by James Nielsen, Vikes Communications
January 21, 2014, VICTORIA (ISN) – With only four weeks remaining in the Canada West regular season, the recently crowned No. 3 University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball squad will look to improve upon their 12-2 record when they play host to the 7-7 Mount Royal Cougars at McKinnon Gymnasium, January 24-25.
The Vikes improved from their No. 5 ranking last week to lead the Canada West in the CIS Top 10 polls.
Last weekend the Vikes dominated the UNBC Timberwolves in back-to-back road victories, 85-57 and 93-67. Fifth-year guard-forward Terrell Evans and fourth-year centre Chris McLaughlin led the Vikes in Friday’s tilt, with both players collecting double-doubles. Evans led the way with 19 points and 15 rebounds, while McLaughlin put up 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Saturday’s rematch saw Evans once again lead the Vikes on offence, posting 25 points and five rebounds through forty minutes. The Vikes were in complete control the entire game, holding the lead all the way en route to a their second victory of the weekend. The two wins push Victoria into a tie with the Alberta Golden Bears for first-place overall in conference standings, while a loss for the Golden Bears drops them to No. 4 in the country.
Victoria’s Kyle Peterson was an effective contributor on offence against the Timberwolves, posting nine points in Friday’s match and 13 points the following night. Veteran Reiner Theil also entered double-digits for the Vikes on Saturday, finishing with 11 points.
The Vikes lead the conference in both scoring and rebounding defense with 56.9 points and 31.7 rebounds per-game. Evans sits in fifth-place in scoring, averaging 18.4 points per-game, while McLaughlin sits in fourth in rebounding with 8.4 per-game.
The Cougars are coming off a weekend split with the UBC Thunderbirds where they fell 55-76, Jan. 17 before grinding out a 78-74 win the following night. Currently sitting in fourth place in the Pacific Division, the Cougars are led on offence by Awet Abraha with 177 points and 3.4 rebounds per-game. The 6-3 guard led Mount Royal in Saturday’s victory over UBC, putting up 16 points and three rebounds in four quarters of play.
The Cougars’ James Lefebvre and Deng Awak sit in a tie in team scoring with 147 points apiece. Awak leads his squad in rebounds with 6.6 per-game.
The Vikes will have the opportunity to extend their lead in the Pacific Divison and potentially capture sole possession of first-place in the conference when they play host to the Cougars, Jan. 24 and 25 at 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., respectively. Both games will be broadcast from tge McKinnon Gymnasium with live stats and video on www.canadawest.tv.