By Elizabeth Chan, Vikes Communications with files from Winnipeg
(ISN) – VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team made a second-half comeback on Jan. 9, dropping the host Manitoba Bisons, 88-75, in the first of this weekend’s pair.
The Vikes relied on the efforts of fourth-year Mack Roth, who led the visiting team with a game-high 23 points, seven rebounds and three treys. Fifth-year veteran Chris McLaughlin scored in the double digits this evening with 19 points and 15 rebounds, while also making two steals. Second-year guard Hassan Abdullahi chipped in with 10 points.
Manitoba were led by players Stephan Walton, with 20 points, nine assists and five rebounds; Justus Alleyn, who totalled 14 points, was two-for-two in three-point shots. Amarjit Basi, contributed with 13 points and two steals.
The first quarter was fast-paced with the Bisons scoring early under Walton’s lead as he logged 10 points in the opening frame. The Vikes had Reiner Theil and Marcus Tibbs make a three-pointer each early on and Grant Sitton came off the bench, nailing a dunk toward the end of the first. Manitoba was up by one, leading 21-20 entering the second quarter.
The Bisons shot well beyond the arc throughout the second quarter, two from the hands of Alleyn, to stretch their lead at 43-39 come halftime. Vikes’ Mack Roth came to life also with a three while McLaughlin covered both ends of the court. Forth-year point guard Tibbs led in assists in the first half for the visiting team.
A break was all the Vikes needed to pressure the home team by outscoring them 24-14 in the third. Abdullahi rolled off the bench two minutes toward the end of the third to drain three back-to-back buckets, giving the Vikes the lead at 63-57.
Victoria maintained their offensive pressure in the final frame while the Manitoba team struggled to find the rhythm they had in the previous three quarters. The visitors had a 12-point lead heading into the final two minutes of the game and that was pushed to 15 after forward Mack Roth scored a late three. That would prove insurmountable for the Bisons, leading to an 88-75 victory for the Vikes.
The win brings the second-place Victoria Vikes to 8-2 for the season while the third-place Manitoba Bisons now sit at 8-4.
Both teams clash again tomorrow, Jan. 10, at 5 p.m. PST at Investors Group Athletic Centre with the game being broadcast live on canadawest.tv.
UVIC: 20-19-24-25: 88
MAN: 21-22-14-18: 75
UVIC: Mack Roth (23), Chris McLaughlin (19), Hassan Abdullahi (10)
MAN: Stephan Walton (20), Justus Alleyn (14), Amarjit Basi (13)