The VIU Mariners were already contenders, and now they have another big-time contributor on the court.
New addition Landon Radliff made his home-court debut this weekend at the Vancouver Island University gym and was dominant with 49 points in Saturday’s 115-88 victory against the Capilano Blues.
Radliff, from Richland, Wash., had been with the Mariners all season, practising during the fall and focusing on academics. Now that the PacWest season has reached the second semester, Radliff has joined the Mariners backcourt and makes the team better across the board.
Matt Kuzminski, VIU coach, said he knew Radliff was going to have a breakout game like this.
“There’s going to be more of these,” Kuzminski said. “He’s just a really good all-round basketball player – competitive, smart and multi-skilled. If you watch whenever he has the ball, his head’s always up, there’s a sense of control. He’s either going to make the right play for himself or he’s going to get someone a good shot.”
On Saturday, Radliff had 10 assists and was 18-for-31 from the field with 11 three pointers.
He said his first PacWest game the previous weekend on the road was a tough night but his teammates picked him up.
“They just gave me all the confidence that I needed to keep shooting and making it, so all the credit goes to them, really, but yeah, I guess you could say a hot night [today],” Radliff said.
He said it’s been fun and exciting to get back playing competitively after Christmas. The first-place Mariners have won all four of their games as the PacWest season has resumed reaching triple digits in all of them, and back-to-back wins against second-place Cap this past weekend has helped the team create some separation in the standings.
“We can always do something better; we can always step into the next gear,” Radliff said. “Coaches have been saying it the past week and a half, that we’ve got another gear that we need to find and once we find that, we’re going to be a pretty dangerous team going into the post-season.”
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VIU's Landon Radliff, who has been practising with the Mariners all season but has gotten into his first PacWest games this month: "I'm just really excited to get back out there. It's really, really fun to start playing again." https://t.co/TIKwWFm5js pic.twitter.com/1VfXx6WSHL
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) January 13, 2019
Kuzminski said Saturday’s win against Capilano was a good game on both sides of the ball and said offensively, the Mariners shared the ball, played fast and generated easy looks. He said his players continue to show the right mindset: wanting to get better every day.
“Hopefully the big win against the second-place team shows the potential that we have and we’ve just got to keep fighting to get better,” Kuzminski said.
Aside from Radliff’s 49 points Saturday, Harry Fayle scored 15 and Jerod Dorby grabbed 13 rebounds. The day before, a 113-87 win, saw Tyus Barfoot lead the way with 33 points on 12-for-15 shooting. Radliff scored 21 and Dorby had 10 boards.
In women’s action, VIU suffered their first loss of the PacWest season Saturday, falling 80-66 to Capilano. Avery Snider led the Mariners with 19 points. The night before, the Mariners had gotten past the Blues 76-72. Amber Lease scored 16 points for VIU in that one with Danielle Vanbergen adding 15.
GAME ON … The Mariners visit the Okanagan Coyotes next weekend, Jan. 18-19. Next home action isn’t until Jan. 31, when the Douglas Royals visit the Vancouver Island University gym.