VIU Mariners player Usama Zaid

VIU basketball teams win their home openers

Vancouver Island University's men's and women's basketball teams defeated the Camosun Chargers on Saturday to start PacWest play.

The VIU Mariners got back to playing the way they wanted and they were able to win that way.

Vancouver Island University’s men’s basketball team won its PacWest season opener on Saturday night at the VIU gym, defeating the Camosun Chargers 89-77.

“It was kind of a grind-it-out game, like I thought it would be,” said Matt Kuzminski, VIU coach. “I think we’re still getting better and … it’s going to be a process all year.”

The contest was tied 40-40 at half and VIU made a conscious effort at halftime to improve its defensive intensity. Usama Zaid, VIU guard, said the Mariners started defending the way they know how, getting better with help-side defence and contesting all the Chargers’ shots.

“We made it really difficult for them to score anything and that’s when we made our run,” Zaid said. “That’s the type of team we’re trying to be this year, defensive first and then the offence will come.”

Zaid scored 38 points and led his team in rebounding, too, with 11 boards. Eric D’Andrea contibuted 13 points and Bryson Cox had 12.

VIU’s women were also winners on opening night, winning a closer game by a 53-51 score. The Mariners played with enough hustle and effort to make up for a bit of an off-night with their shooting.

VIU’s Celina Guadagni came up with a steal with two seconds left so that Camosun didn’t get a chance to attempt a game-tying or game-winning shot.

“We played hard to the end, but we can do better and we will do better in our next games…” she said. “It’s our first game of the season, we’re not going to start off perfect, but it’s a good wake-up call for us. We need to work on better shots and we need to make better decisions.”

Guadagni led her team with 18 points and Victoria Brown scored 11. Sienna Pollard had 10 rebounds and four steals.

“They didn’t give up, which is a nice thing to see,” said Franjo Crnkovic, VIU assistant coach. “They know they can be better. The girls need to hold themselves accountable for doing stuff that’s going to make themselves better and thus make the team better.”

GAME ON … VIU’s basketball teams are home again this coming weekend, hosting the Douglas Royals on Friday (Nov. 4) and the Capilano Blues on Saturday. The Mariners women play the Royals on Friday at 6 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 8 p.m. On Saturday, the ladies’ game is at 1 p.m. with the guys at 3 p.m.

Just Posted

Indoor Busking Festival to be held this week in Nanaimo

Fundraiser concert to feature singers recruited from the Harbourfront Walkway

Mount Benson park users now have 100 more parking spaces

Regional District of Nanaimo opens new parking lot on Benson View Road

Nanaimo masters win track and field titles

Nanaimo Track and Field Club athletes take gold at provincials

Nanaimo council grants development permit for 170 apartments near Long Lake

Concerns raised over traffic around Rutherford Road

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

POLL: How often do you see motorists throw cigarette butts out the window?

How often do you see motorists throw lit cigarette butts out the… Continue reading

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

Editorial: Make it out to the night market this summer

First Commercial Street Night Market of the summer is this Thursday, June 20

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

Most Read