The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team were unable to manage the Ryerson Rams, losing 96-61, in their final game of the Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament at the CARSA Performance Gym on Sept. 29.
The Rams are back-to-back U SPORTS Championship silver medalists (2018, 2017) and the two years prior to that Ryerson were bronze medalists (2016, 2015). The 2015 bronze-medal win came over Victoria in the last year the Vikes appeared at the national Final 8.
Ryerson’s experience showed as five players scored in double digits, while Tanor Ngom recorded the game’s only double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Fifth year Myles Charvis had 17 points, while Jayden Frederick had 14 and JV Mukama had 13.
For the third night in a row fifth year Jordan Charles led the Vikes finishing the night with 23 points and going 10-for-14 from the line. The Vikes were out-rebounded 41-19, which was ultimately the story of the night. A bright spot was that several Vikes faces got valuable minutes playing against a team that conceded just 12 regular season losses from 2014-18.
“We got to see a lot of different guys in different situations against really good competition so it was telling in a lot of ways about individuals and team wise things we have to get better at,” said Vikes men’s basketball head coach Craig Beaucamp.
“We are trying to figure out who our 12 are going to be. We had four guys out tonight so that’s obviously something we are working on now. As hard as it is to just roll everyone through, it’s just necessary.”
Depth and experience proved to be the difference-maker in the first half as Ryerson charged to a commanding 45-29 lead entering the break. Ryerson’s starting five are all over six-feet including the seven-foot-two Ngom who led his team with 12 points in the first half. Fifth years Mukama and Charvis combined for 15 first-half points as Rams head coach Roy Rana had the luxury of going through his bench that supplied 16 points.
The Vikes, who were still playing without fifth years Mason Loewen, Jake Newman and Hayden Lejeune, were out-scored 25-13 in the first and 20-16 in the second. Lone fifth year on the floor Charles put up a team-high 17 points, including hitting three of his four three-pointer attempts and shooting 60 per cent from the line. The Rams out-rebounded the Vikes 21-7 by half time.
In the third quarter third-year Vike Jesse Barnes was a bit of a spark for the home side. His six-foot-eight stature had to match up against Ngom defensively but offensively his grit under the hoop got an energizing and-one play, that soon after followed with an and-one play from Taylor Montgomery-Stinson. Montgomery-Stinson’s free throw put the Vikes within 13, trailing 54-41.
Vikes point guard Scott Kellum worked some magic at the top of the key to find Barnes down low with four minutes to go in the quarter but that brought the score to just 61-45 for the Rams. Ryerson worked their whole bench, who kept the first quarter scoring pace up. All but one Rams player got on the scoreboard by the third as they out-scored the Vikes 31-21.
Rams fifth year Nathan Culbreath dropped a three to go up 81-50 and right back the other way Montgomery-Stinson replied. The Rams were able to power through to out-score Victoria 20-11 to seal a dominating 96-61 victory.
The Vikes wrap up their pre-season appearance at the Guy Vetrie Tournament with a 1-2 record, while the Rams return to Toronto undefeated (3-0). Manitoba finished with a 1-2 record, while the Saskatchewan Huskies were 2-1. On the women’s side the UNBC Timberwolves beat the Vikes in both match ups.
“This tournament was excellent because we saw varying levels with some teams that are at that championship level and others that are trying to get there,” added Beaucamp about the four-team tournament. “There were different styles of play and athleticism so it was really invaluable. It was great and especially this early.”