No. 10 Vikes set to visit No. 7 Thunderbirds


By Ali Lee

(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The No. 10 University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team head to Vancouver for a pair of games against mainland rivals and No. 7-ranked UBC, Nov. 7-8, at War Memorial Gym. The Vikes will look to extend their streak after going 2-0 in their opening weekend against the Regina Cougars.

On Oct. 31, the Vikes opened their Canada West regular season with a 72-63 win over the Cougars. Fifth year Chris McLaughlin came alive late in the game to finish with 21 points, and the lone senior did it again Nov. 1, finish with another team-high 21 points as the Vikes downed the Cougars 78-63. Fourth-year point guard Marcus Tibbs also hit double digits on both nights totaling 37 points across the two games.

In addition to McLaughlin and Tibbs, the Vikes boast 2013-14 Canada West Defensive Player of the Year, Reiner Theil, who got his offensive game going on Nov. 1, adding 15 points to his 11 rebounds. Head coach Craig Beaucamp also boasts guards Patrick Pilato, Mack Roth and Jeremy Leonard-Smith to add depth to his squad.

The Thunderbirds have yet to play any regular season games after a bye on opening weekend but they still enter this week ranked No. 7 in the CIS. In 2013-14, the T-Birds lost in the quarter-finals and had a 11-11 conference record. The ‘Birds graduated the talents of Isaiah Solomon but return a powerful group of talented veterans including Conor Morgan, Tommy Nixon, David Wagner and Brylle Kamen. Six-foot-nine Morgan returns after sitting out last season due to injury, while Nixon, Kamen and Tonner Jackson, all in the front court, will play their final season. Jordan Jensen-Whyte takes over as the team’s point guard, a role he played during his rookie season when UBC won the Canada West title.

The T-Birds had the opening weekend off and will be looking to get off to a good start on their home opening weekend. The Nov. 7 game will tip off at 8 p.m., while Nov. 8 the game will happen at 7 p.m.