VICTORIA – The UVic Vikes men’s basketball team poured in a season-high 106 points en route to a 106-77 victory over the Northern British Columbia Timberwolves inside the CARSA Performance Gym on Jan. 20.
“Our effort was better, that was the biggest thing,” said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp. “We didn’t really answer the bell in the first quarter last night and that was the difference. Tonight the compete level was better, we still made some mistakes that cost us some points, but we were just competing better.”
Both teams shot the ball well on the night. The Vikes ended the game hitting 52 per cent of their attempts from the field while the Timberwolves were good on a very respectable 46 per cent of their shots. The biggest difference in the game was the depth of the Vikes, their bench out-scored UNBC’s 59-23 en route to the 29-point victory.
“Grame Hyde-Lay had 21 and Jaamel Slack had seven points and five rebounds, that was huge for us from guys who don’t play a lot of minutes,” said Beaucamp.
Justin Kinnear led the Vikes with 29 points in the victory. The fourth-year forward was 13-of-18 from the field, also added four offensive rebounds, and was a major component in the Vikes out-scoring UNBC 46-14 in the paint.
Hyde-Lay had one of his strongest games as a Vike, hitting five-of-nine from beyond the arc en route to his 21 points. Mason Loewen went 11-of-12 from the charity stripe to 18 points and added nine assists.
Marcus MacKay led the visitors with 19 points, 13 of which came during a second quarter where the fifth-year guard just could not miss. Volodymyr Pluzhnikov added 15 points, while Tyrell Laing rounded out the scoring for the Timberwolves with 13 points.
Ball movement was another key in the game as the Vikes recorded 23 assists to the Timberwolves 12.
“We talked about passing up good shots for great shots, moving the ball and not over-dribbling and we had some real good ball movement tonight,” said Beaucamp. “Tonight was a great team win, we have two regulars who are out of the lineup and we were kind of up against it tonight in a must-win situation.”
The Vikes win moves them to 9-7 on the season, and they currently sit in a three-way tie for sixth-place in a tight Canada West playoff race. The Timberwolves aren’t far behind, holding a record of 8-10 that puts them in tenth-place.
UNBC will play their final games of the regular season next weekend when they host the Fraser Valley Cascades in Prince George.
The Vikes meanwhile, will stay at home to host the Mount Cougars inside the CARSA Performance Gym.