Story by Andy Watson (UVic Vikes Communication)
Photographas by Glenn Ivens (ISN) (www.javalon.smugmug.com)
VICTORIA - Great ball movement by the University of Victoria Vikes men's basketball team allowed them to score in bunches, but a spell of unforced errors cost them the opening game of the best-of-three Canada West quarter-final series, losing 73-68 to the Calgary Dinos in front of a standing-room only crowd of over 1,600 at Ken & Kathy Shields Court at McKinnon Gymnasium on Friday night.
With the win, Calgary wins their seventh straight game and takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three Canada West quarter-final series. Game 2 goes Saturday Feb. 25 at 7 p.m., and Game 3, if necessary, will be played Sunday Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. All games are in Victoria.
Boris Bakovic of Toronto finished with a double-double on 27 points and 11 rebounds along with five assists in a terrific performance. Teammate Tyler Fidler of Calgary added 19 points, six rebounds and six assists along with two blocks and two steals.
Calgary Dinos' Boris Bakovic soars past UVic Vikes' Terrell Evans to lay in 2 of his game high 27 points on Friday night. (photo by Glenn Ivens)
Three seniors led the Vikes. Ryan MacKinnon of Comox, B.C., netted a team-high 18 points, while Zac Andrus of Vashon Island, Wa., added 15. Michael Berg of Burnaby, B.C., also had 12 points along with a team-high eight rebounds. UVic scored just 10 second-chance points despite pulling down 10 offensive rebounds. Terrell Evans of Las Vegas also netted 12 points in the loss.
Vikes' Zac Andrus drives the lane around the block by teammate Mike Berg. (photo by Glenn Ivens)
Despite trailing by as much as eight points in the second quarter, the Vikes led 35-34 at the half thanks to a great opening quarter from Berg and an equally strong second quarter from Andrus. But the Vikes hit just a trio of their nine three-point attempts in the opening half or the lead could have been bigger.
In the third quarter, the Vikes gained momentum quickly after a sensational 30-foot trey from MacKinnon following a massive Fidler block on Berg. The crowd-pleaser and momentum-changer gave the Vikes a 41-37 lead. But once again, a few possessions with turnovers and poor shot selection allowed the Dinos to claw back.
Calgary's Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson denies Victoria's Zac Andrus during Friday nights CIS playoff action at McKinnon Gym. (photo by Glenn Ivens)
UVic led 54-53 after three quarters.
Andrus gave the Vikes two five-point leads twice in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, then an Evans backdoor cut and lay-up with 5:50 remaining gave the Vikes their largest lead of the game at six points and forced a Calgary timeout.
Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson slashes through the Vikes defenders during 73-68 Calgary Dinos victory on Friday night. (photo by Glenn Ivens)
UVic maintained a six-point cushion with just over three minutes remaining at 66-60. But a beautiful arching three-pointer from Calgary guard Keenan Milburn of Royston, B.C., started an 8-0 Dinos run that would eventually win them the game.
MacKinnon was given the ball on the next two sequences as he tried to help the Vikes back into the game but strong defensive play from Australian-raised rookie Josh Owen-Thomas stymied the Vikes go-to guy.
UVic's Ryan MacKinnon battles hard in an effort to get the Vikes back in the lead. (photo by Glenn Ivens)
Fidler scored what proved to be the winning points, converting a lay-up to go up 70-68. From there, Calgary scored their final three points from the charity stripe after forcing Vikes fouls following Dinos defensive stops.
In other games, Alberta defeated UBC 79-69 in Edmonton to take a 1-0 series lead, while Saskatchewan dumped Trinity Western 98-83 in Saskatoon. Fraser Valley tied its best-of-three series with Lethbridge at 1-1 with a 74-66 win on Friday night forcing a third an deciding game in the series Saturday night.
NOTES: Berg scored the game's first points... Eight of the Vikes first 10 points were scored by Berg, 12 of first 12 by forwards... The first foul of game took over eight minutes to earn, coming with 1:45 left in the opening quarter... Uncharacteristically, early into the second quarter, UVic had missed all six three-point attempts. MacKinnon eventually hit the Vikes' first three of the night with 5:25 remaining. they hit just four of their 16 attempts from downtown.
SCORING BY QUARTER
1 2 3 4 - T
CGY 18 17 18 20 - 73
UVIC 16 20 18 14 - 68
Top Scorers: Calgary - Boris Bakovic 27 points, 11 rebounds; UVic - Ryan MacKinnon 18 points, Mike Berg 12 points and 8 rebounds.