Vancouver Island University’s basketball teams finished their first go-round of the PacWest schedule in great shape.
The VIU Mariners men (7-0) and women (5-2) finished the first semester of the season with road wins. The men blew away the Columbia Bible College Bearcats 115-61 on Friday, then handled the Kwantlen Polytechnic Eagles 87-69 on Saturday. VIU’s women were 61-44 winners against CBC, and defeated KPU 57-35.
Matt Kuzminski, coach of the Mariners men, said his team played a “pretty good all-around game” on Friday, but came out flat the following afternoon and needed a good second half to pull away for another win.
The M’s men featured a balanced attack both days. Chris Parker led the team with 23 points Friday, Kadeem Stewart had 22 points and nine steals, Curtis Wilson added 17 points and nine rebounds, Eric D’Andrea contributed 14 points and Connor Billet had 12.
On Saturday, Stewart scored 20, Parker had 17 and Jason Fortin had 16 points and 13 boards.
Kuzminski has been pleased with the play of guys coming off the bench.
“These guys have shown that they’re able to step up and play well, make good decisions and make some plays in the game,” he said.
In women’s play, VIU coach Bill McWhinnie called it an “outstanding weekend defensively” as the Mariners held opponents to low scores in back-to-back games.
“In particular, we were terrific defensively on Saturday holding Kwantlen scoreless for the first 12 minutes of the game,” said the coach.
Sienna Pollard led the team Friday with 14 points and 10 rebounds, Jenna Carver had 11 points and 10 boards and Jamie MacFarlane and Emily Clarke contributed 11 points apiece.
The next night, Pollard had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Carver had 13 points and 12 boards.
GAME ON … The VIU men take on the Vancouver Balloholics of the American Basketball Association on Saturday (Nov. 29) in a 5 p.m. tipoff at the Vancouver Island University gym.