Vikes Men Stumble With Loss to UBC Thunderbirds

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN), With Files from Ali Lee (UVic)

January 29, 2016, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes dropped their third game in a row and fifth of their last six, as they were defeated 79-51 by the UBC Thunderbirds in CIS Canada West men’s basketball action Friday night at the CARSA Performance Gym in Victoria.

UVic’s Mack Roth (6) goes up for a shot during the Vikes 79-51 loss to UBC on Friday night in Victoria (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The loss drops the Vikes to record to 7-8 in the Canada West standings and puts a bit of a damper on their playoff hopes, as they now sit in eighth place in the Pioneer Division, chasing seventh place Alberta (7-7) – who hold the final playoff spot – with just five games to play.

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In front of a good crowd at the CARSA Gym, UVic’s Kai Greene (right) puts on the brakes as he feels pressure from UBC defender Connor Morgan (left)(Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Vikes got the start they wanted going up 19-16 at the end of the first frame, thanks in part to a six point quarter from Reiner Theil and five from Grant Sitton. The Thunderbirds were held to just 35% shooting from the field despite out-rebounding the Vikes 13-8. The home side led by as much as six in the quarter but had just a three point lead entering the second quarter.

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UVic’s Reiner Theil (4) attempts a shot over the outreached arms of UBC’s Taylor Browne (5) and Connor Morgan (9) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Things then went south for the Vikes, as they were silenced in the second quarter, getting outscored 20-7 by the Thunderbirds, who took a 36-26 lead into the locker room at halftime.

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UVic’s Jordan Charles (10) heads to the hoop for two of his eight points on Friday against UBC (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

UBC continued to stretch their lead in the third – by as much as 19 points at one point – as Philip Jalalpoor contributed from all areas of the floor. Victoria kept pace with an eight point quarter from Sitton, but UBC used their size and strength to out-rebound the Vikes 34-18 by the end of the frame, building a 55-42 lead entering the fourth quarter.

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UVic’s Grant Sitton would lead all UVic scorers with 13 points against UBC on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Any chance of a Vikes comeback was doused early in the fourth, as UBC continued to score at will, while the home side had trouble finding the net. UBC stretched their lead to 70-47 half-way through the quarter and with both sides then using their bench, outscored the Vikes 24-9 over the full frame to round out the 79-51 win.

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The Thunderbirds would out-rebound UVic 45-26 Friday and one reason was centre Connor Morgan (9) who would tally seven of them (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

For the home side, fourth year forward Sitton was one of just two double-digit scorers finishing with 13 points and four rebounds. Senior Reiner Theil logged 11 points and five boards, while Jordan Charles chipped in with eight points.

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UVic’s Reiner Theil heads to the hoop for two of his 11 points Friday in the loss to UBC (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Thunderbirds were led by the third-year pair of Philip Jalalpoor and Conor Morgan. Guard Jalalpoor had a game- high 16 points and seven rebounds, while Morgan posted 15 points and seven boards. Fifth-year forward David Wagner added 12 points and six rebounds while senior Will Ondrik was the fourth double-digit scorer adding 11 points. The T-Birds impressed from beyond the arc going 9-for-17, while out-rebounding the Vikes 45-26.

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UVic’s Jordan Charles (10) floats to the hoop in a bid for a bucket late in Friday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Vikes and T-Birds will battle again tomorrow, Jan. 30, at the CARSA Performance Gym. Tipoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live at http://canadwest.tv.

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After three losses in a row and five in the last six, Vikes Head Coach Craig Beaucamp will be looking for quick answers, as the Vikes will play a rematch with UBC on Saturday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Game Notes: Despite the loss the Vikes’ game-night efforts resulted in $3,500 being donated to the Shoot for the Cure cancer initiative. With the win the CIS No. 10-ranked T-Birds improve to 11-4 and sit in second place in the Pioneer Division. With the win UBC head coach Kevin Hanson surpasses former Vikes coach Guy Vetrie for second on the Canada West all-time wins list, now with 246.

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