By Ardy Ramezani, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team dropped the Calgary Dinos in a very close game that was decided by a free throw with less than a second left on Nov. 20 in Victoria. The Vikes sealed the game 72-71 to continue their undefeated record to 5-0, while the CIS No.7-ranked Calgary drop to 3-2.
Fifth-year Vike Mack Roth led the home side with 19 points and five rebounds and provided the late heroics to seal the win. Fourth year Grant Sitton and third year Jordan Charlesrounded out the scoreboard with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
“What was going through my head was that we had the game sealed as long as I knocked down a free throw,” said fifth-year Vike Roth before shooting the game-winning free throw with 0.8 seconds left on the clock. “I was happy with our team’s resiliency. I thought we competed really hard throughout the end and we executed and did what we had to do and got the win.”
For the Dinos fourth-year guard Thomas Cooper was the highest contributor, posting 22 points and eight rebounds. Also hitting double-digits was fifth year Josh Owen-Thomas who contributed 11 points. A total of ten Dinos players got on the board for the visitors.
The first quarter between the two teams was very fast paced and set the stride for the rest of the game. Although the Dinos opened up the scoring and were leading by six points with two minutes remaining in the quarter, a five point run by first year Joshua Charles gave the home team momentum to finish one point ahead, 17-16, at the end of the first quarter.
Both teams were within one point of each other for the majority of the second quarter, with the largest lead coming for the Vikes late in the quarter. Vikes fifth-year guard Brandon Dunlopdrained a deep basket from beyond the arc in the last thirty seconds of the quarter to give the Vikes a three-point lead going into the third. Notably, a total of eight players chipped in for points for Victoria in the first half of the game.
The Vikes managed to lead for the majority of the third quarter, extending their advantage to as much as ten points. The energy seemed to return in favour of Calgary momentarily as the Vikes’ lead dropped to five points with less than two minutes left. However, a trey from Kai Greene with less than a minute remaining allowed for the Vikes to have an eight-point leading margin heading into the final stretch.
In the final quarter, the Vikes led for the majority of the game until back-to-back jump shots by Dinos’ Thomas brought the Dinos within one point of the Vikes with 36 seconds left on the clock.
With the game intensifying, a late foul by Dunlop gave Calgary two free throws with just 16 seconds left. Not folding under pressure, David Kapinga sank one of his two shots to tie up the game 71-71. The Vikes had the last possession and they rushed to the net to avoid overtime. Jordan Charles and Sitton each had opportunities but their shots rimmed out, leaving desperate efforts to Roth. The Vikes senior was fouled with 0.8 seconds left on the clock. With the capacity crowd on their feet, the fifth year sank one of his shots to seal the game 72-71 for the Vikes.
“The warrior there, Mack, with the bandana, gets cut and comes back and makes a big free throw down the stretch,” said Vikes head coach Beaucamp about the senior guard-forward who, in back-to-back weekends, played with bandages on his head. “We were in a position to win that game and we almost gave it away in the last two or three minutes and that’s a credit to (Calgary). You have to find a way in those games though and again we preach it all the time but when it’s all said and done it was probably our defence that gave us a chance to win that game. We only gave up 70 and if you only give up 70 you probably have a chance most nights.”