Win over Cougars seals quarter-final hosting rights for Vikes men

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Mount Royal Athletics

February 9, 2013, Calgary, AB (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team launched a late fourth-quarter comeback, taking the lead with 35 seconds left in the game to grab their seventh-straight victory, quarter-final hosting rights and a 74-69 win over the Mount Royal University Cougars on Feb. 8.

“It wasn’t pretty but a win is a win,” said Craig Beaucamp, head coach of the Vikes men. “We didn’t play very well from the first quarter on and just didn’t seem to have any energy but it is the Canada west and it’s on the road. You have to show up and you have to play every night.”

Chris McLaughlin (Oakville, ON) with 17 points and Terrell Evans (Las Vegas, NV) with 16 were the leading point-getters for the Vikes who upped their record to 14-5 following the win. The Cougars fall to 3-16 in their inaugural season in the Canada West, watching the game slip from their hands in the dying seconds as they drop for an eighth consecutive game.

Nick Loewen with 18 points and Awet Abraha with 14 paced the Cougars on the offensive end.

The night started out bright for Mount Royal as three three-pointers in

the first quarter, helped the Cougars build a 23-14 lead entering the second.

Victoria battled back in the second, connecting on a trio of three-pointers of their own, outscoring MRU 20-14 in the frame to trail by

three points heading into the break, 37-34.

An evenly played third quarter eventually saw the Cougars head into the fourth with a two point cushion, leading 55-53 with only ten minutes left to play.

Manok Akwl and Aloysius Callaghan nailed back-to-back lays up to start the fourth, as the Cougars appeared in control leading 59-53.

Trading barbs throughout the quarter, the Vikes managed to cut the lead to just a single point with 1:30 remaining. Fourth-year Vike Brandon Dunlop (Victoria, BC) hit a dagger three pointer, leaving the Cougars ahead only 69-68.

A missed three-ball the other way put the Vikes in transition as

Brin Taylor cut to the hoop hard, laying it in with 35 seconds remaining to give Victoria their first lead of the night, 70-69.

On the ensuing possession, the Cougars worked the ball around, getting a great look from downtown as James Lefebvre launched an uncontested three from the far corner – finding iron, as McLaughlin pulled home the rebound to seal the victory for Victoria.

The Vikes would add four points on free-throws late, seizing the late game opportunity and stealing the win, 74-69.

McLaughlin was a beast on the glass, pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds, while Awak continued his stellar play on the boards, grabbing nine for MRU.

The Cougars actually outshot the Vikes 41 to 35 per cent from the field, but despite shooting for the higher percentage, couldn’t connect when the game mattered most.

“We had a tough time getting our feet under us all night and it was our bench players that made the difference in the third quarter when we fell behind and we owe those guys the victory tonight,” said Beaucamp about the late pull through.

BOX SCORE  

The two teams meet back on MRU’s Kenyon Court Saturday at 6 p.m. (PST) in what should be another entertaining and tightly contested affair. The game will be broadcast live at http://canadawest.tv

SCORING BY QUARTER

VIC: 14-20-19-21 : 74

MRU: 23-14-18-14: 69

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