The UVic Vikes men’s basketball team gave the No. 2 ranked T-Birds everything they could handle before eventually falling 93-89 in a game that went to overtime on November 26.
In a thrilling Canada West rivalry game the UBC Thunderbirds (6-0) played a dominant third quarter and a gritty fifth, to eke out a 93-89 overtime win over the UVic Vikes (2-6). The game saw 12 lead changes and wasn’t settled until the dying seconds of overtime.
The Vikes were led by sharpshooting forward Grant Sitton who hit for 24 points, 4-6 from beyond the three-point line, and also grabbed nine rebounds. Wayne Tucker Jr. was a big part of the Vikes offence in the first half scoring 14 points in the game, while Jake Newman added 13.
UBC forward Conor Morgan hit for a career high 37 points, including two crucial free throws in overtime, while grabbing 11 rebounds. Point guard Phil Jalalpoor saved his best work for the late stages on the game and ended up with 12 points and seven rebounds.
The ‘Birds responded when they needed to as they blistered off a 27-11 third quarter, bookended by a massive Morgan dunk and a crisp last second passing play that led to a Browne corner three.
But the Vikes did not want to go away and used vice grip defence while riding an unconscious Sitton, who nailed 13 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. UBC’s A.J. Holloway had a chance to put the game away in the final second of the fourth quarter, but his lay-up went in-and-out and regulation time ended with the teams tied at 79.
Overtime was a seesaw affair until the last thirty seconds. With the score 90-89 in favour of UBC, Conor Morgan grabbed the defensive rebound and was promptly fouled. The Victoria native, went to the other end of the floor and nailed his two shots from the charity stripe, icing the game for the ‘Birds.
UVIC: 21-28-11-19-10: 89
UBC: 20-18-27-14-14: 93
UVIC: Grant Sitton (24) Wayne Tucker Jr. (14), Jake Newman (13)
UBC: Conor Morgan (37), Phil Jalalpoor (12), Taylor Browne (11)