With relatively new coaches and players, the Alberta Golden Bears decided to do something else that was new on Friday night.
Win in Brandon.
The Bears got a Canada West conference season-high 38 points -- 30 after halftime -- from NCAA transfer Daniel Ferguson and won in the BU Gymnasium for the first time since Brandon joined the Canada West conference in 1999, defeating the Bobcats men's basketball team 81-71.
Under their second-year head coach Greg Francis -- who replaced 26-year head man Don Horwood -- the Golden Bears ended a drought that included two games that were decided by less than three points.
The Bobcats broke out to a 21-9 lead after the first quarter but went without a field goal for more than seven minutes over the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second, and then watched Alberta go on a 10-3 run in the final 5:07 of the second to go into halftime down just 30-28.
"I thought defensively we were pretty good, we just broke down a little bit," BU men's head coach Gil Cheung said. "They hit timely shots. I was real proud of our effort on defence for a half, holding those guys to 28 points. They're a very good team and I think they're going to end up being a top-five team in the country."
Ferguson, who was an NAIA all-American at Berry College, which has since elevated to NCAA Division III, went 6-for-11 from the three-point line and scored 11 points over the span of 2:17 late in the fourth quarter to give Alberta the lead for good after O'Brian Wallace had temporarily given BU a two-point edge.
"He's one of the best five guys in the country, I think," Cheung said. "... We tried to close out high hands and make him bounce and chase him off that line, but a couple of them were real deep and contested. ... We're back at it (tonight) so let's see what our guys are made of."
Wallace had 22 points off the bench to lead BU (2-3) while Jordan Reaves, Isaiah James and Kyle Vince each added 12.
Last year's Canada West rookie of the year Jordan Baker was two assists short of a triple-double, posting 16 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. Fifth-year guard C.G. Morrison added 13 points.
Alberta led by as much as 12 in the third quarter but BU posted a 12-2 run to get back into the contest. After Wallace hit a lay-up with 6:35 to go in the fourth, Ferguson took over knocking down three threes in the next two minutes.
AND ONE: The Bobcats were forced to head back to their team room midway through their pre-game warm-up after the teams both came out wearing gold uniforms. BU changed into its road blues. ... Wallace's 36 points last weekend in Regina had previously been the conference's best offensive output of the season.