The Winnipeg Wesmen outscored the University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team 28-11 in the fourth quarter, en route to a 75-71 upset at the Duckworth Centre in Winnipeg.
With the loss, the No. 7 nationally ranked Vikes slip to 10-3 and have lost three of their past five games. Winnipeg improves to 4-110 and keeps their slim post-season hopes alive.
UVic will look to rebound on Saturday night when they face the 8-4 Manitoba Bisons (currently playing UBC) at 6 p.m. PST (LIVE STATS AND VIDEO AT HTTP://CANADAWEST.TV)
Ryan MacKinnon was the top Vikes player on Friday, scoring 26 points, along with six rebounds, one block and three assists. Michael Acheampong of Toronto added 13 points, while Zac Andrus of Vashon Island, Wash., and Mike Berg of Burnaby, B.C., scored 10 each.
Winnipeg’s Mark McNee registered a game high 31-point and 12-rebound effort, while Andrew Cunningham had six points and 10 boards for the Wesmen. Benny Iko, who was lethal in the fourth quarter, added 14 points, while Travis Krahn netted 12 points and Dominique Brown 10 points for Winnipeg.
Leading by as much as 16 points on the night, UVic struggled with discipline and defence in the fourth quarter.
The Vikes controlled the game early, stretching the lead to 34-23. They continued to be well in front, up 36-28 at the half.
McNee did well to keep the Wesmen in the game, leading both teams with 16 points and eight rebounds at the half. MacKinnon had 12 points along with four rebounds to pace the Vikes including a pair of three-pointers.
The Vikes stretched the lead to 13 points with great transition play and the ability to pop it out for outside looks. UVic led by as much as 16 and carried a 60-47 lead into the final quarter.
A Krahn three-pointer cut UVic’s lead to six points with about seven and a half minutes left, and then UVic’s discipline changed the complexion of the game.
Several quick Vikes fouls allowed the Wesmen into the bonus situation at the 6:44 mark of the fourth quarter. From there, Winnipeg cut the lead to four points with 6:44 left, at 62-58, capping an 11-2 run over three minutes.
MacKinnon cut the run with a great shot from along the baseline for two points and then under a minute later drained a great three-pointer to shift momentum and give the Vikes a seven-point lead at 67-60.
But Krahn changed the momentum back again, knocking down another three-pointer to cut UVic’s lead to 67-65.
McNee gave Winnipeg its first lead of the game, 72-71, capitalizing on a Vikes turnover with a fastbreak layup in transition with 1:55 left. Winnipeg was enjoying a 25-11 run.
The Vikes missed on their next two possessions and were forced to foul, sending the Wesmen to the line to ice the game.