Kent State Golden Flashes player Megan Carter defends against VIU Mariners opponent Amber Lease during Monday’s exhibition game at the VIU gym. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

VIU Mariners get a chance to take the court against NCAA Div. 1 team

Kent State defeats Vancouver Island University 103-54 in women’s basketball exhibition Monday

Two teams that play a long ways away from each other came together for a basketball game, and both will be better because of it.

The Vancouver Island University women’s basketball team had the rare opportunity to play against an NCAA Div. 1 opponent, taking on the Kent State Golden Flashes in an exhibition game at the VIU gym Monday night. The U.S. team won 103-54.

“I enjoyed it. I don’t care about the score,” said Tony Bryce, Mariners coach. “There were a lot of really good things that came out of that and it was a chance to play against a really good Div. 1 basketball team and see that type of talent and I thought we handled it really well.”

Kent State led 47-26 at the half and guard Asiah Dingle said her team played better in the second half against a game VIU squad.

“They definitely played hard from start to finish, which is really good,” she said. “That was a challenge for us. They were really quick, too.”

Dingle led Kent State with 16 points and Megan Carter added 14. For VIU, Danielle Vanbergen scored 16 and Amber Lease added 12.

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The result gave the Golden Flashes a sweep of their B.C. trip, as they beat the VK Selects 90-68 in Langley on Aug. 10 and then handled the UBC Thunderbirds 94-54 on Sunday. Dingle said it was important to try to get better each game because coaches don’t want the players to practise bad habits.

“We had to correct some things we did in the first game and then fix it in the second game and then we tried to continue it in the third game,” Dingle said.

The Golden Flashes had a 20-13 record in 2018-19 and Dingle said with new players coming in fit and fast, the team is looking forward to a strong season.

“We definitely are expecting to do some big things. We hopefully will,” she said. “We’re trying, practising hard, playing hard.”

As for the Mariners, Bryce said at this time of year, he was looking to see his players compete. They will need to not only compete against opponents, but against each other this season, the coach said, in what is expected to be a deep roster. He was interested to see players get a chance to show some of the work they’ve put in during the off-season, and they did that.

“I just wanted us to … just have fun and ball,” Bryce said. “It’s a chance for us to get together in the summer and start building the excitement for the upcoming season and it worked.”



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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