REGINA, Sask. – The University of Victoria men’s basketball team has the bitter taste of defeat in their mouths for the first time in the 2016-17 season after falling to the Regina Cougars 77-57 on November 5.

“We had a tough time all night getting any kind of traction, I thought they physically dominated us both offensively and defensively,” said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp.

“They took us out of our rhythm and we had a tough time guarding them one-on-one.”

One night after defeating the Cougars by 18 points to open their season, the script was flipped on the Vikes as Regina did everything in their power to avoid the weekend sweep.

“We just didn’t have the energy and compete level to beat a team twice in a row in their own gym. Regina just lost the night before so you know they are going to come out and give you their best effort and I just think we didn’t answer the bell,” said Beaucamp.

Grant SittonJustin Kinnear and Wayne Tucker Jr. were the Vikes top scorers, tallying 15,13 and 11 points respectively.

Victoria held an 8-5 lead early in the first quarter, but a bucket plus the foul from Brandon Tull and a layup from Travis Sylvestre put the Cougars ahead and they never looked back.

Brian Ofori led the way for the Cougars, tying his career best in points with 17 and chipping in a game-high nine rebounds.

After a 35-29 score at halftime the Cougars pulled ahead, outscoring the Vikes 26-17 in the third on the strength of a quick 7-0 run early in the quarter.

The Cougars were energized by Ofori’s play, pounding the ball inside for numerous buckets from Aaron McGowan, Sylvestre and Tull. An Alex Igual three at the buzzer capped off the third quarter and stretched the Cougar lead to 15.

A night after the Vikes shot the lights out at a 50.8 percent clip with eight threes, the Cougar defence clamped down and held the visitors to 29.4 percent and just two triples.

“We didn’t move the ball very well tonight. They played tougher on the ball and in the post and we just weren’t ready to match that challenge,” said Beaucamp.

“It was a combination of them playing harder defensively and us not executing to a high level. Number one, we just didn’t move the ball well enough.”

The Vikes return to Victoria next weekend to face off against the defending Canada West champion Calgary Dinos. The Dinos split their opening set of games with the University of Manitoba.

15-14-17-11: 57
REG: 23-12-26-16: 77

: G. Sitton (15), J. Kinnear (13) W. Tucker. Jr (11)
REG: B. Ofori (17), B. Tull (15), T. Sylvestre (11)