PREVIEW: Vikes to do Battle with Undefeated Thunderbirds in Home-and-Home Series

Nov. 25-27: Victoria Vikes vs. UBC T-Birds (8:00 p.m., CARSA Performance Gym, Victoria, B.C.) & @ UBC T-Birds (2:00 p.m., Vancouver, B.C.)

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The Vikes Jake Newman (6) drives the baseline on Calgary defender Lars Schlueter (10). Newman would finish with 6 points on the night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Tale of the Weekend

VICTORIA – Two games against the UBC T-Birds await the UVic Vikes men’s basketball team this weekend, the first one will be played in Victoria and is a part of the tenth-annual Shoot for the Cure night before the two teams meet again in Vancouver.

The Shoot for the Cure game will take place on November 25 and is scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. The two teams will then have a day off before playing in Vancouver on November 27 at 2:00 p.m.

The T-Birds won both games that the teams played against each other last season and were ranked No. 2 in the Canada West pre-season coaches poll, coming into the 2016-17 season.

“The team always looks forward to the UBC weekend and I think our fan base does as well,” said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp. “There is obviously a lot of history between the schools, it doesn’t matter where either team is in the standings.”

Last Time Out

A hard-fought split on the road against the MacEwan Griffins was the result of the Vikes latest weekend.

An opening night win in overtime proved that the Vikes can play their best when it counts the most. The team was able to rebound after MacEwan tied the game with almost no time left on the clock, to run away with an 89-79 victory.

While the Vikes dropped the second game, Beaucamp was pleased with the defensive effort his team put up all weekend long.

“We got some traction defensively last weekend, we had our best two outings,” said Beaucamp. “Regardless of any winning or losing if we are going to have any consistency it is going to start on the defensive side, and I think for the most part that was a good start last weekend.”

UBC stayed perfect on the season with two straight wins over the University of Manitoba Bisons. The victories vaulted the T-Birds all the way to No. 2 in the U Sports national rankings.

The T-Birds are led by a trio of experienced players, fifth-years Will Ondrik and Jordan Jensen-Whyte both play over thirty minutes a game while fourth-year Conor Morgan provides much of their scoring punch.

By the Numbers

85. 3: The number of points per game UBC is scoring, behind only the Calgary Dinos in Canada West.

21. 5: Conor Morgan is the key to the Thunderbirds offence, his points per game are the second most in the conference.

Coach’s Take
Craig Beaucamp, Vikes head coach

On the Shoot for the Cure initiative

“It’s to the point where just about every U Sports team is playing a game or doing some sort of event on behalf of cancer research and one of our alumni, one of our great coaches suffered from the disease and anything we can do to help spearhead or support that cause has a lot of interest on our part.”

On the help that a boisterous crowd can provide

“It’s that sixth man. Any type of support the players can get can be encouraging and it’s just a fun event for both teams regardless of whether you are home or away. With the fans backing us and supporting us it means a lot to the guys and they definitely look forward to playing in front of large crowds.”

“We are playing another strong team and we are excited about that. They were a national finalist last year and one of the favourites again in our conference. We are excited for the challenge.”

Game Info
Friday, Nov. 25 – 8:00 p.m. – vs. UBC Thunderbirds @ CARSA Performance Gym, Victoria, B.C. – Buy tickets at govikesgo.com/tickets Watch live on canadawest.tv

Sunday, Nov. 27 – 2:00 p.m. – @ UBC Thunderbirds @ Vancouver, B.C. – Watch live oncanadawest.tv

UBC Thunderbirds (4-0)
CIS National Ranking: N/A
Canada West Standings: 2
Last Week: 2-0
Streak: W 4
Last Canada West Title: 2012-13
Last CIS Title: N/A

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