LETHBRIDGE- The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team suffered a convincing loss to the Lethbridge Pronghorns by a score of 84-65 at the First Choice Savings Center in Lethbridge, Alta.
The Vikes found themselves down 37-32 heading into the halftime break. Outscoring the Vikes 31-12 in the third frame, the ‘Horns would use this offensive outburst to pace themselves to a victory, their fourth win in their last five games while the Vikes see the their record fall to 6-9.
The Vikes were led by Scott Kellum who recorded 19 points, while Jake Newman added 14 points and Taylor Montgomery-Stinson 11 points.
Pronghorn Zac Overwater, who would miss only three shots on the night on his way to 21 points, while tallying 8 rebounds. Kyle Peterson and Mike Pierzchala both just came shy of a double-double, registering 12 points, 9 assists, and 9 points, 9 rebounds respectively.
The first quarter opened at a frantic pace, with both teams trading baskets in the paint. Colton Gibb would sink the game’s first three-pointer four minutes in, which would spark a 12-0 run for the Pronghorns. Fresno City College transfer Eric Pierce would prove to be an early factor in the game, scoring seven of the ‘Horns first quarter points. His aggressiveness in the paint would be critical to the Lethbridge success in the early going, as he shot a perfect three-for-three from the field. However, a late pair of baskets for the Vikes would see them trim the ‘Horns lead to seven, 20-13 after one.
After conceding an early three-point play to start the second quarter, Overwater put his mark on the game for the Pronghorns. Overwater scored on a jumper, followed by a contested three pointer to put the ‘Horns up by nine. Third-year guard Colton Gibb would nail a jumper of his own, only to be followed another pair of back-to-back scores by Overwater. He would punctuate his scores with an explosive dunk which would energize the crowd at the 1st Choice Savings Center. The teams would go back-and-forth, trading baskets for the remainder of the second quarter. Vikes third-year guard Scott Kellum scored back-to-back threes, as well as drawing a foul on a buzzer-beating three point shot. Kellum would sink two of his three shots, as the Pronghorns would take a five point lead, 37-32 into halftime.
The Pronghorns would begin to takeover in the third quarter. Led by their stifling defense, and strong combination of post defenders, Lethbridge held the Vikes from scoring until the three minute mark of the quarter. A jump shot by Scott Kellum would end an 11-0 run for the home side to open the third frame. Overwater would continue to put his mark on the game in the third quarter, scoring 17 points. With support from the sharpshooting duo of Kyle Peterson and Josh Sparkes, the ‘Horns would begin to overwhelm the Vikes with their varied looks on offense. The ‘Horns would finish the quarter shooting 9 of 15 from the field, while going a perfect 11 of 11 from the charity stripe. They would hold the Vikes to 5 of 13 shooting, while forcing 10 turnovers and 6 steals in the quarter. The home side would hold a comfortable lead after three quarters, 68-44, after outscoring the Vikes 31-12 in the frame.
The Vikes would seemingly find their groove to start the fourth quarter, scoring nine straight points on three consecutive three pointers. While Victoria controlled most of the quarter, they would be unable to find their way back into the game, thanks to the dominant third quarter showing by the ‘Horns.