By Ardy Ramezani, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men's basketball team completed a home sweep of the No. 9 ranked Saskatchewan Huskies. With an impressive performance by fourth-year Vikes forward Grant Sitton, the Vikes dropped the Huskies 86-76 to improve to a 4-0 record, while Saskatchewan falls to 2-2 in the Canada West.
Six-foot-nine Sitton proved to be the Vikes' most valuable player on the court as he led his team with 33 points, five rebounds and six three-pointers. Vikes captain Reiner Theil followed with 15 points, while fifth year Mack Roth and third year Jordan Charles posted 14 and 13 points, respectively.
For the Huskies, they also had four players post double digits. First-year guards Chan De Ciman and Jauquin Bennett-Boire led the team with 17 points apiece. Fifth-year guard Evan Ostertag and fourth year Trevor Severinski also contributed 16 and 12 points, respectively, to the scoreboard.
"It's always good when you lose to a team in pre-season to come back firing when it counts," said the night's top scorer Sitton, reflecting back to the Vikes' 95-72 loss on Oct. 3 at the Guy Vetrie tournament. "It was just one of those games where you don't think and you just shoot. My team mates just kept finding me and it's good to be back home shooting. We kept the intensity up and that was the biggest thing going into this game and not getting too hyped on last night's (win)."
Saskatchewan's Severinski started the game with a basket from the outside to capture early game momentum for the visitors. Severinski posted another two three-pointers to end with nine points after the firstquarter. His efforts gave the visitors a 19-9 lead going into the second.
In an exciting second quarter, four consecutive three-pointers by Sitton, Theil and Abdullahi gave the Vikes their offensive momentum, to shave their trailing margin down to two points. Not slowing the tempo, Charles drowned another trey to put the Vikes ahead of the Huskies for the first time in the game. Despite a short-lived lead, the Vikes were within two points of the Huskies at halftime.
Sitton gave the Vikes the lead again in the third quarter following two back-to-back dunks. The Huskies kept the Vikes on their toes, making the scoreline even on a number of occasions to create a back-and-forth affair. Not letting up, Saskatchewan's De Ciman drained a basket from behind the arc late in the quarter to give the visitors a five point lead going into the final stage of play.
The very close game intensified in the final quarter as the back-and-forth affair continued. Maintaining his spark, Sitton posted back-to-back treys again to help give the Vikes an eight point lead with three minutes left in the game. The Huskies gave it their all until the very end but the despite their best efforts the Vikes sealed the home sweep 86-76.
"That's what comes with the territory," said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp about his starting line ups stellar performance. "Some of those guys have earned their stripes and now they are the marquee guys. They are the guys that are going to get the majority of the minutes and for the most part the Reiner's, Mack's and Jordan's are stepping up and being consistent for us. I also thought (Brandon Dunlop) was good tonight defensively, too."
The Vikes will host the Calgary Dinos next weekend, Nov. 20-21, at the CARSA Performance Gym for another double-header series. The first game tips off at 8:00 p.m. on Nov. 20 and will be available for live web streaming with stats on pay-per-view at canadawest.tv.
SCORING BY QUARTER
SASK: 19-17-20-20: 76
UVIC: 9-25-17-35: 86
SASK: Jauquin Bennett-Boire (17), Chan De Ciman (17), Evan Ostertag (16), Trevor Severinski (12)
UVIC: Grant Sitton (33), Reiner Theil (15), Mack Roth (14), Jordan Charles (13)