By Lucas Meyer, Dinos Communications
(ISN) – CALGARY – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team conceded a 79-73 loss to the Calgary Dinos on Jan. 24 at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium.
Fifth-year point Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson was spectacular in the victory with 29 points, including 13 in the final quarter when his team needed him most.
The Vikes were led by all-star McLaughlin, who finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, right around his seasonal average, while Theil and Mack Roth both scored 12. Point guardMarcus Tibbs finished with 11 points and two assists, a night after crushing the Dinos with 22 and nine in those categories.
The night before, the Vikes dominated on the Dinos home floor with an 81-63 victory, a year after they blew out Calgary 92-64 also at the Jack.
Ogungbemi-Jackson said afterwards the team’s mental strength was the difference.
“Just staying focused the whole game,” he said. “Victoria’s such a good team, such a good defensive team that you have to play for four quarters.”
Both teams were efficient in the first quarter, both shooting 9-13 with the score tied at 22, with Ogungbemi-Jackson scoring eight in the opening frame.
Both defenses locked down in the second, as the Vikes took at a 35-34 lead into the halftime, but it could’ve been a two-point deficit as Ogungbemi-Jackson just missed a heave from near his own free-throw line as time expired.
It was the third quarter when the home team started to get into rhythm, led by fifth-year forward Phil Barndt. First he tied the game at 37 with a three in the first minute, then found Dallas Karch a minute later to give the Dinos the lead.
At 5:32, Barndt his his second three of the quarter to give Calgary another three-point lead and with the game tied again at 51, he hit his third to give his team the lead again, ending with 11 in the quarter.
It was tied once again going into the fourth and two layups by Victoria’s Grant Sitton gave them a four-point lead early. Then Ogungbemi-Jackson went to work. His first three made it 61-all at 7:38 and two free throws a short time later made it 63-61. He would tie it again at 66 with a jumper and after a Reiner Theil three gave the Vikes the lead back, a layup by Dallas Karch cut the deficit to one point with 4:39 left.
After Ogungbemi-Jackson hit a layup to give the Dinos a one-point lead, Lars Schlueter knocked down a huge three as Calgary took at 73-69 lead with just under three minutes to go.
Victoria’s star forward Chris McLaughlin showed why he is one of the best players in the country, knocking down critical free throws to make it just a one-point game with a minute and a half remaining.
After a missed Ogungbemi-Jackson three, Matt Letkeman hit his first field goal of the game over McLaughlin to give the Dinos a 75-72 lead with 45 seconds left.
Ogungbemi-Jackson iced it from there with four straight free throws as the Dinos won by six.
A night after the Dinos struggled offensively and shot just 2-16 from downtown, they got major contributions from Barndt who finished with 18 and Karch who scored in double figures again with 10 points.
Both teams shot 48 per cent for the game, but Calgary was 9-19 from beyond the arc Saturday en route to the victory.
The Vikes will play at home to the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Jan. 30-31 at McKinnon Gym.