Heat to host long time University basketball power in UVic

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ubc heat

Cary Mellon

KELOWNA, B.C. – This will be the first trip for the storied Victoria school and their men’s basketball team when they face the Heat at UBC’s Okanagan campus this weekend in a pair of games. The Vikes and Heat will play Friday night at 8 p.m., and at UBC’s Okanagan campus. Saturday the two teams tip-off two hours earlier, at 6 p.m. again on UBC’s Okanagan campus.

The UBC Okanagan men’s basketball team last weekend went down to Vancouver and played the surging Thunderbirds, after losing both to the Pacific Division leaders the Heat are now 2-12 on the season. This upcoming weekend they are hosting the 11-3 University of Victoria Vikes who are trying to catch the T-Birds in the Pacific Division standings. The Vikings had this past weekend off and come with a rested squad to Kelowna.

If you can’t be there you can watch the games live at: www.canadawest.tv.

GAME TIMES

Friday, February 3 – The UBC Okanagan Heat host the University of Victoria Vikes (8 p.m. PST at UBC’s Okanagan campus Gymnasium, Kelowna, B.C.)

Saturday, February 4 – The UBC Okanagan Heat host the University of Victoria Vikes (6 p.m. PST at UBC’s Okanagan campus Gymnasium, Kelowna, B.C.)

Both games will be streamed with live video: www.canadawest.tv

HEAT (2-12)

CIS National Ranking: N/A

CanWest Standings: 6th in the Pacific division

Last Week: 0-2; Fri 77-43 loss to UBC, Sat 78-48 loss to UBC

Streak: 6 losses

2011 CanWest Record: N/A

2011 CanWest Championship: N/A

2011 CIS Tournament: N/A

Last CanWest Title: N/A

Last CIS Title: N/A

Weekend in Review: The Heat played a doubleheader at UBC last weekend and with similar results both nights, on Friday the Heat fell 77-43, and then again on Saturday the Heat fell 78-48. Both nights the Heat started strong defensively and held the high flying ‘Birds to under 40 at the half – but both nights the Heat were just able to score 24 or 26 themselves at the break. The second half of either night saw both teams play their benches for significant minutes.

Goals for the remainder of the season: “We want to show a desire to compete game in, game out,” explains UBC Okanagan assistant coach Matt Heyworth. “We have four games left. Victoria is a top team in the country. We want to compete in our gym.”

On guarding UVic’s Ryan McKinnon and their defense lately: “We have a pretty good on-ball defender in Yassine Ghomari. We’ve put him on some of the top scorers in the league and he’s done pretty well,” Heyworth states. “I think we’ll look at that matchup and see. We were very happy with our defense against UBC last weekend- our offensive side wasn’t quite there- but we held UBC to 80 both nights, so we had a few good stops.”

Game prep on offense: “Once you have those [offensive] systems in for a week or two, they will have been scouted by other teams, they’ve got video on us, and they start making adjustments.” As a result Heyworth explains “we haven’t rolled with the same thing weekend to weekend for the last couple of months.”

How can the Heat be successful: “If we make it a consistent effort for four quarters we’ll be right there, states first year post player Ben Hindson. “We’re working hard to get there. Its consistency right now, and carrying the practice energy into the game is what we’re working on right now.”

First year player goal: “Personally, just trying to build my personal game for next year,” explains Hindson. “Big minutes for me right now aren’t realistic, I’m just going to be on the bench for my team, and work my butt off in practice.”

“I really believe we’re a tough team to play at home here, and we’ve proved that against good teams that we’ve played here.”

This weekend’s Matchup:

VICTORIA VIKES (11-3)

CIS National Ranking: No. 7

CanWest Standings: 2nd in the Pacific Division

Last Week: bye

Streak: 1 win

2011 CanWest Record: 16-8 (5th)

2011 playoffs: 1-2

2011 CIS Championships: N/A

Last CanWest Title: 2006

Last CIS Title: 1997

Weekend in review: The Vikes rested last weekend, the previous week the UVic squad split their games in Manitoba – winning Saturday night over Manitoba 101-79 and falling on Friday 75-71 versus Winnipeg, for their third loss of the season.

