Sunday, 13 January 2008

Canada West: Vikes Knock off Brandon at home; UBC rebounds; Bisons upset Bears

Victoria (12-4) 65, Brandon (12-2) 60 From UVic Sports Info... Hass makes it happen in win over no. 8 'Cats VICTORIA - The UVic Vikes clawed their way back from an 11-point second half deficit to triumph over the no. 8 Brandon Bobcats 65-60, in front a thousand-plus crowd at McKinnon Gymnasium. Vikes forward Tyler Hass attacked the basket fearlessly, to the tune of 23 points, and second-year guard Jeff Cullen keyed the win with a pair of late hoops, to preserve the Vikes undefeated record at home. The victory snaps the Bobcats seven-game win streak, and also sets up a showdown for first place next weekend when McKinnon Gym hosts the UBC Thunderbirds. Cullen's back-to-back hoops, in the final minute, clinched the Vikes victory. The Victoria native first cut through traffic in the lane for a lay-up, then came right back with a pull-up go-ahead jumper, which served as the game's winning hoop. After a defensive stop, the Vikes wrapped up the game on free-throws. Cullen finished the game with 10 points. The fourth quarter began with the game knotted at 48-48, and both sides traded baskets early on. Brandon twice pulled ahead by four points, but the Vikes defense never conceded anything more and Hass was nearly unstoppable on the offensive end. With less than three minutes remaining, Hass scored five straight points for the Vikes, ending with a free-throw after crashing to the basket for a lay-up. None of Hass' 10 field goals came without hardship. The Vikes forced the fourth-quarter tie after using eight unanswered points, near the end of the third, to wipe out an 11-point deficit. Ryan MacKinnon's three-pointer gave the Vikes a temporary 43-41 lead, their first since the opening quarter. The Vikes led 11-10 in the opening minutes of the game, with Brandon racing to a 35-26 halftime lead. Brandon's Dany Charlery finished with a game high 25 points. The Montreal native's potential go-ahead three-pointer rimmed out with 12 seconds remaining. David Yul Michel added 13 points, and Yuri Wyms finished with 10 points, nine rebounds. Brandon finished the night shooting 40.7 percent. Vikes fourth-year forward Mitch Gudegon netted 13 points. The Vikes rebounded from poor first half shooting to make half their shots in the second, finishing 41.7 percent. First-place in the Pacific Division will be on the line next weekend, when the Vikes host the no. 2-ranked UBC Thunderbirds. The Vikes split their earlier two-game set at UBC, and now take the deciding game of the season series to McKinnon Gym . Tip-off is 8 p.m.

UBC (12-3) 78, Regina (7-7) 65 From UBC Sports Info... T-Birds tame Cougars

Manitoba (3-11) 89, Alberta (9-5) 85 Darcy Coss hit back-to-back threes to give the Bisons a nine point lead early in the fourth quarter and Manitoba held on for their second consecutive upset win at home, this time over the Bears. Isaac Ansah and Brian Crowe were the top Bisons respectively with 20 and 21 points. Neb Aleksic led Alberta with 17 points. Game recap from Manitoba web site Manitoba/Alberta Box Score

