Mariners will try to limit high-flying Falcons

Saturday’s game is one of the most intriguing of the season for the Vancouver Island University Mariners.

The Mariners men’s basketball team hosts the Langara Falcons Saturday afternoon (Jan. 12) at the VIU gym. It’s a matchup between the top two teams in the Pacific Western Athletic Association, as the Falcons (9-0) are undefeated this year and the Mariners (7-2) have suffered only a couple of single-digit losses.

The teams met once already, a six-point Falcons victory in November.

Matt Kuzminski, coach of the VIU men, said he was predicting a tough game against the No. 1-ranked program in the Canadian Colleges’ Athletic Association.

A solid win last weekend over the Camosun Chargers, though, was encouraging to the coach.

“We’ve set the tone here and hopefully we can keep it up,” he said.

The Mariners won’t have all hands on deck, as they are without injured starting point guard Jon Bethell. The M’s coped last weekend, with their usual shooting guard Brandon Jones taking on additional responsibilities.

“He did a nice job taking care of the ball and he had to handle it a lot,” Kuzminski said.

Jones said he was fairly comfortable in the role.

“It’s different, but I guess I just need to step up because the team needs it,” he said. “It’s a learning process.”

GAME ON … VIU’s hoops teams host the Douglas Royals on Friday night at the Vancouver Island University gym, with the women's game tipping off at 6 p.m. and the men's game at 8 p.m. On Saturday VIU’s women’s basketball team (5-4) will take the court first, facing the Falcons (3-6) in a 1 p.m. tipoff at the VIU gym. The men’s game will follow at 3 p.m.

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