Final Four stage set, Vikes take on Wesmen

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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

February 25, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The 22-game Canada West season has finally come to an end and the University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team are now in the single-round elimination playoffs with the hopes of qualifying for the CIS national championship, hosted by Carleton University, Mar. 8-10.

This weekend, the Vikes will travel to Vancouver to face the Winnipeg Wesmen in the conference semifinals, hosted by UBC, Mar. 1-2.

CANADA WEST STANDINGS / LIVE VIDEO & STATS

Entering the Canada West Final Four weekend, the Vikes rank No. 8 in the CIS Top-10 polls after being unranked for the past 10 weeks. Joining the Vikes this weekend are hosts and No. 4-ranked UBC Thunderbirds (18-4), as well as the Winnipeg Wesmen (14-8) and Fraser Valley Cascades (10-12).

The Vikes are seeded second amongst the four teams and will play the Winnipeg Wesmen, who make their first Final Four appearance after they defeated the Trinity Western Spartans in Game 3 of the best-of-three quarter-final series. The Vikes swept the Manitoba Bisons 2-0 in their quarter-final series to advance to their seventh conference semifinal appearance in the past 10 seasons.

The Vikes held a 14-1 record at McKinnon gym and although they won’t have the home-court edge, the Victoria squad is already familiar with the floors of War Memorial Gym. On Feb. 15, the Vikes defeated the then No. 2 UBC Thunderbirds in Vancouver for the first time since 2007.

Fourth-year forward Terrell Evans (Las Vegas, NV) has been the team’s leading scorer in 14 of the Vikes’ 24 games so far this season. Currently, Evans is 11th in the Canada West for scoring, averaging 16.7 points per game and 14th in the conference for rebounding with an average of 7.3 per game. Evans has been the consistent Canada West leader in steals, averaging 3.0 per game.

The Vikes boast the Canada West’s No. 1 scoring defence, with 68.8 points per game and the second-highest rebounding margin (+5.9). Senior Brandon Dunlop (Victoria, BC) leads the Canada West in three-point percentage (0.519), while six-foot-ten forward Chris McLaughlin (Oakville, ON) tops the team in offensive rebounds, pulling down an average of 3.2 per game.

The Wesmen enter this weekend after a convincing 101-76 wn over the Spartans in Game 3 of the quarter-finals. Winnipeg received a team effort in the win as six players tallied in double digits. Steven Wesley led the charge with 19 points, while Andrew Cunningham had 14 points and 13 assists. The Vikes will face the third-seeded Wesmen on Mar. 1 at 8:45 p.m. The game will be broadcast live at http://canadawest.tv

Canada West Final Four Schedule

War Memorial Gym – Vancouver, B.C.

March 1 – Semifinals

7:00 p.m. : (1) UBC vs. (4) Fraser Valley

8:45 p.m. : (2) Victoria vs. (3) Winnipeg

March 2 – Finals

6:00 p.m. : Bronze Medal Game

8:00 p.m. : Gold Medal Game

Winner will advance to the CIS National Championship, in Ottawa, Ont., hosted by Carleton University March 8-10.

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