Andy Watson / Photos by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)
VICTORIA – The No. 5 nationally ranked University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team used strong transitional play to defeat the No. 6 nationally ranked Alberta Golden Bears, 83-77, at Ken and Kathy Shields Court at McKinnon Gymnasium in front of over 1,000 fans on Saturday Jan. 6.
With the win, the Vikes improve to 9-1 while Alberta slips to 5-4. UVic hosts two their final three regular season games next Friday Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. and Saturday Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. against the No. 9 nationally ranked Fraser Valley Cascades who lost 87-78 to Lethbridge on Saturday night.
On Saturday, UVic avenged a 2010-11 Canada West quarter-final series loss to the Golden Bears and rebounded from an 86-81 loss on Friday against the No. 4 ranked Saskatchewan Huskies. The Vikes were deserving of the victory.
Terrell Evans of Las Vegas, Nevada, provided some timely baskets in transition in the paint, but it was Michael Acheampong of Toronto who led the Vikes with 23 points on the night. Ryan MacKinnon of Comox, B.C., added 20 points along with four steals and four assists.
3 Zach Andrus looks for the lay in while holding off Bears defender
Micheal Acheampong pulls up for the jumper before the Bears big man can reach him
Terrell Evans passes the ball into the post
Acheampong and MacKinnon helped UVic to open up a 22-19 lead after the opening quarter, then a Ryan Erikson three-pointer – his first career CIS trey – made it 31-21 midway through the second stanza.
UVic would build leads of nine several times but Alberta clawed back, often led by the strong all-round shooting of six-foot-three guard Daniel Ferguson of Malton, Ont.. He led the Golden Bears with 26 points. Jordan Baker of Edmonton had a double-double for Alberta with 25 points and 12 rebounds along with four assists.
Alberta went on a 14-3 run to close out the second quarter and led 37-36 at the half. But in the third, UVic’s depth helped them to regain the lead at 55-51, aided by two quick scores to close out the third quarter from Evans and MacKinnon.
The Vikes went on a 4-0 run to start the fourth quarter with Evans converting off a steal and then Anderson netting one on a fast-break, taking a pass from Evans and driving to the basket.
Ferguson continued to deliver timely shooting from outside and keep Alberta close, but UVic’s effective transition and athleticism allowed them to stay out in front.
Leading 68-63 with four minutes remaining, UVic started to drive to the hoop and draw fouls. Alberta picked up its fifth team foul of the quarter with 2:45 remaining, putting UVic at the line in the bonus situation for easy points.
A three-pointer from Acheampong with just under two minutes left extended the lead to 75-67 and the Vikes never looked back.
In the end, UVic scored 18 points off turnovers, and they gave the ball away just eight times.