By Paul Cartledge, Alberta Sports Information
EDMONTON – In a tight game between two teams fighting for better positioning in the standings, the University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team emerged victorious by a 66-60 decision over the Alberta Golden Bears, on Jan. 16 at Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton, Alta.
Third-year forward Mamadou Gueye had a team-high 16 points and nine rebounds for Alberta, rookie forward Brody Clarke notching 13 and six, respectively, while third-year guard Lyndon Annetts put up 11 points.
It was all Victoria in the opening five minutes, the road squad jumping out to a 10-2 lead, all three top scorers getting in on the action, but Gueye, the human highlight reel, added another to his collection when he cut underneath a defender before vaulting himself up for a two-hand dunk to cut the lead to four.
Unfortunately for the home team, the momentum stayed in the Vikes’ wheelhouse, Victoria putting together an 8-3 run to close out the quarter before fourth-year post Brett Roughead drained a jumper at the buzzer to pull Alberta within seven.
The Bears were able to use that last-second bucket to their advantage to open the second quarter, however, Gueye landing an over-the-shoulder arc shot off a layup for the hoop and the harm to cut the Alberta deficit to two before the Quebec City native made a power move to the bucket 20 seconds later, faking out his defender, spinning in the opposite direction, and adding some in-the-air flair to his already dazzling highlight to tie the game up at 18.
Yet the Vikes continued to counter, reclaiming the lead off a Kai Greene jumper with just under two minutes to go and staying slightly ahead of their hosts to bring a 28-27 score into halftime.
The battle forged on in the third quarter, the lead changing four times before the Charles brothers on the Victoria side each scored on a layup so the Vikes could build a five-point lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
With five minutes left to go, the visitors had extended the lead to 10, threatening the Bears to go back below .500 on the season, but sophomore guard Sheldon Pittman drained a baseline trey to keep the hope alive.
After rookie guard Colby Jackson sunk another long ball, Annetts made a huge block at the top of the Victoria arc and Clarke netted a long two to cut the deficit to five.
Hailing from Toronto, Clarke then contested for highlight of the night, giving the Vikes’ defence a few ankle-breakers before laying down a spinarama layup to erase the deficit to only three.
But foul trouble stopped the comeback dead in its tracks, several Bears committing fouls to put Victoria at the charity stripe, sinking all but one shot in the final 30 seconds to extend their lead and cement the victory.
Alberta, now 5-6 on the season, head to Brandon next weekend to take on the Bobcats, while 7-5 Victoria will also head east to face the Winnipeg Wesmen.
SCORING BY QUARTER
ALB: 11-16-12-21: 60
UVIC: 18-10-16-22 : 66