By Ali Lee,
(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team started what they finished Friday night after dropping the visiting Alberta Golden Bears 76-52 on Nov. 29 at McKinnon Gym. With the weekend sweep the CIS No. 8 Vikes improve to a 6-2 record and Alberta now fall 4-4.
Last night all five Vikes starters were in the double-digit scoring realm and tonight was far from different. Ace shooting from point guard Marcus Tibbs made him the game-leader with 23 points, 12 in the third, as well as six rebounds. Tibbs’ play would not be without the fine form of his fellow line mates. Mack Roth and Chris McLaughlin each chipped in with 14 points, while McLaughlin also added nine rebounds. Reiner Theil had 12 points and five rebounds, while the Vikes out-rebounded Alberta 39-26.
Alberta needed more than just quality play to drop the Vikes today, who were hot in all four quarters. Second year forward Mamadou Gueye finished the night with 17 points, while Joel Friesen logged 14. That was it for double-digit scoring as a lack of front-court depth kept Alberta shooting just 32 per cent from the field.
The first quarter was back-and-forth action as the usual scoring suspects on both sides came out to play early on. Friesen came out firiing, logging seven first-quarter points, while Tibbs andJordan Charles each hit a three to both finish with five points. The Vikes took the lead 16-14 entering the second.
Victoria had a 13-6 run to open the second, as back-to-back threes from nearly the same spot gave Jeremy Leonard-Smith his first six points of the game. Some gritty work at the offensive end from Theil put the former Canada West Defensive Player of the Year at the line. Making no mistake, Theil put the Vikes up by 10, at 33-22, mid-way through the second. A surge of scoring from Roth earned the fourth-year Vike eight points from the field to give the home team a 39-26 lead entering half time.
The court was tilted in favour of the home team as the starting five combined for a 14-6 Vikes run to start the third. Fifth years Kenneth Otieno and Friesen each mustered up a three but it could not compete with the gritty rebounding and athleticism of the Vikes. Alberta’s Gueye did well to log a jumper to chip away but a Tibbs three-pointer from well outside the arc got the Vikes up by 22 with less than three to go in the quarter. Youssef Ouahrig sank his first three of the game to cut the Vikes’ lead to 58-39 but Tibbs put up two threes and a free throw to finish the third with 12 points as Victoria led 65-39 entering the fourth.
The superiority continued through the opening of the fourth quarter as the Vikes continued to run the floor. Alberta relied on their perimeter powers as Ouahrig, Gueye and rookie Andriy Halushko each hit a late three. It was far from enough as Vikes head coach Craig Beaucampdipped into his bench and allowed a freshmen line up to command the floor to a 76-52 victory.
This will wrap up the 2014 portion of the Canada West season for the Vikes, who will see the floor again Dec. 29-30 in their exhibition California tour. The Vikes return to Canada West action on Jan. 9-10 against Winnipeg, while Alberta will play Calgary for their final conference game on Dec. 5.
ALB: 14-12-13-13 : 52
UVIC: 16-23-26-11 : 76
ALB: Mamadou Gueye (17), Joel Friesen (14)
UVIC: Marcus Tibbs (23), Mack Roth (14), Chris McLaughlin (14), Reiner Theil (12)