Vikes fall to Pronghorns for second-straight night

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Following a 84-65 loss to the Lethbridge Pronghorns, the University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team lost for a second straight night to the ‘Horns by a score of 82-66 at the First Choice Savings Center in Alberta.

With the game tied 55-55 heading into the fourth quarter, the Pronghorns and Vikes would seemingly be gearing up for a nail-biting finish. Energized by the home crowd, the Pronghorns scored the quarter’s first nine points thanks to Kyle Peterson. Entering the fourth quarter with five points, Peterson scored eight of the ‘Horns first nine points.

Back-to-back three pointers from third-year transfer guard Eric Pierce, and fifth-year senior Zac Overwater would put the Pronghorns up by 15. The Vikes were unable to buy a shot in the quarter, unable to find a basket until the 2:45 mark where Scott Kellum would connect on an open three pointer. By then, the ‘Horns had opened up a comfortable 17 point lead.

With the victory, the Pronghorns move into a tie for seventh place with the Saskatchewan Huskies. Victoria falls to a record of 6-10 in the Canada West conference.

The Vikes were paced by fifth year Jordan Charles, who recorded 19 points and eight rebounds. Scott Kellum would add 11 points, with no other Victoria player reaching double digits in points.

The Pronghorns were led by Zac Overwater, who came just shy of a double-double (23 points, 9 rebounds). Colton Gibb would add 20 points, while Eric Pierce and Kyle Peterson would both chip in 7 rebounds, as well as 14 and 13 points a piece.

The ‘Horns got off to a hot start, scoring the game’s first six points. From there, the Vikes would begin to find their form, with third-year guard Scott Kellum and fifth-year guard Jordan Charles heating up for Victoria. The duo combined for all but five of Victoria’s first quarter points. The Vikes relied heavily on Kellum and Charles, finding success in isolation. Colton Gibb would have a dominant quarter for the Pronghorns, only missing on one of his five shots, adding a pair of free throws for 10 points in the quarter.

The Vikes came out to a hot start of their own in the second, going on a 7-0 run started by a three pointer from Scott Kellum. The Pronghorns would have opportunities early in the quarter, but would be unable to find any ball luck in the first couple minutes.

The Pronghorns looked to build momentum following a Victoria timeout after the Pronghorns drew a foul. Out of the timeout, the ‘Horns would draw up a perfect inbound play which would see Zac Overwater drive to the key for a dunk. Overwater and Brett Warren began to takeover for the ‘Horns, combining for the Pronghorns last 12 points in the quarter. Overwater and Colton Gibb would lead their team with 10 points a piece heading into halftime, with the ‘Horns only trailing by three, 37-34.

The third quarter started as a defensive battle, with the teams trading jump shots before going scoreless for two minutes. Things began to open up following a Mike Pierzchala three pointer, as the teams would seemingly be unable to miss, scoring on five of the next six possessions. With the Vikes leading 45-43 halfway through the quarter, a big block by Pierzchala would be followed by back-to-back three pointers from Colton Gibb. However, the Vikes would have an answer for Gibb, connecting on consecutive possessions, followed by a big three-pointer from Graeme Hyde-Lay. The ‘Horns would respond with a 6-2 run to close the quarter, sending the game into a 55-55 tie heading into the fourth.

With the Vikes unable to find their shooting form in the fourth, connecting on only four of 20 shots, the Pronghorns used an efficient nine of 18 shooting to sink the visiting team.

The Vikes will be on the road again next weekend against the UBC Okanagan Heat on Jan.25-26th.

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