by Shannon Pitt, UBC Athletics
February 15, 2014 (ISN) – After a decisive victory over the UBC Thunderbirds, February 14, the University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team headed to UBC’s War Memorial Gymnasium and once again proved why they are the No. 4 ranked team in the country, rolling to an 89-73 victory over the ‘Birds in the final game of their regular season.
Fifth-year Vike Terrell Evans lead the Vikes on offence with 24 points and seven rebounds while shooting 100 percent from beyond the arc, while fellow senior Chris McLaughlin and third-year transfer Marcus Tibbs added 14 points apiece. Third-year Vike Mack Roth also hit double-digits Saturday, putting up 10 points and three boards in the win.
UBC’s Brylle Kamen recorded a remarkable 18 rebounds and 21 points to lead the Thunderbirds, while both Tommy Nixon and Andrew McGuinness contributed 14 points each for UBC.
Victoria broke the game open with a 13-2 second quarter run. Michael Steele’s layup with 5:56 to go before halftime gave UBC a 27-26 lead but Kyle Peterson immediately replied with a three-point basket. After McGuinness scored for the home team, McLaughlin, Evans and Ryan Erikson all scored inside before John Woldu capped off the run with a triple that put Victoria ahead 39-29, and allowed the Vikes to take an 11-point advantage into the half. The ‘Birds struggled with turnovers, tallying nine in the second quarter alone.
The Vikes continued to build on their lead in the third quarter, as the T-Birds were down to eight healthy players with Jordan Jensen-Whyte out of the game due to injury. Halfway through the period, Evans nailed a three-point basket and then stole on the next possession and went in for a slam dunk to put his team ahead by 16 points.
Kedar Wright and Kamen combined for seven straight points after that to cut the UBC deficit to nine but were unable to extend that momentum any further.
UBC saw early fortune, going up 17-9 in the first quarter on a Bret Macdonald layup. The teams battled back and forth and the Thunderbird defence was effective in shutting down the Vikes’ outside shooting, which was a major component of Victoria’s success Friday night. But an 8-0 run that bridged the first and second quarters got the Vikes on even terms within the first couple of minutes.
The Vikes finish their Canada West campaign as the top seed in the Pacific Division and will host the Winnipeg Wesmen next weekend in a Canada West Quarter-Final best-of-three series, beginning 7:00 p.m., Feb. 21 at McKinnon Gym.