Big second half leads Vikes to victory over Regina in Guy Vetrie Opener

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VICTORIA—The UVic Vikes men’s basketball team got their Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament off to a great start with a 76-67 victory over the University of Regina Cougars, on September 29.

The Vikes poured in 49 points in the second half to come from behind and beat a strong Cougars team that made it to the playoffs last season.

“You always have to be happy with a win. The guys worked hard, we had some stretches where we moved the ball pretty well but we know that we have to move the ball a lot better than we did tonight,” said Craig Beaucamp, Vikes head coach.

Grant Sitton and Wayne Tucker Jr. each scored 15 points for the Vikes but it was a full-team effort that led them to the victory. Eight different Vikes scored and 11 Vikes played in the game.

“It’s really important to get a lot of people into the game at this point in the year. We are going to try and do the same thing over the course of the weekend,” said Beaucamp.

The game was close for the majority of the contest. It wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter that either team had a double-digit lead.

It was the Cougars who came out stronger to start the game. Brian Ofori and Brandon Tull both had strong games scoring 14 and 15 points respectively for the visitors.

The Vikes were able to stick around in the first half though, and their offence took over in the second.

“At times we moved the ball a lot better and we hit some opportune shots when we needed to,” said Beaucamp on his teams second half performance.

There were over 1,200 fans filling the seats in CARSA, doing everything that they could to will their Vikes to a win.

“It’s a lot easier to build energy when the crowd is into it, and Vikes Nation does a really good job of promoting the games, so a huge shout out to them for bringing the home crowd in and getting everybody involved. It means a lot to us,” said fifth-year Vike Grant Sitton.

The fans may have played a bigger role than they thought in the game. The Cougars went just 5-for-11 from the free-throw line in the fourth-quarter, when they were facing the distracting Vikes faithful.

While Sitton also acknowledged that the win was still just a pre-season victory, he was also excited about what it meant for his team.

“To get a win in the first game it gives every one some confidence, and once you have confidence then you can do anything,” said Sitton.

The Vikes are back in action tomorrow night, when they take on the McGill Redmen in the CARSA Performance Gym at 8:00 p.m.

The Cougars will also play tomorrow. They take on the McMaster Marauders in the CARSA Performance Gym at 6:00 p.m.

Both games can be viewed on Canadawest.tv

SCORING SUMMARY 
REG: 19-10-21-17 : 67
VIC: 12-15-25-24 : 76

SCORING LEADERS:
REG: Brandon Tull (15), Brian Ofori (14), Matthew Augustine (11)
UVIC: Wayne Tucker Jr. (15), Grant Sitton (15), JJ Hamel-Carey (13)

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