The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team fell 79-51 to the UBC Thunderbirds on Shoot for the Cure night Jan. 29 at the CARSA Performance Gym in Victoria. With the win the CIS No. 10-ranked T-Birds improve to 11-4, while UBC head coach Kevin Hanson surpasses former Vikes coach Guy Vetrie for second on the Canada West all-time wins list, now with 246. The Vikes drop to 7-8 in the Canada West standings.
For the home side fourth year Grant Sitton was one of just two double-digit scorers finishing with 13 points and four rebounds. Senior Reiner Theil logged 11 points and five boards, while Jordan Charles chipped in with eight points. Despite the loss the Vikes’ game-night efforts resulted in $3,500 being donated to the Shoot for the Cure initiative.
The Thunderbirds were led by the third-year pair of Philip Jalalpoor and Conor Morgan. Guard Jalalpoor had a game- high 16 points and seven rebounds, while Morgan posted 15 points and seven boards. Fifth-year forward David Wagner added 12 points and six rebounds while senior Will Ondrik was the fourth double-digit scorer adding 11 points. The T-Birds impressed from beyond the arc going 9-for-17, while out-rebounding the Vikes 45-26.
The home side got the start they wanted going up 19-16 at the end of the first frame. It was a scoring-by-committee style as Theil had six points, Sitton had five, while Brandon Dunlop and both Jordan and Joshua Charles put up points. The Thunderbirds were held to just 35 per cent from the field despite out-rebounding the Vikes 13-8. The home side led by as much as six in the quarter but had just a three point lead entering the second quarter.
The Vikes were silenced at the start of the second as Jordan Jensen-Whyte dealt a three-point stinger to get the T-Birds tied at 23. A.J. Holloway showed some incredible flash cutting through the key to give the T-Birds a 25-23 lead, while despite flashes of quality defence the Vikes struggled to have the ball drop in the other end. UBC created some separation out-scoring the Vikes 20-7 to grab an impressive 36-26 lead at half time.
UBC continued to stretch their lead through the third as Jalalpoor was dangerous from all areas of the floor. Victoria’s response came from the six-foot-nine Sitton who was scoring from distance and close range to finish the quarter with eight points. By the end of the third the Vikes were out-rebounded 34-18 which told the tale as the Thunderbirds led 55-42 entering the fourth. A continued impressive performance from Morgan, Jalalpoor and Wagner gave the T-Birds as much as 19-point lead throughout the third.
A Morgan three pointer from the baseline lifted the Thunderbirds up 60-42 early on in the fourth. The Vikes got closer to foul trouble as starters Roth and Dunlop had four fouls each. UBC put on an impressive scoring show Morgan and Jalalpoor ran the floor, up an impressive 70-47 half-way through the frame.
With over a 20-point lead both teams dove into their bench including allowing UBC rookie Taylor Browne to drop a three to continue the scoring tear. The Vikes got minutes from freshmen Taylor Montgomery-Stinson and Tyus Barfoot, while the T-Birds utilized the six-foot-seven stature of third year Luka Zaharijevic. UBC came away with the game 79-51 after out-scoring the Vikes 24-9 in the fourth and final quarter.
The Vikes and T-Birds will battle again tomorrow, Jan. 30, at the CARSA Performance Gym. Tipoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live at http://canadwest.tv.
SCORING BY QUARTER
UBC: 16-20-19-24 : 79
UVIC: 19-7-16-9 : 51