Vikes rely on late surge for quarter-final win over Bisons

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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications – Photos By Erich Eichhorn (ISN)

February 22, 2013, (ISN) – It wasn’t the prettiest of games but the University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team earned the go-ahead in the best-of-three series over the Manitoba Bisons Friday night at McKinnon Gym.

The Vikes defeated Manitoba 76-70 in game one after both teams had slow starts.

The Vikes had 15-point performances from both Terrell Evans (Las Vegas, NV) and Chris McLaughlin (Oakville, ON). Evans also totaled 12 rebounds and five steals, while McLaughlin added five rebounds and was 75 per cent from the field. Senior Michael Acheampong (Toronto, Ont.) chipped in for 12 points and four rebounds.

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Vikes Brin Taylor elevates over the Bison’s Jonar Huertas for the jumper Friday night at McKinnon Gym – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

For the Bisons, Jonar Hertas had a game-high 16 points, while team mate Stephan Walton had 15 points and six rebounds. Yigit Ozsayiner used his six-foot-six advantage to put up 13 points and five rebounds.

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#7 Ryan Erikson tips the ball away from Manitoba Bison harm and what was otherwise a sure two points – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

“I honestly don’t think either team played particularly well but obviously the important thing is we found a way to get the W,” said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp. “We need to be a lot better tomorrow night if we have any intention of closing this series out.”

Both teams struggled from the get-go, as the play seemed to lull from end-to-end with the Bisons edging the home side 23-14 in the opening quarter. The possession scale was tipped in favour of Manitoba, until a nifty pass from rookie Vike Kyle Peterson (Edmonton) sprung Evans for a key lay up in the paint. Evans followed it up with a bucket off a steal and fast break to tie the game at 10, while Manitoba’s Braedon Speer netted a late bucket to close out the quarter in favour of the visitors.

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The ever-dangerous Micheal Acheampong draws the double team entering the key, Acheampong would toss in 12 points on the evening to help his team win game one against the Manitoba Bison – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

The Vikes opened the second quarter with some action from the Canada West’s top three-point shooter Brandon Dunlop (Victoria, BC). Dunlop hit a crucial outside shot to cut the Bisons’ lead to six at 23-17. Dunlop drained two treys in the second quarter to help the Vikes out-score the Bisons 15-7, while Walton hit a key three for Manitoba to take the 30-29 lead entering the half-time break.

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Uvic Vikes Mens’ Basketball team fought the Manitoba Bisons Friday night at McKinnon Gym, Vikes center Pierce Anderson battles two Bisons for the ball – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Playoff pressure seemed to hit both teams a bit harder in the third, as the Bisons opened with a quick 5-0 run until Reiner Theil’s (West Vancouver, B.C.) silencer from the three-point arc. The Bisons ran the floor well thanks to some speedy movement from the Huertas-Walton duo. The key moment for the Vikes game after Vijay(Richmond, B.C.) sank a tying bucket after battling through traffic to neutralize the score at 40.

From there, the Vikes capitalized on a three from Acheampong and some accurate shooting at the line to lead 51-50 entering the fourth quarter.

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Vikes Terrell Evans takes the ball to the hoop over Bisons #7 Kevin Oliver, Evans would put up fifteen points, and pull down 12 rebounds for his Uvic Vikings Friday night – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

In the final period of play, the Vikes out-scored the Bisons 25-20 and finished three key perimeter shots. The Bisons were held to shooting 38 per cent from the field, while the Vikes improved their first-half per centage of 34 to 63 in the second half. The Vikes were also 71 per cent in three-point shooting per centage in the second half to finish the game with a 76-70 victory.

The Vikes also gained 22 points off their bench, while the Bisons earned 12. The lead changed 13 times in the game and the scored was tied nine times, evidence of the competitiveness both teams displayed.

“Manitoba is a good team and proud team,” added Beaucamp about the back-to-back game against the Bisons. “The have some senior guys who don’t want to pay their last game tomorrow, so they are going to be very difficult to close out. We are going to have to be very good and a lot better than we were tonight to do that.”

BOX SCORE  /  LIVE VIDEO & STATS

The teams will square off again tomorrow, Feb. 23, in game two of the Canada West quarter-finals. If the Vikes win tomorrow’s game they will qualify for the Canada West Final Four, hosted by the conference’s top-seeded team, while if the Bisons are victorious, game three will go down on Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. at McKinnon Gym. All games are broadcast live at http://canadawest.tv

SCORING BY QUARTER:

VIC: 14-15-22-25 : 76

MAN: 23-7-20-20 : 70

SCORING LEADERS

VIC: Terrell Evans (15), Chris McLaughlin (15)

MAN: Jonar Huertas (16), Stephan Walton (15)

Best-of-three series

Feb. 22: Victoria 76, Manitoba 70

Feb. 23: 7p.m. At McKinnon Gym

Feb. 24: 3p.m. At McKinnon Gym (if necessary)

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