VIU men’s basketball benefiting from fast starts

The Mariners won both their weekend road games, beating the Quest Kermodes 78-62 and then blowing out the Capilano Blues 81-52.

Vancouver Island University’s men’s basketball team is getting into the habit of fast starts right after tipoff.

The Mariners won both their weekend road games, beating the Quest Kermodes 78-62 on Friday in Squamish and then blowing out the Capilano Blues 81-52 the next day in North Vancouver.

“We were able to have good starts in both games which was good, especially on the road,” said Matt Kuzminski, VIU coach. “Both games we went up double digits early and it kind of gave us the momentum and took it away from the home team.”

VIU was able to build those leads, said the coach, partly thanks to improved execution on offence.

“Our timing and our spacing with all our cuts and screens are slowly but surely getting to where we want them to be,” Kuzminski said.

Brandon Jones led VIU with 20 points on 6-for-8 shooting Friday and Tyler Olsen added 12 points and 10 rebounds. The next day the scoring was totally spread around, with Jason McKee’s 12 points leading the way and Jon Bethell contributing 10 points.

Next action is Friday (Nov. 23) when the Mariners head down the Malahat to play the Camosun Chargers in that team’s home opener. A fast start will be key in that one to quiet the crowd and dampen the home team’s spirits.

“I’m sure we’ll get a really good game out of them so we’ve got to be ready,” Kuzminski said.

VIU’s women’s basketball team dropped both its road games last weekend, falling 60-51 to Quest and 47-38 to Cap.

COURT SHORTS … The Mariners are coping with CUPE job action at the university this week. To read about the strike’s impact on VIU sports, please click here … VIU’s basketball teams return to Nanaimo on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1 to host the Columbia Bible College Bearcats and Kwantlen Eagles, respectively, at the Vancouver Island University gym.

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