“I thought the end of third we started to get consistent stops and that led to some easy baskets for us,” said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp. “It always comes back to our play defensively, when we got separation it was through our defence.”
The visiting Huskies made the Vikes work hard for the victory on the night; they bounced back from an early 16-point deficit to lead the game heading into the fourth quarter.
“It was a see-saw battle, everybody had their runs in the game and at the end it just kind of got away from us,” said Huskies head coach Barry Rawlyk.
The win moves the Vikes to 4-3 on the year while the Huskies fall to 2-3.
Justin Kinnear led the Vikes with 19 points in the game as the Vikes were able to use quick ball movement to find the forward down low in the paint throughout the game.
Jake Newman scored all of his 14 points in a furious fourth quarter outburst that saw the fourth-year forward take control of the game when the Vikes needed him the most.
“I am proud of Jake, he’s been fighting it a little bit and then tonight he hit open shots, got over a mental hurdle, and once he hit one then they all started to fall,” said Beaucamp.
Lawrence Moore scored a game-high 28 points for the Huskies and the fourth-year guard was a thorn in the Vikes side all night long.
“He is obviously one of the main cogs on our team and really important with the lack of depth we have one our team right now,” said Rawlyk. “He’s disappointed with how he played, there were a few mistakes he made defensively and he will be better tomorrow.”
Joseph Barker recorded a double-double on the night with 18 points and Alex Unruh put up 17 points despite fouling out of the game in the middle of the fourth quarter.
The Vikes came out of the gates on fire from the field and jumped out to an 18-2 lead early halfway through the opening quarter.
“We are very disappointed with our start to the game, we were sluggish and didn’t look good offensively or defensively,” said Rawlyk. “We were able to claw our way back into it and that shows a little bit of character and a little bit of grit to be able to come back, but you can’t get behind early and expect to win on the road.”
The Huskies were able to rally and dominated the latter portion of the opening frame to trail by just one point after one.
A back-and-forth battle in the second was kept close thanks to the fact that the Huskies shot 55 per cent from the field as a team in the first half, and Saskatchewan was able to take a 45-43 at the halftime break.
The Huskies dominated the early portion of the third quarter and led by four points before a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Scott Kellum sent the teams into the fourth quarter with the Huskies in the lead by just one point.
The Vikes retook the lead just seconds into the fourth quarter thanks to a smooth finish by Kinnear down low, and never looked back.
Nine points from Kinnear and 14 by Newman in the final frame combined with some solid defence from the Vikes allowed them to pull away and take command of the game.