Grewal’s 18-point effort sinks Vikes

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Andy Watson

VICTORIA – Fraser Valley fourth–year forward Kyle Grewal of Surrey, B.C., quietly scored 18 points including a pair of momentum-changing three-pointers as the No. 10 nationally ranked Fraser Valley Cascades upset the No. 6 nationally ranked UVic Vikes 79-70 in front of about 1,000 fans at Ken & Kathy Shields Court at McKinnon Gymnasium on Friday Jan. 13.

BOX SCORE

Grewal, who entered the game with just nine three-pointers on the season, nailed a pair of game-changing treys and added an exclamation point in the closing seconds, stealing the ball from Vikes guard Ryan MacKinnon and threading a pass to Joel Friesen who dunked the ball to score the game’s final basket.

Mike Berg of Burnaby, B.C., scored 18 second-half points for a game-high 19 points, adding five rebounds including four on the offensive glass. He led an inspired charge for the Vikes but their in a ability to convert on second-chance points cost them.

Michael Acheampong of Toronto was also strong for UVic, scoring 17 points including three treys for the Vikes. MacKinnon of Comox, B.C., had a season-low nine points and added six steals and six assists in a tough night in the loss.

Grewal added six rebounds in the win, while Friesen of Abbotsford, B.C., netted 17 points while Sam Freeman of Coquitlam, B.C., added 15 for the Cascades.

The teams meet again Saturday night Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at McKinnon Gymnasium. The Vikes athletics department will honour the national champion UVic women’s rowing team at the half time of the men’s basketball game.

UVic led 16-12 after the opening quarter and stretched the lead to 25-16 with 6:30 in second period.

Despite a major edge in rebounding – particularly on the offensive glass – UVic failed to put away second-chance opportunities, allowing Fraser Valley to crawl back into the contest when James York drained a three-pointer, turning the momentum and cutting the deficit to four points, 25-21 in favour of the Vikes.

An 11-0 Cascades run over two and a half minutes allowed Fraser Valley to take a 27-25 lead on a Friesen three-pointer with just over four minutes left in the opening half.

Then, the Cascades capped off the half by tying the game on a dazzlng Grewal fastbreak layup.

In the second half, Berg began to take over to keep the cold-shooting Vikes in the game – UVic shot just 35.9 per cent on the night. Berg scored 12 third-quarter points in a see-saw quarter that featured six ties.

Fraser Valley led 54-52 after the third quarter.

In the fourth, another timely Grewal three-pointer made it 69-61 Fraser Valley – their biggest lead of the game – and they held on by outscoring UVic 25-18 in the final 10 minutes for the road win – their second away from Abbotsford this season.

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