Vikes perform under pressure in final minutes to defeat UBC Okanagan

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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

November 3, 2012, VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team overcame a slow start and back-and-forth fourth quarter to conquer the UBC Okanagan Heat 71-66 in game two of the double-header weekend on Nov. 3, at McKinnon Gym.

The Vikes were sparked by a fiesty, break-out performance from first-year Kyle Peterson (Edmonton), who had 12 points and three rebounds in the game. Peterson’s third-quarter magic helped get regular scorers Michael Acheampong (Toronto, Ont.) and Terrell Evans (Las Vegas, NV) find their groove as the two scored 14 and 12 points, respectively.

For the Visitors, rookie guard Greet Gill dominated in the paint with 17 points and seven rebonds, while fourth-years Azi Fahandeg-Sadi and Landry Ndayitwayeko added 19 and 13 points, respectively.

The opening minutes of play took a reversal in fortune in favour of the visitors compare to last night’s game, as the Vikes trailed the Heat throughout the entire first quarter. The Heat took an early 9-0 run as Fahandeg-Sadi drained all four of his first four attempts for seven first-quarter points. The Vikes struggled to get on the board going four for 11 attempts, resulting in the home side trailing 18-11 at the first break.

The Vikes started to chip away at the Heat’s lead in the second quarter when Peterson hit a big three, which was followed quickly by a Ryan Erikson (Victoria, B.C.) bucket. Acheampong made a huge steal and capitalize with a big dunk on the fast break to close the gap to one point. The Vikes earned the lead, 23-22, for the first time mid-way through the second quarter off a fast break started from Evans and finished by Acheampong before trading buckets with UBC Okanagan through the final minutes of the half.

The Vikes neutralized the Heat’s key scorer, Fahandeg-Sadi, and tightened up with 10 second-quarter rebounds to out-shoot UBC Okanagan 21-13 and take the lead 32-31entering half time.

The Heat were put under pressure as the Vikes came out at the start of the second half with a 13-0 run sparked by an energetic performance from Peterson, who had two key baskets and an assist throughout that stretch. Both Acheampong and Evans found their scoring touch, draining back-to-back treys before UBC Okangan’s Gill put in three straight lay ups to get the visitors within 11 points with three minutes left in the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Heat’s Landry-Gill combo put up some huge baskets to close the gap and trail by one with four minutes left on the clock. Action moved end to end with the Heat stealing the lead at 63-62 on a tough grind and lay up by Anwar Faza. Six-foot-seven Pierce Anderson (Calgary, AB) played the hero as he finished in the paint on a quick pass from Acheampong to give the Vikes the lead 64-63 with 1:23 left on the clock.

UBC Okanagan’s Fahandeg-Sadi nailed a trey to take a two point lead just before Uvic’s Acheampong was successful on the line after being fouled on a three point attempt to send the Vikes back up 67-66.

With 36 seconds left in the game, Acheampong found Evans after nearly turning over the ball. Evans drained a huge jumper to give the home side a three point edge. The Heat fouled late in the game to send Reiner Theil (West Vancouver, B.C.) to the line in bonus and give the Vikes a 71-66 victory in a very entertaining Canada West match up.

The Vikes improve their Canada West record to 2-0, while the Heat drop to 0-2. Both teams go on the road next weekend, Nov. 9-10, with the Vikes facing Fraser Valley and UBC Okanagan visiting Mount Royal. The games will be broadcast live at http://canadawest.tv

SCORING BY QUARTER

UBCO: 18-13-13-22: 66

UVIC: 11-21-20-19 : 71

LEADING SCORERS

UBCO: Azi Fahandeg-Sadi (19 pts), Greet Gill (17 pts)

UVIC: Michael Acheampong (14 pts), Terrell Evans & Kyle Peterson (12 pts)

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