The VIU Mariners basketball program is ranked best in the nation for college hoops and is one game away from completing a perfect regular season.
The VIU men’s and women’s hoops teams swept their games against the Douglas Royals this weekend in PacWest action at the Vancouver Island University gym.
The Mariners men (16-0) defeated the Royals 100-66 on Friday night, then followed up with a 97-83 victory on Saturday afternoon. The M’s women (17-0) were 68-64 winners on Friday and then prevailed 61-50 on Saturday.
Cameron Gay, who led the VIU men with 24 points on Saturday, said it was one of the team’s closer games, but the players persevered with the game plan and things worked out.
“We knew eventually it was going to break,” he said. “We were shooting poorly, so we just needed to make sure we got on track and just kept going.”
Gay said with so many new players this PacWest season, it’s taken the Mariners some time to learn to play with each other. It’s a “great mix” of guys, though, he said, who now have a full season of floor time together, plus plenty of veteran experience which will serve them well in the post-season.
“We haven’t hit our stride yet, which is the scary thing,” he said. “I think we’re going to be well-tuned when it comes to playoffs … I feel comfortable that when it comes down to it, we’ll be ready.”
On Friday, Akoi Yuot led VIU with 23 points and 11 rebounds, Tori Odom scored 21 points and Richard Henderson added 19. The next day, in addition to Gay’s 24 points, Yuot added 23 and Odom had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
In women’s action Friday, Amber Lease and Ranika Guyton both had 13 points and seven steals. The next day, Lease and Chloe Scaber contributed 12 points apiece.
GAME ON … The Mariners finish the PacWest regular season against the Camosun Chargers on Thursday, Feb. 24, at the VIU gym. The women’s game is at 6 p.m. and the men follow at 8 p.m.