By Eric Licis, February 12 2015 —
On the last home game of the season for the University of Calgary men’s basketball team, the University of Alberta Golden Bears spoiled the night with a fourth-quarter comeback, winning 76–67.
An enthusiastic crowd filled the Jack Simpson gym for the annual Pack the Jack, which featured a tribute to fifth-year seniors Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson and Phil Barndt.
Ogungbemi-Jackson came into Friday’s game second in point-per-game in the Canada West conference and was the likely candidate to steal the show.
However, it was German-native and first-year Dino Lars Schlueter and Golden Bears forward Mamadou Gueye who stole the show.
The Dinos scored their first points of the night on a three-point shot, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Schlueter drilled three consecutive three-point shots, much to the approval of the enthusiastic crowd. U of A’s play was inconsistent and the first quarter ended with the Dinos up 21–14.
Ogungbemi-Jackson showed off his skills in the second quarter, at one point stringing together a defensive block that led to a fast break. He broke through two additional Bears defenders, diving between for a layup to secure two points and a free throw.
The play didn’t shake the Golden Bears’ confidence. Holding comfortable on six-to-seven point leads before the second quarter, the Dinos took unforced fouls in the key, allowing U of A to tie up the game 35–35 by halftime.
Schlueter kicked off the scoring in the third quarter by sinking another three-point shot. He finished the night with 20 points on six-for-seven shooting.
Neither team gained a sizeable lead due to the back-and-forth fast breaks that characterized the third quarter. However, a few late and unassuming fouls by Calgary helped Gueye find his groove, and the Golden Bears took over the game.
The Dinos started the fourth by jumping to a 56–51 lead. Gueye quietly chipped away as he accumulated 12 of his 21 points on free throws. Several fouls and a three-point shot scored by the Golden Bears gave them their first lead in two quarters. The U of A held on to win 76–67.
“We played as hard as we could,” Schlueter said on the last quarter collapse. “We ran the floor and boxed out and tried to stop their offence, and we did a good job for most of the game, but came up short in the fourth.”
With his parents in attendance for what will be his last Pack the Jack, Ogungbemi-Jackson wasn’t happy with his team’s performance.
“They outplayed us,” Ogungbemi-Jackson said. “They came out with more energy. They were hungrier than us and deserved to win. Congrats to them.”
The Dinos leave for a back-to-back series against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on Feb 14–15 — a trip that Ogungbemi-Jackson hopes will bring the Dinos back to winning form.
“Moving forward we have to be better,” Ogungbemi-Jackson said. “We have to be more focused, especially when facing a different caliber of team like University of Victoria or Saskatchewan and UBC. It’s that simple.”