By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
March 10, 2013, Ottawa, ON (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team ended their 2013 CIS campaign with a sixth-place finish, after losing 80-68 to the No. 6-ranked McGill Redmen on March 10 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.
The Vikes finish with a 1-2 record at their 23rd CIS nationals appearance and made a good showing after only being ranked in the CIS top-10 polls twice all season.
“We had a pretty good start but I thought we had a tough time defensively,” said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp, in his third CIS Final 8 appearance. “They spread us out really well and ran what they run well.”
The Redmen overcame a slow start thanks to bench players Nathan Joyal and Simon Bibeau, who contributed to the 30 bench points earned in the game. Joyal made five of the Redmen’s season-high 12 triples to finish with 19 points, while Bibeau hit two to finish with 11 points. Adrian Hynes-Guery had a 16-point performance as McGill shot 89 percent from the line and 44 percent in field goals.
For the Vikes, big man Chris McLaughlin (Oakville, ON) came through with 16 points and six boards, while fourth year Terrell Evans (Las Vegas, NV) and first year Kyle Peterson (Edmonton) each chipped in for 10. Peterson was nearly perfect, missing only one attempt and draining two perimeter shots. Senior Michael Acheampong (Toronto, Ont.) ended his Vikes career earning eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Three different Vikes scored to get the Vikes up by seven in the opening two minutes of play including a Reiner Theil (West Vancouver, B.C.) three-pointer less than 20 seconds in. McGill forward Aleksander Mitrovic was the early spark for the Redmen, as the six-foot-six forward powered his team with six first-quarter points, including the two points that got the Redmen back within one at 7-6.
The Vikes continued to find the hoop as Acheampong capped the first quarter with a triple to go ahead by 10. Second year Bibeau squeezed in the Redmen’s first shot from distance to enter the first break trailing 20-13 to the Vikes.
The Vikes and Redmen put on an entertaining second quarter as both teams went on scoring runs. McGill’s Bibeau and Joyal each hit an early three-point shot for the Redmen’s 8-0 streak that got them again within one point of the Vikes. Peterson hit his first three of the tournament to give the Vikes a short-lived boost as McGill’s Joyal responded with his second distance shot of the quarter.
The Vikes and Redmen traded buckets, through the end of the second quarter but with less than 20 seconds on the clock Vike Ted Neilson (Nanaimo) fouled McGill regular season leading scorer Hynes-Guery outside the arc. The NCAA transfer made good on the long-range shot and completed the shot from the line to seal the four-point play to tie the game at 41.
In the first half, the Redmen went six-for-six at the line, while both teams were 42 percent from beyond the arc. McLaughlin dominated with 12 first-half points for the Vikes, while Hynes-Guery missed only one shot to earn 11 points for McGill.
In the third quarter, the Redmen edged the Vikes in scoring 18-15 as Mitrovic scored the bucket that gave McGill the first lead of the game at 43-41. Joyal hit a big three to extend the Redmen’s lead to six but Peterson had a timely response with his second three of the night to help the Vikes stay in it. The Vikes trailed 59-56 entering the final frame.
Second-year guard Te-Jour Riley put in a huge dunk to open the fourth-quarter that saw the Redmen put on a sensational three-point scoring spectacle. Five three-pointers, including two from each of Joyal and Hynes-Guery, sealed the deal for the RSEQ champs who entertained all the way to a final score of 80-68.
This is only the second of five times the Vikes have lost in the fifth-place match up at nationals, the other coming in 2001. The Vikes finish with an overall season record of 20-9 and will graduate three seniors – Acheampong, Pierce Anderson (Calgary, AB) and Brandon Dunlop (Victoria, BC).
“Brandon, Mike and Pierce have been key players in our season all year and I am just happy for them that we were in the national tournament,” added Beaucamp after the trio’s final game for the Vikes. “I just wish we could have finished off a little bit better. They have been very, very good for the program and we are quite proud of them.”
SCORING BY QUARTER
VIC: 20-21-15-12 : 68
McG: 13-28-18-21: 80
VIC: Chris McLaughlin (16), Terrell Evans (10), Kyle Peterson (10)
McG: Nathan Joyal (19), Adrian Hynes-Guery (16), Simon Bibeau (11)