By Dinos Athletics
(ISN) – They may be the top teams in the Pioneers Division, but the Victoria Vikes brought their best against the University of Calgary Dinos Friday night, winning game one of their weekend series 81-63.
With the victory, the Vikes improve to 10-3, dropping the Dinos to 10-4 with a pivotal game two coming up Saturday once again at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium. Victoria is now first in the division.
After missing out on the last two weekend games against Winnipeg, Vikes point guard Marcus Tibbs made up for lost time, scoring 22 points, including seven in the fourth quarter, to go along with nine assists.
“I kind of wanted to make a statement game,” Tibbs said afterwards, after his team split their series last weekend against Winnipeg, in which he had to sit out as the Wesmen pulled off an upset victory. “This week at practice I got back at it again to prepare for the game.”
Tibbs picked up the offense as MVP candidate, forward Chris McLaughlin, faced double and triple teams throughout the night. Fifth-year senior McLaughlin finished the night with nine points and nine rebounds.
As for Calgary’s star, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson did score 15 points, putting him third on the Dinos all-time scoring list.
After the Vikes jumped out to a 15-8 lead, Calgary went on an 8-3 run to make it a two-point game going into the second and tied it at 23 early in the quarter. But Victoria responded with a 7-0 run, including five straight points from Mack Roth.
Calgary got within four in the quarter, but four straight points by Tibbs to end the frame made it 38-30 at halftime.
The Dinos would get to within four after an Ogungbemi-Jackson three-point play, but that’s as close as they would get. They struggled from the field as the Vikes played with discipline at both ends of the floor and took a 15 point lead into the fourth.
The final quarter was all Victoria as they led by as much as 24 points en route to the 18-point victory.
Tibbs said resiliency was the key to all of the Dinos pushes.
“We’ve been through this before, we’ve struggled and haven’t been able to score, but our defense kept us in it and kept us going,” he said. “It’s tough to come here and get a win, but the tough part now is that we have to turn around and get one more. Calgary is a very good team and we know that, so we have to get it done one more night.”
While the Vikes shot 52 per cent from the field, Calgary struggled at 35 per cent, with the most glaring weak point at the three-point line. Calgary is third in the conference in threes made and percentage, but shot just 2-16 from downtown for 12 per cent.
The Vikes also got contributions from Roth with 17 points and Grant Sitton came off the bench to score 12. The only other Dino in double figures was Dallas Karch with 10.
The two teams meet again Saturday night at 6 p.m. PST on canadawest.tv.