Bears Force Third Game Against Thunderbirds

Title: Bears Force Third Game Against Thunderbirds
Date: February 23, 2013
Original Source: UBC Thunderbirds
Synopsis: Post-game recap for Feb. 23 Men’s Basketball game between UBC and Alberta.

VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds will need a third game to try and close out their Canada West quarterfinal series with the Alberta Bears.

BOX SCORE

UBC dropped Saturday night’s game 81-68, evening the best-of-three series at one game apiece. The Thunderbirds were outplayed from the second quarter on, struggling to communicate at times and allowing the Bears to slowly build to a double-digit lead.

The Bears managed to outrebound the Thunderbirds 46-36, a feat few teams manage to accomplish.

“They just outworked us,” said assistant coach Casey Archibald. “When we don’t outrebound teams, we don’t win.”

Part of the rebounding issue was the limited minutes that Brylle Kamen (Paris, France) played, as he picked up two early fouls in the first half. Kamen played just 20 minutes, tallying seven rebounds. It was enough to lead the team along with Tommy Nixon (Vanouver, BC), who also had a team-high 14 points, but the team couldn’t make up for being outsized when Kamen sat.

Youssef Ouahrig came up big for the Bears with 10 rebounds to go with 17 points, but the real story for Alberta was Kenneth Otieno. Otieno, who was top-five in the conference in regular season scoring with over 19 points a game, was held in check on Friday night with just nine points. On Saturday, however, Otieno was scoring at will, finishing with 29 points on 11-of-19 shooting with eight rebounds.

“He just got too many touches tonight,” said Archibald. “We let him get going really early. Good players, if they get the ball, they get it going.”

Overall, the Bears shot 46% to the Thunderbirds’ 37%, with UBC’s only edge coming at the free throw line.  UBC had opened up a lead as large as five late in the first but struggled to keep pace with Alberta from there, with the Bears outscoring UBC in the final three quarters.

The Thunderbirds chances to mount a late comeback were cut short by a few costly turnovers and some missed chances defensively. On one such possession, UBC played excellent defense to force the Bears into a late-clock attempt, only for Otieno to make the basket and draw a foul. That extended the lead to 11 with 2:30 to play at the time, effectively sealing it.

It was a surprisingly thorough victory for the Bears, and UBC will have to regroup quickly with a short turnaround before the next game. The teams tip off once again at 4 p.m. on Sunday at War Memorial Gym in Vancouver.

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