VICTORIA – Senior guard Zac Andrus of Vashon Island, Wa., shot five-for-eight from the floor and seven-for-eight from the line to finish with 19 points to guide the UVic Vikes to an 87-76 win over the Brandon Bobcats at McKinnon Gymnasium on Saturday night in front of 843 fans.
With the win, the No. 9 nationally ranked Vikes improve to 4-0 on the season, top in the Canada West. Brandon falls to 1-3.
Ryan MacKinnon of Comox, B.C., led the Vikes with a game-high 22 points, and two other UVic players were in double-digit scoring – Michael Acheampong of Toronto had 16 points and five defensive rebounds, while Mike Berg of Burnaby, B.C., added 14 on the scoreboard along with five boards.
Kyle Vince of Winnipeg and Donovan Gayle of Scarborough, Ont., had 18 points each to lead the Bobcats.
“They made some tough runs at the end (of the second quarter), we didn’t execute our press break very effectively,” Andrus said of a 23-10 run by Brandon. “We just mentally stuck with what we’re good at and made some big stops where we could to get back in the game.”
“We’re trying hard not to drop any at home, anytime you can do that, we’ll take it.”
UVic led from start to finish, leading by as much as 18 points. They opened up with a 20-15 first quarter advantage but Brandon kept nipping at their heels, pulling within one point several times. UVic led 39-36 at the half.
In the third quarter, the Bobcats pulled within one point at 43-42, thanks in large part to the strong play of Michael Smith and Gayle off the bench, but a 16-2 run that featured two three-pointers from MacKinnon and one from Reese Pribilsky of Victoria helped the Vikes to put the game out of reach.
After a brief Brandon run, Mike Berg scored twice in the paint within 45 seconds to re-establish a 17-point UVic lead.
Brandon’s bench kept them in the game with a 36-point effort.
Andrus earned Applebee’s Player of the Game honours for his efforts.
The Vikes host the Thompson Rivers WolfPack next Friday and Saturday nights – at 8 p.m. on Friday Nov. 18 and at 7 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 19 7 p.m. (FULL SCHEDULE)