VICTORIA – Winners of five of their final six Canada West games in 2017, the UVic Vikes men’s basketball will be hoping that they can continue their positive play when they host the Thompson Rivers WolfPack inside the CARSA Performance Gym on Jan. 5 and 6.
Currently sitting seventh overall in the conference, the 6-4 Vikes will be taking on a tenth-place, 5-7, WolfPack team in games that start at 8 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday. The games are the beginning of a favourable second half schedule for the Vikes that will see them play 7 of their final 10 games at home.
These two teams split the pair of games that they played in Kamloops, B.C. last season. Second-year guard Scott Kellum scored 33 points on the weekend as the Vikes took the first game 86-76 before the WolfPack rebounded to take game two by a score 78-71.
The game on Friday night is also a part of Dairyland’s Nights of Lightning. Vikes fans are encouraged to wear black to create total darkness as the Vikes bring the lightning; lots of student prizes and giveaways will be available, including $500 in tuition credit.
Last Time Out
The Vikes ended the 2017 portion of their Canada West schedule on the highest of highs. The team shot 58.1 per cent from beyond the arc en route to defeating the-then No. 3 ranked team in the nation, the previously undefeated Alberta Golden Bears.
The Vikes then travelled to Quebec City over the holidays where they went 2-1 in a series of exhibition games. Splitting a pair of games with the Laval Rouge et Or and securing a win over the UQAM Citadins were further signs of progress from a team that has been on a tear after starting their season with just one win in their first four Canada West games.
The WolfPack are also a team on the rise after they ended their 2017 with a sweep over the visiting UNBC Timberwolves. Their current three-game winning streak is tied for the longest in the Canada West and came on the heels of a tough six game skid that saw Thompson Rivers lose all six of those games by more than ten points.
By the Numbers
211: The number of rebounds that TRU’s Luke Morris (2nd in Canada West) and Mike Rouault (3rd in Canada West) have combined for this season.
36: The Vikes shooting percentage from beyond the arc, the second best in the conference.
Craig Beaucamp, Vikes head coach
“It was fun to get some games in last week and now we are right back at it. Canada West is really tight, so every weekend is important and trying to get off to a really good start in the second half is something that you always want to do.”
“Thompson Rivers is playing some really good basketball right now, they’ve won three straight Canada West games and look like they are starting to gel as a unit, so we will have our hands full this weekend.”
“Defence was the one area that we thought we had to get better in as the first half progressed. We’ve gotten better at that and now rebounding is the big area for us, there is a direct correlation between the top rebounding teams in our conference and the teams that finish at the top of the conference.”
Friday, Jan. 5 – 8:00 p.m. – vs. Thompson Rivers WolfPack, CARSA Performance Gym – Buy tickets at govikesgo.com – Watch live on canadawest.tv
Saturday, Jan. 6 – 7:00 p.m. – vs. Thompson Rivers WolfPack, CARSA Performance Gym – Buy tickets at govikesgo.com – Watch live on canadawest.tv
Thompson Rivers WolfPack (5-7)
Canada West Standings: 10
Last Week: 2-0
Streak: W 3
Last Canada West Title: N/A
Last U SPORTS Title: N/A