By Jamie Umbach (UVic), Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
February 20, 2016, Victoria, BC – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team sent their senior fifth years Reiner Theil, Mack Roth and Brandon Dunlop off the right way on Saturday night with a 90-74 defeat of the Brandon Bobcats in the final Canada West game of their varsity careers.
UVic’s Mack Roth (16) would go out a winner, scoring 19 points to lead the Vikes to a 90-74 win over Brandon on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The win ends the Vikes’ 2015-16 season at 9-11, just outside the playoff picture, while Brandon finishes 1-19.
Roth led the charge for Victoria in his final game as a Vike scoring 23 points and four rebounds. Fellow senior Theil had a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds in his finale while Dunlop had eight points and eight rebounds. Justin Kinnear and Hassan Abdullahi had 13 and 12-point nights, respectively, for the Vikes.
Another graduating Vike, Reiner Theil (40would score two of his final 13 points on this layup early in the game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
On Brandon’s side, Earl Thompson Jr. led all scorers on the court with a double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds. D.J. Jordan had 13 points and two rebounds while John Paul followed closely behind with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Graduating senior Brandon Dunlop (9) dishes a pass around the backside of the Bobcat’s Chris Stanhope. Dunlop would finish with eight points and three assists on the evening (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
“I’m happy we saw our seniors off the right way tonight,” said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp of his graduating players. “We’re disappointed to be in this spot at the end of the season, but we finished on a positive and the win is a small consolation.”
UVic’s Justin Kinnear heads to the net for this shot attempt in the second half Saturday. Kinnear would score 13 points in the win over Brandon (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
A Roth jumper and Justin Kinnear three-pointer put the Vikes ahead 5-0 early in the first quarter before the Bobcats answered with five of their own to tie it 5-5 off a three-pointer from Chris Stanhope and a jumper from Paul. A late dunk from rookie Vikes’ guard Tyus Barfoot gave the Vikes a three-point lead heading into the second quarter 16-13.
UVic’s Hassan Abdullahi (14) would have a strong game for the Vikes Saturday, scoring 11 points, including three from the free throw line (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Two of the eight points in the first half from Paul cut the Vikes’ lead midway through the second quarter to 28-24, but the strong start for third-year Vike Abdullahi continued when he put the Vikes ahead by double digits minutes later with two quick jumpers. The Vikes would lead by a dozen going into the second half up 42-30 over Brandon.
Vikes guard Brandon Dunlop (9) drives the baseline during first half action Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Roth was the lead scorer on the court for the Vikes with 11 points in the first half in his final game for Victoria. Thompson Jr. was keeping the Bobcats in the game with 10 points and five rebounds through two frames.
The Vike’s Tyus Barfoot (7) heads to the hoop for a second-half basket on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Vikes found themselves with their largest lead of 26 points midway through the third quarter after fourth-year Vike Grant Sitton hit a deep jumper to put the Vikes ahead 63-39. The Vikes fought for rebounds and were able to put seven points past the Bobcats off second chance plays.
UVic’s Kai Greene (5) collides with Brandon’s Esmat Atem (11) on this shot attempt late in the game Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Bobcats could only get as close as 15 points in the fourth quarter as the Vikes continued their hot pace. The Vikes shot 17-for-34 in the second half (50.0 per cent) to help close the book on the night and the season with an eventual 90-74 win over Brandon.
The Vikes now enter the offseason after a disappointing season where the Vikes missed the playoffs for the first time since 2009-10 and only the third time under Beaucamp.
Prior to Saturday’s game, graduating players Brandon Dunlop, Mack Roth and Reiner Theil and their families were honoured by the coaching staff and the fans (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
“We’ll look closely at what we’re going to do next year to rebound,” said Beaucamp. “We’ll make changes and flip everything, including personnel because we want to be vastly improved come next year.”