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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications, Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN

VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team were defeated 59-52 by the Bishop’s University Gaiters in CIS exhibition play Thursday night at Ken & Kathy Shields Court at McKinnon Gymnasium.

The Vikes, who open Canada West play Nov. 2-3 against the UBC-Okanagan Heat, lost four key players from the 2011-12 roster, but 2012-13 returnees Terrell Evans and Chris McLaughlin showed their experience, leading the Vikes with 16 and 12 points, respectively.

The Vikes played even with their Sherbrooke, Quebec opponents, trailing only by two at the half. The Vikes led the first quarter, out-scoring the Gaiters 20-16 but turnovers got the best of the Vikes as the Gaiters came back to outscore the UVic side 16-10 in the second quarter.

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UVic’s Chris McLaughlin and Bishop’s Matt McLean would tip off the 2012-2013 CIS basketball pre-season at MacKinnon Gym Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Bishop’s veterans Tim Hunter led the Gaiters at the break with nine points, while fourth-year Jeremy Leonard-Smith finished the half with eight. For the Vikes, Evans proved his leadership, as the six-foot-four forward tallied 10 points before the half time whistle. Rookie Dominic Ohl added six points as the Vikes trailed 32-30 following the opening two periods.

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Terrell Evans was a bright spot for the Vikes, scoring 16 of their 52 points Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Following the break, the Vikes ran up the score, as six-foot-one forward McLaughlin contributed seven of the Vikes’ 16 third quarter points. McLaughlin also led the team with eight defensive and four offensive rebounds by the end of the night.

After out-scoring the Gaiters 16-9 in the third quarter, the Vikes watched their lead melt away.

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Bishop’s Jeremy Leonard-Smith (left) and Scott Ring (background) pressure UVic’s Vijay Dhillon during Thursday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Leonard-Smith opened the game up, netting eight points in the fourth quarter alone as the Gaiters out-scored the Vikes 18-6 in the final period. The Vikes ran into foul trouble when fifth-year Pierce Anderson fouled out and three others barely kept in the game with four fouls. The Gaiters were in a similar state when third-year center Mike Andrews fouled out, but with Leonard-Smith shooting six for 10 in free throws and putting up seven rebounds total, the game seemed to get away from the Vikes.

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UVic’s Ryan Erikson looks to avoid a hip check from Bishop’s Tim Hunter while searching for a rebound in Thursday’s action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

The game allowed Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp to continue juggling his player combinations as three fresh faces in Brin Taylor, Kyle Peterson and Ohl had their first cracks on the court at CIS basketball. Fifth-year Michael Acheampong has a key role in connecting the experienced yet youthful UVic side but the six-foot-three guard struggled tonight, going one for 10 in field goals made and contributing six points.

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UVic’s Kyle Peterson (right) saw his first CIS basketball action Thursday, scoring 3 points in the loss to Bishops (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

For the Gaiters, fourth-year guard Onnex Blackwood validated his 2012 starting position, as he contributed 10 points and was a big presence under the boards with four rebounds. Forward Tim Hunter was also key, as he tallied nine points by the end of the night and put up five offensive and two defensive rebounds.

Next up, the Vikes host the Seattle Mountaineers (Oct. 12, 8 p.m.) and Lakehead Thunderwolves (Oct. 24, 7 p.m.) along with three games against CIS schools at the Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament (Oct. 19-21, featuring Carleton, Alberta and Lethbridge) to prepare for Canada West play. Those games will be broadcast live at http://uvic.canadawest.tv 

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The Vikes might take some consolation in the fact that not too many fans were on hand to watch their loss to the Gaiters, as MacKinnon Gym seemed strangely quiet Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

The Gaiters will continue their B.C. tour on the mainland playing UBC (Oct. 5, 7:00 p.m.) and Trinity Western (Oct. 6, 5:30 p.m.) in exhibition. RSEQ conference play begins on Nov. 10 with the Gaiters traveling to UQAM in Montreal, Que.


BISH 16-16-09-18 : 59

UVIC 20-10-16-06 : 52