The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team earned their second pre-season win tonight, Oct. 5, over the Bishop’s Gaiters by a score of 92-84. The Vikes continued to dominate in outside shooting, putting up 11 threes, at Belmont Secondary School in Langford, B.C. The game was hosted in partnership with Westshore Basketball and Belmont Basketball.
Jordan Charles led the way for the Vikes putting up the game’s only double-double of 29 points, 25 in the opening half, s and 11 rebounds, while he also went 6-for-8 from three-point land. Mason Loewen added 22 points and second-year guard Scott Kellum added 13.
The Gaiters were led by Abdul Kamane who didn’t disappoint with 25 points and nine rebounds. David Belanger had a 16-point night with seven boards, while Joany Castor Thadal had 11 points.
“I thought we were a little sluggish off the start but we came out of the gate good in the second half and played with good pace,” said Craig Beaucamp, Vikes men’s basketball head coach. “In the fourth, (Bishop’s) made a run, credit to them, they made some shots down the stretch and made us have to play the whole 40 (minutes). Overall, we had some guys step up that haven’t necessarily played a lot of minutes. Jordan had a good game. Jason Scully had a good game. Graeme Hyde-Lay came in and played some good minutes for us.”
Gaiters forward Kamane put up his team’s first two buckets and a free throw to put the home side on their heels.Kellum hit from beyond the arc to tie the game at five, as the Vikes enjoyed two open looks from the perimeter from Charles to toggle the lead. Back-to-back threes from Graeme Hyde-Lay and then Justin Kinnear put the home side up by six as Bishop’s struggled to finish in the paint. Charles’ lay-up with seconds to go lifted the Vikes by seven, up 23-16, but a buzzer-beating three from Kasey Paul-Buzas cut the Vikes’ lead to 23-19 entering the first break.
Both teams were neck-in-neck thanks to big points from Charles for the Vikes and Kamane for the Gaiters. Teams traded buckets, exchanging the lead until Loewen stripped Harvey Matou at center court to go in for a huge dunk and send the Vikes up 43-37. On the Vikes’ next possession Charles followed it up with another three-pointer and Bishop’s were quick to call a timeout. Kamane continued to keep his team in check, keeping the Gaiters within four, down 43-39, but Charles served up his sixth trey of the night to get Victoria back up 46-40 with less than a minute on the clock. Charles got his hands in the way of Kamane and drove the hoop, earned the foul and put away the buckets from the charity stripe to give the Vikes an encouraging 48-40 lead by halftime.
In the third quarter, Alex Boisse burned through a layer of defence on route to the hoop but six-foot-eight Lejeune denied the third-year guard a bucket to keep the game 64-49 for the Vikes. A nice 8-0 run from Victoria gave a cushioned lead thanks to some solid one-on-one displays from Hyde-Lay and Loewen. Loewen’s fade-away three lifted the Vikes 72-54 with under a minute but the team’s continued to trade buckets from Belanger’s jump shot for Bishop’s to Kinnear’s layup for the Vikes and a final Gaiters three from Boisse to leave the score at 74-59 for Victoria at the end of the third.
Belanger got the Gaiters going in the fourth putting up six quarter-opening points as the visitors out-scored the Vikes 25-18. Bishop’s had 24 points come from their bench, while the Vikes put away 11 three-pointers to take the game 92-84.
“We are trying to get 40 minutes and get better defensively,” added Beaucamp about what’s on the to-do list heading to their next games. “We have to be able to guard the ball and get some stops down the stretch and I didn’t think we were great at that tonight.”
Up next the Vikes head to Vancouver for a single exhibition game against Waterloo, hosted at UBC on Oct. 8, while a pair of games against Fraser Valley, Oct. 13-14, will wrap up their away exhibition schedule. The Vikes will entertain the Seattle Mountaineers on Oct. 22 at the CARSA Performance Gym before opening their Canada West Season Oct. 27-28.
BISH: 19-21-19-25 : 84
UVIC: 23-25-26-18 : 92