Saturday, 24 October 2009

Alberta 79, Victoria 63

Vikes feeling effects of Bear market

VICTORIA - The Alberta Golden Bears spoiled the UVic Vikes men's basketball team's season opener with a 79-63 victory at McKinnon Gym Friday night.

Although Don Horwood was no longer on the Alberta sidelines, the game was the classic grind-it-out, defensive minded affair that has been a mainstay during these two schools rivalries.

The Greg Francis-led Golden Bears capitalized on a big second quarter run to seize control of the game. Alberta pieced together a 16-0 run, holding UVic scoreless for an eight-minute stretch, and wound up out-scoring the Vikes 21-7 in the frame.

"Early on we did some good things, but we just never managed to get in sync defensively," said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp. "We made some adjustments at halftime and played better in the second half, but we need to improve."

The Vikes played the Golden Bears even in the second half, but were unable to generate enough offensive momentum to seriously challenge.

Ryan MacKinnon led the Vikes in scoring with 19 points and the Comox, BC native shot 5-9 from the field and was a perfect 6-6 from the line. The Vikes shot 41.2 percent overall. Cyril Indome also contributed 11 points, and Mike Berg marked his return to basketball from rugby with a 10-point, 4-rebound performance.

Alberta's Scott Leigh generated the game high with 21 points behind five three-pointers. The frontcourt combination of Harvey Bradford and Jordan Baker were also good for 16 and 13 points, respectively.

In the earlier matchup, the Fraser Valley Cascades gave the defending national champion Carleton Ravens all they could handle before succumbing 75-70. UFV entered the fourth quarter with a three-point lead, but classic Carleton, the Ravens came marching back and closed out the victory.

On Saturday, the Vikes will play Pacific Division counterparts Fraser Valley in a 7 p.m. tip-off at McKinnon Gym. The Vikes were 3-0 against the Cascades in league games last season.

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