The University of Victoria Vikes opened the New Year by brushing back the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat 91-64 on Friday night at the CARSA Performance Gym.
Led by their captain, Scott Kellum didn’t miss in the first quarter, as he pushed the Vikes out to a 21-13 lead after the first 10 minutes. The guard knocked down four midrange jumpers and one deep one to match the Heat’s first quarter in the perfect start. A season-high 22 points didn’t stop him from spreading the ball around, as he led the Vikes with seven assists, also a season high.
Philip Oklanlawon tried to keep pace with Kellum, as he knocked down a pair of triples in the opening frame.
Heat spark plug Hafith Moallin kept driving the ball up the court, driving into traffic and navigating his way to the rim for a pair of spectacular finishes. Active without the ball, he also yanked down six rebounds. Both he and Oklanlawon finished with nine points.
The Heat (1-10) were led by Owen Keyes, who posted 10 points on eight shots.
But despite their best efforts, the Heat couldn’t keep up with the Vikes (7-2).
Craig Beaucamp’s crew hit another gear offensively in the third and ballooned their lead to 30.
Two more guards, Diego Maffia and Graeme Hyde-Lay, each buried a pair of threes in the penultimate frame. Maffia set a career high with 20 points, while Hyde-Lay chipped in nine as the Vikes’ bench outscored the Heat’s bench 39-26.
After putting up six points in the first half, Vikes big man Matthew Ellis went to work on the left block and poured in another 12 in the second half.
The Vikes lost the Canada West’s leading rebounding to a broken foot before the holiday break and it showed. Without Dominick Oliveri, the Heat nearly out-rebounded the Vikes, 40-39.
With the win, the Vikes have picked up victories in six-straight outings.
The two sides will close out the weekend back at CARSA tomorrow night. The weekend finale tips at 7 p.m.