VIU Mariners player Chris Parker

VIU Mariners player Chris Parker

VIU basketball teams win big in openers

NANAIMO – The VIU Mariners men's and women's basketball teams both won their first regular-season games against the Camosun Chargers.

The VIU Mariners were big winners in their first home games of the season.

Vancouver Island University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams both won their first regular-season games against the Camosun Chargers by blowout scores on Friday night at the VIU gym. The M’s men were 87-59 winners, while the VIU ladies won 80-44.

Despite the lopsided result, the Mariners men felt like they didn’t bring their best to the first game of the Pacific Western Athletic Association season.

“We know what we’re capable of and we didn’t feel like we executed,” said John Thompson, VIU point guard. “It’s the beginning and it’s a win. We’re going to walk away with it and be happy.”

The M’s led by just six points at halftime. Thompson said his team was scrambly at times in the first half and tried for better effort in the second half.

“At halftime [Coach Matt Kuzminski] kind of laid it on us and refocused us and we came back out and did what we had to do,” Thompson said.

The point guard led his team with 22 points, while Josh Ross added 16 points and 16 rebounds. Chris Parker also scored 16.

The women’s game was only close for one quarter, as the Mariners blew the game open by outscoring the Chargers 31-8 in the second quarter. “We executed our offence pretty well,” said Emily Clarke, VIU swing guard. “We all penetrated really well and that opened up the three-point line a lot … There were so many open looks.”

She knocked down 8-of-10 from behind the arc to lead all scorers with 27 points. Sienna Pollard added 13 points and 10 rebounds and Lanae Adams also scored 13.

The result is a good start and something to build on, Clarke said.

“We’ll put that game behind us and always focus on the next game and getting better each day,” she said. ‘We’ve got a long season ahead, but if we keep having the next-game mentality, we should do well.”

GAME ON … The Mariners basketball teams head to the mainland next weekend (Nov. 6-7) for games against the Douglas Royals and Capilano Blues.