by James Nielsen, Vikes Communications
March 9, 2014, OTTAWA – After their March 8 semifinal comeback bid fell just short, the University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team were back it bright and early, March 9 against the Alberta Golden Bears in the CIS bronze medal match.
The game was a rematch of the Canada West final, and saw Alberta capturing bronze 61-53, despite the Vikes outscoring them in three of four quarters of play.
In his final game in a Vikes uniform, forward Terrell Evans led his squad with a double-double, posting 18 points and 16 rebounds, while teammate Chris McLaughlin also finished strong with 13 points and five boards. Marcus Tibbs made the most of his 19 minutes on the floor, putting up nine points to round out the top-3 scorers for Victoria.
Alberta’s Jordan Baker was the only Golden Bear to enter double-digits, putting up 16 points and eight rebounds, while teammate Robert Dewar and Joel Friesen added eight points apiece.
The first quarter opened up as the previous two games in the tournament had for the Vikes, with Alberta able to string together an early 10-0 run that would put them up early. An early three-pointer from third-year Tibbs and a free throw from McLaughlin would be all the Vikes could muster for scoring in the first.
Victoria’s offence once again showed up in the second quarter, putting up 17 points thanks large in part to an offensive surge from Evans, who went on a minute-long tear to put up seven of his 10 points in the quarter.
An athletic play by Alberta forward Baker highlighted the period for the Golden Bears, as the fifth-year senior dove out of bounds to keep the Alberta play alive, teammate Youssef Ouahrig then finished the play at the other end of the floor. Alberta would hold a 40-21 lead heading into halftime.
Needing an offensive push early in the second half, the Vikes received back-to-back threes from a combination Reiner Theil and Tibbs, while Ryan Erikson also added two points from the free throw line early. A scramble in the Alberta end saw fourth-year John Woldu and Evans battling for several offensive rebounds before Evans was finally able to tip-in the ball.
Evans received the ball again moments later, sprinting down the floor and laying it in to cut the lead to 11. Despite a Victoria push on offence, Alberta weathered the storm and finished the quarter with a 16-point lead heading into the final frame.
The Vikes showed dashes of promise in the fourth, outscoring Alberta for the third-straight quarter. Despite doing so, they were never able to come within eight points of the lead, conceding a 61-53 loss in the bronze medal match to close out their 2013-14 season.
Youth was on display for the Vikes squad in Sunday’s game, with first-year Vikes Patrick Pilato and Jordan Charles each seeing significant floor time throughout the game with 18 and 22 minutes, respectively. Teammate Dominic Ohl also came off the bench to play eight minutes.
The game was especially significant for Vikes seniors Terrell Evans and Ryan Erikson, who played their final games in a Vikes uniform.
ALB: 25-15-11-10: 61
ALB: J.Baker (16), R.Dewar (8), J.Friesen (8)
VIC: T.Evans (18), C.McLaughlin (13), M.Tibbs (9)