By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
December 1, 2012, VICTORIA – It was almost a flash back to last season’s conference quarter-finals when the University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team eliminated the Calgary Dinos with a Terrell Evans buzzer-beater in the final of a three-game series. On Saturday, the Vikes again came out on top, 72-68, but it required some repeat heroics as the Dinos refused to go down without a fight.
Evans continued what he does best and led in scoring for the second-straight night with 13 points and added six rebounds. Fifth year Michael Acheampong (Toronto, Ont.) added 12 points for the VIkes, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter. Ryan Erikson (Victoria, B.C.) and rookie point guard Kyle Peterson (Edmonton) showed their growing comfort level on the court as Erikson earned 11 points, and Peterson added nine points and three assists.
“Basketball is a game of runs,” said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp, whose squad had as much as a 13 point lead in the game. “It is a big win for the team and you have to find different ways to win in a long Canada West season. This is our 20th game this year, including exhibition, so there is a lot of fatigue on both sides. We were very resilient to come back when we got behind.”
For the visitors, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson had the hot hands of the night with 20 points, five assists and three treys. First-year guard Jasdeep Gill put his six-foot-five status to good use chipping in for 14 points, while Thijin Moses, at six-foot-seven, was all over the court with 10 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and three steals.
The game opened with quick back-and-forth action and the Vikes prevailing 22-17 at the first break. The Vikes spread their scoring duties, while third-year Ogunghemi-Jackson emerged early as the Dinos’ leader after making good on a long-range shot that propelled him to seven first-quarter points.
The Vikes continued to make use of their depth earning 13 first-half bench points, while Peterson and Evans ran the score up to enter the break leading 37-27. Six-foot-four Vike Reiner Theil (West Vancouver, B.C.) was perfect on every attempt in scoring in the opening half and added four rebounds.
In the third, the Dinos cut the Vikes’ lead to six despite the home side getting the and-one attempt three times in just as many minutes. Calgary’s Oghunghemi-Jackson took over for Calgary, nailing two big outside shots to keep the Dinos in the game. The Vikes held on to their 54-48 edge entering the fourth quarter.
The gap continued to close as Oghunghemi-Jackson and Moses did their part in the paint for the Dinos, while Josh Owen-Thomas gave the Dinos their first lead since the first quarter. Owen-Thomas earned seven unanswered points to lift the Dinos 61-59 with six minutes left in the game.
In the final minutes, Victoria’s Acheampong hit a three-pointer that got the crowd on their feet but Calgary’s Gill responded with one of his own only seconds later to keep the Dinos within one.
With 38 seconds on the clock, the Vikes up by one and the Dinos in possession, Calgary’s Moses slipped at the top of the arc, turning the ball over to the Vikes. With the Vikes in bonus, Ogungbemi-Jackson fouled Acheampong, who missed at the line on his first but nailed the second to send the Vikes closer towards a nail-biting 72-68 victory.
The win gives the Vikes a 7-3 record entering the Christmas break, while the Dinos drop to 4-6 in the Canada West. Before the Canada West season starts up again on Jan. 11-12, the Vikes will travel to California, Dec. 29-30, where they will face both Biola and Concordia University, both NAIA Division 1 schools.