What these games mean to the Vikes: The 11-3 University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team can clinch a playoff spot with a win this weekend and strengthen their bid to host a Canada West quarter-final series at the end of February this weekend versus the Heat.

Battle of the Pacific: UVic is currently in second place in the Canada West, trailing the first-place and No. 3 nationally ranked UBC Thunderbirds (12-2) by one game. UBC faces the red-hot, No. 8 nationally ranked Fraser Valley Cascades (10-5) twice this weekend before closing out against UVic Feb. 10 in Vancouver and Feb. 17 in Victoria. With a game in hand on the Cascades, UVic can clinch home-floor for the conference quarter-finals with two wins (should both teams be tied, UVic has the head-to-head tiebreaker with Fraser Valley this season by a 161-147 margin in the series split in early January).

Two wins are important for UVic coming off a bye week and because they will face a formidable task in a home-and-home series with UBC to close the regular season.

Backcourt production: Three starting guards lead the UVic scoring machine. Ryan MacKinnon of Comox, B.C., leads UVic with 20.1 points per game, second in the Canada West in scoring, while Michael Acheampong of Toronto (13.6 PPG) and Zac Andrus of Vashon Island, Wa. (12.4 PPG). Along with another guard Reese Pribilsky of Victoria, the trio shoots over 40 per cent from three-point range. UVic is also the best free-throw shooting team in the conference with a 75% success rating from the charity stripe – Andrus is 47-of-50 to lead the Canada West with a 94 per cent rating.

DID YOU KNOW: MacKinnon is closing in on 1,300 career points, entering the weekend with 1,290… He also is eight three-pointers shy of hitting 200 in his career, entering the weekend with 192, sixth all-time in Canada West play (Jeff Lukomski of Regina had 308, with Casey Archibald of UBC and Danny Balderson of Lethbridge are tied for second with 239)… MacKinnon has also played in 102 games in Canada West conference regular season play, tied for 18th overall. Should he start the remaining four regular season games, he will have played in 106, good for a tie for sixth place overall in the Canada West all-time.

Preseason info from Canada West

VICTORIA VIKES

Key additions: G Michael Acheampong, G Vijay Dhillon, G Reiner Theil, G John Woldu

Key returnees: G Ryan MacKinnon, G Zac Andrus, F Mike Berg

Key departures: G Jeff Cullen, G Jeff Spoor, G/F Marco Dolcetti, F Wendall Thomas

VICTORIA, BC – The UVic Vikes hope a strong contingent of returning players and a great group of transfers and recruits will translate into a trip to Halifax for the CIS Final 8 National Championships in March.

Key returnees to the Vikes are guards Ryan MacKinnon, Zac Andrus and Reese Pribilsky, and forwards Mike Berg and Pierce Anderson. MacKinnon averaged 16.6 points per game in 2010-11and led the team with 60 steals and 64 assists and has the ingredients to be a conference all-star and CIS All-Canadian with a strong two-way game.

Recruits Vijay Dhillon and Reiner Theil add great depth, with both players leading their respective high school squads to the B.C. Provincial championship final last spring and impressing in preseason. Dominic Ohl and Sean Patrick will also compete for playing time in their rookie season.

Humber College transfer guard Michael Acheampong was the OCAA tournament MVP guiding his Hawks to the Ontario provincial college championship and he adds great outside shooting and speed, while former Windsor Lancers guard John Woldu adds depth at both ends of the floor along with valuable CIS experience.

Forward-guard combo Terrell Evans could be the X-Factor and is expected to start for UVic. Ameet (Andy) Kaila and Ryan Erikson are transfers who provide excellent additional forward options for coach Craig Beaucamp. Returning forward Chris McLaughlin will also see more playing time this season at the No. 5 spot.

http://www.govikesgo.com/

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