VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men's basketball team defeated the CIS No. 9-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies in their first regular season home game. The Vikes led the entire game, finishing with an 83-58 scoreline to improve to a 3-0 record, while the Huskies fall to 1-2.
Fifth-year Vike Mack Roth led the Vikes with 18 points. Three other players also topped the scoresheet with fourth year Grant Sitton posting 15 points and seven rebounds. The brotherly duo of Jordan and Joshua Charles chipped in with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
"It was a funny energy in the gym tonight with reading break taking away a lot of that usual student crowd," said Vikes men's basketball head coach Craig Beaucamp after beating the team that defeated the No. 1 Carleton Ravens on the same floors just one month ago. "I guess we took care of business and they have a few injuries on their side but to be honest it was a really well-played game on both sides. It might be that point in season where bodies are tired but obviously they are a quality team and we have a lot of respect for them. We are happy to get a result tonight."
In a thrilling opening, the Vikes started off the scoring with three-consecutive three pointers from the duo Jordan Charles and Roth. The duo carried on the momentum for the remainder of the quarter posting 18 of UVic's 23 points in the first to lead over Saskatchewan 23-16.
The Vikes kept their offensive pace in the second quarter, out-scoring the Huskies 20-7. Showing their depth, Victoria had 11 points from players coming off the bench. Bench players wrapped up the second quarter fittingly as Sitton used his height for a block followed by a break-away play down the line to second year Justin Kinnear, who had the crowd on their feet with his huge dunk.
Early in the third, the Vikes increased their lead to a 25-point margin. Not giving up, Saskatchewan's Bennett-Boire posted ten points that quarter, helping his team out-score the Vikes for the first time in the game. Although, it only shortened the margin to 18 points, it added momentum to the Huskies' tempo in the final period of play.
The Huskies came out swinging in the final quarter, pushing the Vikes to stay in their half of the court. But despite their efforts, the Vikes defence kept its composure, not allowing the Huskies to capitalize on their shots. Sitton pushed the Huskies further away with three baskets from beyond the arc in the final quarter. Sitton's late baskets allowed the Vikes to regain their offensive stride, finishing the game at an 83-58 scoreline.
"We have to still take it one game at a time but tonight the biggest thing we did was we defended," added Beaucamp. "That's been the thing we haven't done up to this time in the season and during pre-season. If we defend we give ourselves a chance. We hit a few buzzer beaters tonight late in the shock clock and those come sometimes and other nights they don't. If you have to rely on them it's not a very good recipe but it was defence tonight that gave us a chance."
The Vikes will take on the Huskies again at the CARSA Performance Gym tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. The game will be streamed live pay-per-view with stats and video at canadawest.tv
SCORING BY QUARTER
SASK: 16-7-22-13: 58
UVIC: 23-20-20-20: 83
SASK: Jauqin Bennett-Boire (20), Evan Ostertag (13)
UVIC: Mack Roth (18), Mack Roth (18), Jordan Charles (13), Joshua Charles (12)