan Charles gets the visitors to within 3.  But 5 straight Winnipeg free throws seals the deal, as Jelane Pryce flashes his ‘A’ game, with 24 points/ 9 rebounds to lead the way. Denzel Lynch -Blair added 19 and 5 assists / 4 steals, while William Sesay retrieved  12 boards to lead both teams.  Grant Sitton had a 12 point / 11 rebound double for Victoria, and Charles led UVic scorers with 16 plus 6 rebounds.  The Vikes shot 7/7 from the free throw line, but 13/17 gave the Wesmen an edge there. Box Score

Alberta  72  at Brandon 65 –  The Bears defense stifles the Brandon attack, as the home team shoots just 28% from the floor.    A 3rd quarter surge by  Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke, both of whom score 9 points in that frame, gives U of A an 11 point cushion, and BU could not catch up. Alberta evens their season’s mark to 6-6, as the red-shirt rookie, Clarke, has a huge 30 point effort, adding 6 boards, while Gueye scores 20, with 9 rebounds. Earl Thompson Jr. notches 28 points for the Bobcats, but that doesn’t prevent their 11th loss in as many Canada West League games.   Box Score


Saskatchewan has the bye this week.


Aldrich Berrios and the Okanagan Heat get a win at UNBC, and move to 3rd alone.

Aldrich Berrios and the Okanagan Heat get a win at UNBC, and move to 3rd alone.

UBC-Okanagan 72 at  UNBC 50 –  Okanagan builds their lead slowly, then fashion a 25-12   3rd quarter to guarantee the big win, as they move to 6-7 and sole possession of 3rd place.  The T’Wolves are just out of synch without their injured floor leader, Billy Cheng, and they connect on only 32% from the field for the night. Aldrich Berrios leads UBC-O with 20 points / 8 rebounds / and 7 assists, and Spencer Thomas impresses with a 10 point / 10 rebound double.  UNBC (3-10) have Colin Plumb with 15 points and 6 rebounds, and Marcus MacKay scoring 13. Box Score
 at #9 Thompson Rivers 85  Mt. Royal 79 –   The Wolf Pack simply out-shoot the Cougars in a very competitive game, and the Explorer leaders move to 11-2, while MRU drop back to 5-8.  Mt. Royal are strong on the boards, grabbing 48 to 30 for TRU, but 21 turnovers by the visitors give extra chances to the ‘Pack shooters. Thompson Rivers’ forward Josh Wolfram hits 27 and takes 6 boards, while Reese Pribilsky has 25 points, 4 assists, and 5 steals. The Cougars have 4 in double digits with 17 from Glen Yang and a 15 point / 10 rebound double from Brett Layton.  Box Score

Fraser Valley 80  at  MacEwan 77 –  UFV (9-4) get a valuable road win, narrowly  escaping from a spirited Griffins charge in the 4th quarter.  Thadius Galvez  cashes a 3 for Mac to get within 3, but 2 more long range chances miss for Galvez, and the Cascades survive. Kevon Parchment continues to tear it up for Fraser Valley, with a double of 20 points/ 12 rebounds, while Manny Dulay looks sharp with his 18 points and 7 assists. ( Vijay Dhillon is back for the Cascades, and his deft shooting will give a lift to their offensive production.)  Chris Mooney has another good outing for MacEwan (5-8), as he scores 17, plus 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 steals. Box Score


Western copy

Mustangs beat # 3 Brock in an impressive road game for Western.

CIS Scores –

Earlier this week …  Concordia upsets McGill 95-83 in overtime,  McMaster blasts Windsor 106 -74 in Hamilton.

Western surprises #3 Brock 72-61 right there in St. Catherines, ON, and the woes continue for St. FX, as they are beaten 84 – 75 by Acadia in Wolfeville, NS  .


Friday night scores –
 Atlantic- Acadia 82 at St. FX 74 , at Dalhousie 78 St Marys 73,  at UPEI  94 UNB  75
Quebec – Laval  75 at Bishops 68
Ontario –  The big game – #5 Ryerson 79  #2 Carleton  61 , as the Ravens lose their 2nd straight.   #1 Ottawa 87 at Toronto  61,   at Laurentian 77  Waterloo 70,  Laurier 73 at Nipissing 72


Overtime –   

  • TRU Head Coach Scott Clark, speaking of his sense of how the 10-2 Wolf Pack season has and will progress, ”I think we’re playing OK. We can and we will get better. The guys have done a great job. We’ve played four home games since Oct. 20 or something like that. To play at a pretty good level and be on the road for that length of time, that takes some toughness. I’m proud of that.”   From Adam Williams, Kamloops This Week.
  • Sheriff Abdur-Raheem is the headline NBA star, as UBC is the site for Saturday’s continuation of the NBA All-Star Challenge, the traveling promo event for the Toronto Raptors’ hosting of the Feb. 14 NBA All-Star game. At MacEwan U. in Edmonton, it’s former all-star guard, Jason Richardson, as the headliner for the N. Alberta event scheduled for the same Saturday, Jan. 23 date.  At half time of UBC-Regina and MacEwan-UFV, the NBA Challenge regional finals will be run, with winners going to Toron to four the National finals in the skills competitions.
  • Mike Hansen,  U of L Pronghorns Head Coach, prior to the UM series in Lethbridge, “This is a great group, these guys are really grinding, they’ve fought through a lot of adversity this season,” said Hansen. “We play six of 10 at home here and we’ve said all season we have to win our home games and this is a chance to do that.”  From the Lethbridge Herald
  • Winnipeg Coach Mike Raimbault isn’t one to look too far ahead in his W wesmenschedule, but he has commented positively on his team’s extended home-stand starting this week vs UVic.  Winnipeg’s Duckworth Centre will be the welcome home base for the next 4 weekends for the Wesmen; “It’s kind of funny the way the schedule worked out,” says Raimbault, “but we’ll take it and run with it.”  The line-up of teams is tough (Victoria, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Lethbridge), but they’re all coming to downtown Winnipeg, and that is a bonus for the Ws.  The Wesmen do  finish at UBC on the final weekend of League play, so taking full advantage of home court is a must for their playoff hopes.