Simon Fraser (8-7) 74, UCFV (6-10) From SFU Sports Info... Wallis leads SFU over Cascades plus Video recap Burnaby B.C.- The Simon Fraser University Clan rebounded from last night’s disappointing loss to Thompson Rivers University with a more dedicated effort on Saturday, holding on to defeat a very determined UCFV squad 74-71. The Clan improved to 8-7 with the win while the Cascades fell to 6-10 overall. The Clan jumped out to an early lead (13-8), as a very determined Greg Wallis (Victoria, B.C.) scored the Clan’s first six points. But despite the overwhelming play of the Victoria native, the Cascades rallied back, going on an 11-2 run that included three straight three-pointers and put them up by four (19-15) with a little over a minute remaining in the first quarter. But back-to-back Jean-Paul Kamand (Toronto, Ont.) layups found the teams entering the second quarter even at 19-19. After exchanging runs throughout the second quarter, the Clan took control of the game through some physical post play and found themselves up by five (41-36) entering the half. The Cascades clawed their way back into the game after the break, as Doug Plumb orchestrated a 12-4 UCFV run that tied the game at 48-48. But the Clan responded when Wallis shrugged off a defender and abused the rim with an emphatic slam, inspiring a 7-0 Simon Fraser run and a seven point lead (55-48) entering the final period. Once again the Cascades battled back, as Plumb scored nine points in the final period and pushed his team with a 22-12 run that brought the game even at 70-70 with just 47 seconds remaining. Sean Burke then hit a difficult jumper to put the Clan up by two. After Ravi Athwal went 1-for-2 from the free throw line, Kevin Shaw (North Vancouver) calmly hit two clutch free throws to put SFU up by three (74-71) with ten seconds left on the clock. As Plumb searched for a shot with time winding down, Greg Gillies (Nanaimo, B.C.) took an offensive charge to secure the victory for the Clan. Wallis led all scorers with 27 points (10-17 from the field, 7-8 from the line) and ten boards in the win. Burke finished with 16 points and four assists. Shaw added 11 points (3-5 from beyond the arc). Plumb finished with 20 points in the loss. Kyle Graves added ten points and six rebounds while Ravi Athwal also finished with ten points (3-4 from beyond the arc)... From UCFV Sports INfo... Cascades fall 74-71 at Simon Fraser ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – Down by 10 points early in the fourth, the UCFV men’s basketball team battled back to tie the game late, but couldn’t score the come-from-behind victory on the road, falling 74-71 at Simon Fraser on Saturday night. With the win, the Clan improve to 8-7 on the year and remain in third place in Canada West’s Pacific division. The Cascades drop to 6-10 on the year and sit in fourth place in the division. Second-year guard Doug Plumb (Abbotsford, B.C.) had a team-high 20 points and six rebounds for UCFV. Fifth-year centre Kyle Graves (Chilliwack, B.C.) tallied 10 points and first-year guard Ravi Athwal (Surrey, B.C.) added 10 points in 21 minutes off the bench. For SFU, Greg Wallis (Victoria, B.C.) posted a game-high 27 points and 10 rebounds for the game’s only double-double. Sean Burke (North Vancouver, B.C.) had 16 points, while Kevin Shaw (North Vancouver, B.C.) chipped in 10 points. After a back and forth first quarter which saw the team’s deadlocked at 19-19, the Clan took a five-point lead into the break, 41-36. SFU stretched its lead to seven after three quarters, 55-48, before UCFV made a charge late. Down 58-48 with 8:53 remaining, the Cascades battled back to tie the game 70-70 with 47 seconds left. Plumb scored nine of his 20 points in the final frame, while Athwal hit two long-balls late to keep UCFV in it. With less than 20 second remaining, Burke hit a jumper to put the Clan up by two, 72-70. It was all free throws from there as Athwal hit one for UCFV and Shaw dropped two to give SFU the three-point win, 74-71. “I think we’re starting to come together as a group,” said UCFV head coach Barnaby Craddock. “We haven’t had a lot of back-to-back performances that were positive this year, but we were almost there tonight. I think we let ourselves down in the second quarter, but the teamwork is there. We showed it by fighting back and being there down the stretch. A couple bounces our way and it’s a different result.” The Cascades return home for a pair of games at the Envision Athletic Centre this weekend. Friday, the team hosts Winnipeg (6-8) at 8 p.m. Saturday, the team battles Manitoba (5-9) at 8 p.m.

