By Jacqueline MacDiarmid,
(ISN) – VANCOUVER – The No. 10 University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team completed the weekend sweep with their second straight win over the UBC Thunderbirds, this time 85-79, at War Memorial Gym in Vancouver on Nov. 8.
The Vikes are now 4-0 on the season, while the T-Birds drop to 0-2.
Fifth year Chris McLaughlin was a huge presence finishing the game with a game-high 31 points and four rebounds, while Reiner Theil continued to show his offensive abilities with 15 points. Point guard Marcus Tibbs had 12 points, five rebounds and six assists, while Patrick Pilato logged five points but eight assists.
Tommy Nixon led UBC with 23 points and six assists for UBC and both teams had four players reach double digits on the score sheet. In addition to Nixon, Kamen chipped in with 15 points while David Wagner and Tonner Jackson both contributed 12 for the T-Birds this evening.
Victoria led 48-40 at the half but UBC opened the third quarter by scoring the first eight points. Nixon opened up the proceedings with a three-point jump shot and was followed by Jackson, who converted a layup and then a three-point basket for the T-Birds. Conor Morgan’s try with 7:08 left in the third gave UBC its first lead since the opening frame at 51-50.
While the Vikes took a slim 67-63 lead into the fourth, their advantage had been as large as 10 points late in the third thanks to an 8-0 run, which saw triples from Theil and Charles as well as a layup from Pilato.
The fourth quarter was an exciting back-and-forth affair. Each time the Vikes created some separation, the T-Birds fought back. Kamen’s and-one play early in the fourth closed the gap to two points, as did a jumper from Jordan Jensen-Whyte with 7:28 left in regulation. Still, UBC did not manage to take a lead in the fourth as Victoria converted enough chances on offence to maintain its lead. McLaughlin went 3-for-4 from the field in the fourth quarter and the Vikes as a team, were 5-of-10. UBC made four of its 14 shots in the final period. Both squads made eight of 11 attempts from the foul line.
Six of UBC’s eight points in the last two minutes were taken from the foul line. Starting with 1:58 on the clock, Nixon drew two back-to-back fouls, and converted all four of his free throws, making the score 79-75. Tibbs responded with a hard drive to the basket to put his team up 81-75, and then preceded to foul Jensen-Whyte, who converted his free throws putting the Thunderbirds back within four points.
Victoria’s Mack Roth and Thiel made their foul shots in between a Jackson layup for UBC to round out the scoring.
Both teams shot the ball well on Saturday night. The T-Birds made 29 of their 56 attempts (51.8 per cent) while the Vikes were even better at 31-of-54 (57.4 per cent). UBC was 7-of-26 from behind the three-point line and Victoria was good 10 of its 23 opportunities. The home side had a slight rebounding edge at 27-23.
The Thunderbirds will go on a road-trip to Edmonton next weekend, where they will face the Alberta (3-1). Victoria will head to Saskatoon for two games against the University of Saskatchewan (1-1). Both series will be streamed live at canadawest.tv.
UBC: 23-17-23-16 : 79
UVIC: 25-23-19-18 : 85
UBC: Tommy Nixon (23), Brylle Kamen (15)
UVIC: Chris McLaughlin (31), Reiner Theil (15), Marcus Tibbs (13)