By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
January 9, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team are clinging to the coat tails of the country’s No. 2-ranked UBC Thunderbirds, who are in first in the Pacific Division with an 8-2 record. The Vikes men’s basketball team take on Winnipeg and Manitoba this weekend.
The Vikes, 7-3, are second in their division and look to improve their record this weekend against the Wesmen, on Jan. 11, and the Bisons, on Jan. 12. Both games will tip off at 6 p.m.
The competitive Canada West conference has three teams currently in the top-10 rankings, with the Vikes, Wesmen and Bisons, all on the cusp to make that list. Despite over a month absence from conference play, the Vikes men were hard at work as head coach Craig Beaucamp continued training through December and took the team on an exhibition tour in California.
On Dec. 29, the Vikes bested the Biola Eagles 55-52, with leading scorer Terrell Evans (Las Vegas, NV) netting 22 points, while on Dec. 30 the Victoria side conceded a 96-88 loss to Concordia University-Irvine. Evans led against Concordia with 18 points.
Evans, a fourth-year guard, has emerged as the most consistent leading scorer, averaging 16.4 points per game in the opening half of the season. Evans not only leads in scoring but also in rebounds (6.5) and steals (2.8), evidence of his quality two-way play.
Fifth-year guard Michael Acheampong (Toronto, Ont.) is no stranger to topping the stat charts either, as the six-foot-three guard, fills the charts in three-pointers made (1.6) and assists (3.6), while trailing Evans in scoring with an average of 13 points per game.
Outside of the statistics, Beaucamp’s squad has had to overcome several injuries to a variety of players at different times throughout the fall. Included in that mix were big men Chris McLaughlin (Oakville, ON) and Pierce Anderson (Calgary, AB), who were restricted to six and five games, respectively, in the opening half of the season.
Regardless, McLaughlin put up an average of 8.7 points per game and is without question a defensive leader under the boards. McLaughlin, at six-foot-ten, and Anderson, at six-foot-seven, provide the majority of the height for the Vikes, so the healthy return from the pair will prove to be very beneficial for the remainder of the season.
Outside of the seniors, the dark horse for the Vikes has been Kyle Peterson (Edmonton), a first-year from Edmonton, Alta., who has sparked the Vikes as the team’s starting point guard. Peterson is fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 8.0 points per game, and showing more and more comfort on the court with each game.
This weekend the Vikes will face the Wesmen, who are second in the Prairie Division wit ha 8-3 record. Winnipeg are led in scoring by Steven Wesley, who has averaged 17 points per game. For the Bisons, who trail Winnipeg with a 7-4 record, Stephan Walton, is fourth in the conference in scoring with an average of 18.4 points per game.
The Vikes-Wesmen game tips off on Jan. 11, while the Bisons will host on Jan. 12. Both games will take place at 6 p.m. PST and will be broadcast live at http://uvic.canadawest.tv.