Cougars deliver dagger in win over Vikes, end seven-game streak

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By Vikes Communications, with files from Mount Royal Athletics

February 9, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team were silenced by the Mount Royal Cougars on Feb. 9, losing 69-68 and ending their seven-game win-streak.

With the upset, the Vikes now drop to 14-6 in the Canada West, while the Cougars improve to 4-16.

For Victoria, fifth-year Michael Acheampong (Toronto, Ont.) provided all the heroics he coud in the final minute of play. Acheampong’s fourth trey of the night caught the Vikes up to 68, one point away, but it would stand as the final basket of the night. The senior guard finished with 19 points, six rebounds and four steals. Post Chris McLaughlin(Oakville, ON) finished with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The Cougars had an outstanding performance from fifth year Nick Loewren, who delivered most of the damage to the Vikes hitting five of six three pointers to finish with 15 points. Jalen Gardener had 12 points and seven assists, while Awet Abraha added 11 points.

In the opening quarter the Cougars came out firing as James Lefebvre and Loewen hit a pair of threes to start the night as Mount Royal built a 10-4 lead at the five minute mark. Acheampong drilled a buzzer beating three-pointer for the Vikes, cutting the Cougar lead to four points, 16-12 heading into the second.

Victoria started to off the rust in quarter number two as Terrell Evans (Las Vegas, NV) converted consecutive layups in the opening minute to tie the game. Looking more comfortable in their offensive sets, the Vikes outscored Mount Royal 26-16 in the frame. The quarter was capped by another buzzer-three-pointer, this time by Ryan Erikson(Victoria, B.C.), who found nothing but net with double zero’s reading on the clock as UVic led 38-32 at half.

Whatever momentum Victoria built in the second quarter, was quickly lost in the third, as the team missed shot-after-shot in the quarter, mustering on six points in the third, as Mount Royal continued their consistent play, outscoring the Vikes by ten to lead 48-44.

The Cougars continued to play well into the fourth, grabbing a nine point lead with just 1:21 remaining but just like a night before, the Vikes hung around to make things interesting down the stretch. Buckets by McLaughlin and a deep three-pointer by Acheampong cut the Cougar lead to just two points with 50 seconds left to play.

On the ensuing possession the Cougars milked the clock, working the ball inside to Olawfemi Ogun, who froze the D with a nice pump fake, converting a soft jumper inside the paint to give the Cougars the 69-65 lead.

Acheampong continued to keep the game close, hitting another clutch three-pointer with just 31 seconds left on the clock to make it a one-point game. The Victoria defence hung on with final look as Acheampong slashed through the lane with just seven seconds remaining but his layup attempt found iron, as the Cougars came away with the 69-68 win on home court.

BOX SCORE  /  FULL SCHEDULE

Victoria wraps up their regular season with a trip to Vancouver to face the UBC Thunderbirds, while the Cougars end their season in Prince George, taking on another Canada West newcomer in UNBC. The Vikes will tip off against the T-Birds, in Vancouver, on Feb. 15, and return to Victoria to host the Birds on Feb. 16. The Vikes have already secured their rights to host the quarter-finals against the third-place regular-season finishers in the Prairie Division.

SCORING BY QUARTER

UVIC: 12-26-6-24: 68

MRU: 16-16-16-21: 69

SCORING LEADERS

UVIC: Michael Acheampong (19), Chris McLaughlin (15)

MRU: Nick Loewen (15), Jalen Gardener (12)

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