Calgary (12-2) 95, Lethbridge (0-14) 72 From Calgary Sports Info... DINOS DOMINATE GLASS, STOMP PRONGHORNS CALGARY – On a night when their division rivals faltered, the fourth-ranked Calgary Dinos out-rebounded the Lethbridge Pronghorns by a whopping 63-33 margin to sweep the season series with a 95-72 victory Saturday in the Jack. Robbie Sihota’s (3rd year, Calgary) double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds led the way for the Dinos, who rebounded from a tentative first quarter to win going away. “I thought we played hard all weekend,” said Dinos coach Dan Vanhooren, whose team moved to 12-2 with the win. “They shot a little better in the early part of the game, and the difference in the game for sure was rebounding. Sixty-three rebounds in a game is out of control.” Vanhooren was impressed with his team’s effort against the Pronghorns (0-14), who always play the Dinos tough and will play the role of spoiler the rest of the way. “I think the guys did a good job of focusing and getting the two wins, and not taking them too lightly,” he said. “You could quickly find yourself in a ball game against them. They took Saskatchewan to overtime earlier in the year, and they have some talented players that can score, so if you don’t play hard and don’t play tough you can find yourself on the wrong side of the score.” Lethbridge’s early shooting produced three consecutive trays at one point in the first quarter as the Horns took a 21-18 lead out of the opening 10. As Calgary’s dominance on the glass began to establish itself in the second quarter, the Dinos quickly retook the lead and outscored the Horns 29-14 in the second quarter to lead by a dozen at the half. Calgary opened the second half on a 10-2 run and extended the lead to 22 after three quarters. Vanhooren played his bench through most of the third quarter, and all 12 players saw at least seven minutes on the court. Point guard Jeff Price (3rd, Calgary) led the Dinos with 31 minutes, continuing his stellar play with a double-double of his own. Price finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, all on the defensive glass. “Jeff has been playing fantastic, and you can’t ask for anything more,” said Vanhooren. “We also got a lot out of Henry (Bekkering) this weekend, and offensively he looked very strong.” Bekkering (4th, Taber, Alta.) scored a game-high 23 points for the Dinos, bringing his weekend total to 62 after a 39-point outburst Friday night. Joseph Schow (3rd, Medicine Hat, Alta.) hit double figures with 11 points, while Ross Bekkering (3rd, Taber) hauled down nine rebounds to go with his 10 points. The Pronghorns got offence from several players, with five hitting double digits. Danhue Lawrence (3rd, Toronto) paced Lethbridge in several statistical categories, including points (17), rebounds (9), assists (4), and minutes played (38). Shawn Nelson (3rd, Stirling, Alta.) and Sephton Spence (1st, Ajax, Ont.) scored 11 apiece, while Ryan Anderson (4th, Lethbridge) and Richard Steed (3rd, Calgary) added 10 each. The two teams head out on a tough road trip next weekend to face teams in the Great Plains Division. Lethbridge will open the weekend at Brandon while Calgary visits Regina, and the teams will switch opponents the following night. Calgary returns home Jan. 25-26 as the Fraser Valley Cascades make their inaugural appearance in the Jack, followed a night later by a visit from the Thompson Rivers WolfPack.

