This weekend at the Saville Community Sports Centre on the University of Alberta's South Campus is a big one. Not only are the Golden Bears and Pandas basketball teams hosting the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns teams, but the Pandas are also teaming up with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation for the annual 'Shoot for the Cure' campaign, and both the men's and women's basketball games on Friday are FREE admission to all U of A students with a valid ONECard.
This Friday, November 16, the Golden Bears and Pandas basketball games against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns are Legacy Games, which means free admission to the Saville Community Sports Centre for all U of A students.
The Legacy Fund was created by student referendum as the result of a campaign orchestrated by the University Athletic Board in the early 1990’s. The funds are used by our Golden Bears and Pandas teams for a variety of expenses, but often for non-conference travel. We provide free access to select Golden Bears and Pandas events as a 'thank you' for student contributions.
On Friday at 6:00 p.m. the Alberta Pandas (2-2) take on the 3-1 Lethbridge Pronghorns at the Saville Community Sports Centre, and then at 8:00 pm, the No.10 ranked Golden Bears (3-1), the defending Canada West champions, tip off against the Pronghorns (3-1) in a contest to decide first place in the Prairie division of Canada West.
The Alberta Pandas basketball program will also be raising money for cancer research as they host the annual CIS 'Shoot for the Cure' campaign.
The CIS Women’s Basketball Coaches Association is running 'Shoot for the Cure' to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - and other related charities - for a sixth-straight year.
The Shoot for the Cure campaign has proven an overwhelming success since it was launched in the fall of 2007, with over half a million dollars in donations ($512,394.58). For the first time last season, all CIS women’s basketball programs participated in the campaign.
This weekend, the Pandas will do their part to support the campaign by working with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Western to raise awareness and funds to support cancer research.
Alberta is coming off a pair of losses to the Calgary Dinos in southern Alberta, and will be looking to get back into the win column against the Pronghorns. Fifth-year forward Anneka Bakker has been the team's leading scorer so far, as the Ottawa native is averaging 11.5 points per game, and 20 total rebounds. She is followed closely by forward Saskia Van Ginhoven at 9.5 points per game, and CIS rookie guard Jessilyn Fairbanks, who has scored 9.3 points per game. Fairbanks leads the Pandas in assists with 15 and steals with six. Kendra Asleson, back with the team after a season off, leads the Pandas in rebounds with 24 in total, or six per game.
The Pronghorns, coached by former Pandas assistant coach and Master’s in Arts with a Specialization in Coaching student Erin McAleenan, have three players in double-digit scoring, led by Ali Cameron's 15.3 points per game, and followed by Kim Veldman (13.8) and Erin Skippon (11.5). Veldman leads the Horns in rebounds with 27, or 6.8 per game, while Cameron has nine steals and is connecting on 37% of her three-point attempts.
On the men's side, the Golden Bears are led by fourth-year School of Business student-athlete Jordan Baker. He is averaging 19.8 points per game this year, which is fourth-best in Canada West, as well as eight rebounds per game. Third-year guard, and Faculty of Sciences student, Kenny Otieno, who is back on the floor after 1.5 years away, is averaging 16.8 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per contest.
The Lethbridge Pronghorns are currently the top offence in Canada West. They are scoring an average of 91.8 points per game, while the Golden Bears are ranked 10th with 77.2 points for. Defensively, however, it is another story. The Golden Bears have the fourth-fewest points against in the conference, as they are yielding just 72.8 per game, while Lethbridge is giving up 86 points per game.
The two teams are tied for first place in the Prairie division of Canada West, but the Golden Bears have never lost a home game at the Saville Community Sports Centre since the facility opened in 2011.