Sitton’s big night starts 2017 off right for Vikes

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KAMLOOPS – Grant Sitton was unstoppable all night long as he led the UVic Vikes men’s basketball team to an 86-76 victory over the Thompson Rivers WolfPack in Kamloops, B.C. on Friday, January 6.

“I thought we shot the ball well which was probably the biggest thing we did well tonight,” said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp. “We are pretty happy to get off to a good start this weekend.”

Sitton, a fifth-year forward, had the type of shooting night that players dream about. Going 11-for-14 from the field and seven-for-eight from beyond the arc, the player from Brush Prairie, WA was able to fill the hoop at will.

“Grant got into one of those rolls where the basket looks big and he carried us to that first half lead, he just kept hitting shots,” said Beaucamp.

Also having a big night for the Vikes was first-year guard Scott Kellum, who scored a season-high 18 points in the game. JJ Hamel Carey rounded out the scoring for UVic with 16 points and five assists.

“We had 14 three’s and Grant had seven of them, but there were some other guys contributing as well,” said Beaucamp. “It’s nice to have four guys in double digits and we are going to need that.”

Both teams had to work off some rust at the beginning of the game as more than six weeks away from Canada West regular season action showed in a high number of turnovers to start the first quarter. As soon as that rust was gone though, the UVic offence shifted into high gear.

The WolfPack kept things close, the teams were only separated by nine points at the half, but a 27 point third quarter from the Vikes erased any doubt as to which team was walking away with a win.

“Overall we’ve been playing better and we seem to have found our identity a little bit,” said Beaucamp. “The guys are playing quite well together.”

The win was a big one for the Vikes, as they move to 3-6 on the season, now just two points away from a playoff spot. The WolfPack meanwhile, fall to 5-6 and are one of the many teams battling for playoff positioning in a tight Canada West conference.

The Vikes will get a chance to move to 2-0 in 2017 when they take on the WolfPack tomorrow in Kamloops. The game is scheduled to start at 7 pm and can be watched live on canadawest.tv

The recipe for a weekend sweep is simplicity according to Beaucamp.

“We just have to keep the game simple, move the ball well side to side and defend an rebound. It’s about doing the little things right and we need to just go back to the drawing board and start the game tomorrow at 0-0.”

SCORING SUMMARY
UVIC: 
19-24-27-16: 86
TRU: 12-22-17-25: 76

SCORING LEADER
UVIC
: G. Sitton (30), S. Kellum (18) JJ Hamel Carey (16)
TRU: M. Rouault (15), D. Rhodes (14), J. Davis (13)

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