Columbia Bible College Bearcats player Levi Tibbett defends against Vancouver Island University Mariners player Jerod Dorby during Saturday’s PacWest game at the VIU gym. The M’s won 115-56. (KARL YU/The News Bulletin)

Coach wins 100th game as basketball Mariners can’t be beaten

VIU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams win their weekend games in PacWest play

Wins can really start to add up when a team doesn’t ever lose.

VIU men’s basketball coach Matt Kuzminski earned his 100th coaching win – and also his 101st – this past weekend as his undefeated Mariners (12-0) swept past the Columbia Bible College Bearcats in PacWest play at the Vancouver Island University gym.

The M’s men won by scores of 95-73 on Friday night and then 115-56 on Saturday afternoon and as the scores would suggest, Kuzminski said his team was better in the second game. He said the M’s fixed a lot of the things that weren’t working well toward the end of Friday’s game.

“The guys really responded and I thought their compete level was consistent for 40 minutes,” he said.

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Bryson Cox scored 35 points in Saturday’s win with Usama Zaid adding 20; on Friday, Zaid scored 19 points and Harry Fayle contributed 14.

The first-place M’s were taking on a last-place opponent, but Kuzminski said every game is an opportunity to get better.

“I thought they did a good job with their approach and they were professional about it and really came with an attitude to try and get better,” he said, adding that the team is always looking to reinforce fundamentals and good habits while also adding in wrinkles where possible. “We keep hammering away at the same things, but they’re important and we’ve got to get better at them.”

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Kuzminski received the game ball after win No. 100, and the coach was quick to credit his players and the support of assistant coaches.

“I do feel really grateful for [100 wins] and I do think it is a good accomplishment and just speaks volumes to our program and what we’ve been able to get going here,” Kuzminski said.

He needed just 113 PacWest games to get to 100 wins.

Meanwhile, the Mariners women’s basketball team (9-3) also scored two convincing wins on the weekend. VIU defeated CBC by an 80-48 score on Friday and were nearly as thorough the next day in a 72-57 victory.

In Friday’s win, Maddy Hart scored 14 points and Shayce Johnston pulled down nine rebounds. On Saturday, Emma Platner had 13 points and seven assists and Danielle Vanbergen also scored 13 points.

GAME ON … Vancouver Island University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams are on the road next weekend, Jan. 26-27, to play the Douglas Royals. Next home games are Feb. 2.

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