Trinity Western (6-10) 102, Thompson Rivers (2-14) 96 From TWU Sports Info... SPARTANS HANG ON FOR VICTORY OVER WOLFPACK LANGLEY, British Columbia – It’s a good thing for Trinity Western University that Canada West basketball games aren’t longer than 40 minutes, because if they were the Spartans might not have notched their sixth win of the season. The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack, who trailed by 21 points to start the fourth quarter, cut the deficit to just six points with 12 seconds left, but ran out of time as the Spartans hung on to win 102-96 at TWU’s David E. Enarson Gymnasium. “They upped their intensity in the fourth quarter, and as a young team we had to learn that when the other team ups their intensity, we have to do the same,” said TWU head coach Pat Lee. “Luke Robinson and Jason Keegstra stepped up when it counted and made some great shots, and I was confident we’d hang onto win.” TWU guard Luke Robinson (Ahousat, B.C.) led his team in scoring for the second consecutive game with 22 points, two rebounds, five assists and three steals. Also for the second straight night an opposing player had a monster game, as TRU guard Kamar Burke (Mississauga, Ont.) had 36 points, including 15 of 19 from the free throw line, and also grabbed 11 rebounds with five assists and two steals. The Spartans led 24-17 after one quarter, and then caught fire by scoring 33 second quarter points to lead 57-42 at the half. Freshman guard Jon Loewen (Abbotsford, B.C.) hit three of his four first half threes in the quarter, and had 13 of his 16 points in the first half. The only concern for TWU at that point was the 15 fouls they had picked up. Burke, who sat most of the first quarter because of foul trouble, had 14 of his team’s 25 second quarter points. The points continued to pile up for TWU as they outscored TRU 27-21 to lead 84-63 at the end of three quarters, and the game looked to be all but over. But it was far from it. The Spartans didn’t get their first points until the 6:26 mark of the fourth, and in that time the WolfPack started hitting shots and drawing fouls, and trailed 86-71. The first half fouls caught up to the Spartans as three starters, including Loewen, had fouled out by midway through the fourth. The WolfPack continued drawing fouls and hitting free throws, and were down 102-91 with just 36 seconds left. Then TRU guard Drew Bleth (Ridgefield, Wash.), who finished with 15 points, missed a three point attempt but was fouled on the release which gave him three free throw attempts with 17 seconds remaining. He hit the first two free throws and missed the third, but Burke pounced on the rebound, kicked it back out to Bleth, and he buried a three to cut the Spartan lead to just six with 12 seconds left. Robinson then attempted a length of the court inbounds pass for to a wide open Lance Verhoeff (Calgary) to seal the game, but the pass hit a divider curtain at midcourt in the “Enarson’s” low roof, turning the ball over and giving the WolfPack possession. Bleth missed a contested three, the Spartans grabbed the board, and escaped with a six point win. Verhoeff finished with 19 points, twelve rebounds, and three blocks for the Spartans, while Brian Smith (Maple Ridge, B.C.) tallied 21 points and seven boards for the WolfPack. The win moves the Spartans to 6-10, and keeps them in the hunt for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Pacific division. Their next game will be on the road Friday, January 18, 2008 at 8 p.m. in Saskatoon against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. The loss drops the WolfPack to 2-14 as they return home for their next game Friday, January 18, 2008 at 8 p.m. in Kamloops against the University of Manitoba Bisons. Game Notes: Robinson totaled 53 points in the two games this weekend vs. TRU and UCFV while Burke tallied 54 in his two games vs. SFU and the Spartans…The Spartans made 20 three pointers and shot 54% from behind the arc this weekend…The game was broadcast live on

Winnipeg (7-7) 75, Saskatchewan (7-7) 64 From Winnipeg Sports Info... WESMEN REBOUND TO DEFEAT HUSKIES The Winnipeg Wesmen rebounded from a tough loss Friday night to Alberta and played a solid game defeating the Saskatchewan Huskies 75-64 Saturday night at the Duckworth Centre. Fifth year guard Erfan Nasajpour led the way for Winnipeg scoring a game high 22 points, including three-three pointers, hauled in 10 rebounds and added four assists. Nick Lother had a solid game for the Wesmen finishing with 17 points. Matt Opalko also scored in double digits, adding 11 points. First year post Ben Kingdon hauled in 10 rebounds. The Huskies were led by Andrew Spagrud's 18 points. He was followed by Troy Gottselig, who finished with a double-double 13 points and 12 rebounds. The Huskies held the early advantage in the contest holding a 19-13 lead after the iopening ten minutes of play. The second quarter was the turning point in the game with the Wesmen outscoring the Huskies 25-11. Nasajpour scored 16 points in the quarter, including 14 straight points to put the Wesmen back ine game and give the team their first lead of the game. Winnipeg went into halftime with a 38-30 lead. In the third quarter the Huskies got themselves back in the game outscoring Winnipeg 21-16 to cut the Wesmen lead to 54-51 after three quarters. Winnipeg held their composure in the fourth quarter and were perfect from the free-throw line in the final minute to preserve the victory. The victory improves evens Winnipeg's record to 7-7, tied for second place with Regina in the Great Plains Division of the Canada West Conference. Saskatchewan also sits with a 7-7 record.

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