The University of Victoria men’s basketball team saw their 2018-19 season come to an end at the hands of the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Friday Feb.8 in Alberta. The Vikes could not stop the balanced attack from the ‘Horns who went on to defeat the visitors by a final score of 98-65.
Lethbridge was the clear favourite heading into the Canada West play in match up after earning two, 20-point plus victories over Victoria back in January.
“Tonight was a bit of an apparition but hats off to Lethbridge,” said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp. “We were trying and it was not always very effective but we have a great group of guys and I am proud of what they have done as a group.”
With the win, the Pronghorns will now move onto the Canada West quarterfinals next weekend for a three game series.
“I just thought we were really locked in defensively,” explained sixth-year head coach Mike Hansen when asked about his team’s performance. “Our rotations were very good, and we did a great job on the glass. I thought everyone made a contribution to the game and did a great job. Not just on the score sheet but all the little things you need to do to win at this time of year.”
The Vikes only managed to muster a total of 24-points through the opening two quarters. Jordan Charles was the only Vike to hit double digits before the break, scoring 12 points with seven coming via the free throw line. The Pronghorns had nine different players record a point in the first half with Zac Overwater leading the way with 14. The two sides combined for a total of 17 turnovers, nine coming from the ‘Horns but it didn’t seem to slow down their offence. For the Vikes however, turnovers seemed to prove costly as they struggled to maintain consistency on attack.
“They came out strong and we were not ready, added Beaucamp. “We played a good team in their home gym and they were just better than us tonight. Defensively we just could not get stops.”
The same trends continued into the second half for the Vikes and Pronghorns. Each team committed 15 turnovers by the end of the game but Lethbridge’s 21 points compared the Vikes nine proved to be a key difference in the match. The 23-point half time lead was simply too high of a mountain to climb for Victoria as the final score read 98-65 in favour of the home side.
Overwater finished the game with 20 points for the ‘Horns with complimentary scoring coming from Keanu Funa (14), Mike Pierzchala (10) and Chad Oviatt (10). Veterans Charles and Newman who each potted 16 points on the night led the Vikes.