By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
January 10, 2014, VICTORIA (ISN) – The No. 5 University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team came out on top, 55-46, despite an up-and-down scoring game with the No. 7 Saskatchewan Huskies on Jan. 10 at McKinnon Gym.
The low-scoring Canada West match up, hosted on the official Vikes Nation launch night, resulted in the Vikes improving to a 10-1 record, while the Huskies drop to 9-2.
The Vikes enjoyed the return of Marcus Tibbs, who missed the majority of the first half due to injury. Tibbs put up seven points and a nice show for the home crowd, while senior Terrell Evans led with the team’s only double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds. Kyle Peterson put up three distance shots to finish the night with 10 points, while Chris McLaughlin had 12 rebounds.
For the Huskies it was a two-man show by Dadrian Collins and Matt Forbes who put up 15 and 13 points, respectively. Stephon Lamar was held quieter than usual with only nine points, while Ben Baker had 12 rebounds but only four points.
The 2014 home opener kicked off in flare as over 2,500 Vikes Nation fans packed the gym as the Vikes took a 13-11 first-quarter edge. Defensive stalwart Reiner Theil got some early points, draining his third three-pointer attempt and putting in two from the line, while Tibbs drained the final first-quarter bucket.
The Huskies struggled lost Lamar in the early get-going, after the fourth-year tallied two personal fouls earning him some time on the pine. Six-foot-six forward Forbes kept the visitors on the board, and an Andrew Henry three kept the Huskies within two at the first break.
In the second, the ball started to roll for the Vikes, who went on an 8-0 run thanks to some nifty work from the speedy Tibbs. Gritty rebounding at both ends of the floor gave the Vikes the life they needed to take a 27-22 lead at half time. Huskies forward Collins lead his team with nine first-half points while Evans was the leader for the home side with seven.
Following the low-scoring first half, both teams started to find slightly better luck in the third including a perimeter thriller from guard Kyle Peterson. The second-year Vike showed fine form with three-straight outside shots to give his team a 40-30 lead at the mid-way mark of the third quarter.
A composed Huskies team continued to run their offence, staying within a 10-point range. Saskatchewan struggled to gain momentum and with three minutes left in the third Peterson picked Baker’s pocket and set up Theil on the fast break to help the home-side slant.
After three quarters the Vikes held on to a 42-32 lead with Peterson and Collins being the only double-digit scorers and the teams conceding 30 turnovers combined. Both teams were held under 35 per cent from the field.
A scrappy fourth quarter full of turnovers at both ends of the court resulted in both teams trying to work the ball down low. McLaughlin earned six-straight points in the post to give the Vikes their largest lead of the night, by 12, while the Collins-Forbes duo carried the Huskies to a 9-0 run at the end of the fourth.
Despite the up-and-down nature of the game, the score margin favoured the home team who ended in style with an Evans three and a fancy, no-look pass from Tibbs to set up the win. The Vikes slipped past the Huskies with a final score of 55-46 to maintain their Pacific Division lead at 10-1, while the Huskies are now 9-2.
Up next the Vikes will host the No. 3 Alberta Golden Bears at McKinnon Gym on Jan. 11, while the Huskies visit the UBC Thunderbirds. Both games will be played at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live at canadawest.tv.
UVIC: 13-14-15-13 :55
SASK: 11-11-10-14 :46
UVIC: Terrell Evans (12), Kyle Peterson (10)
SASK: Dadrian Collins (15), Matt Forbes (13)