VIU Mariners player Usama Zaid takes a shot during Thursday’s PacWest game against the Camosun Chargers at the Vancouver Island University gym. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

VIDEO: VIU wins home opener with last-minute basket

The Mariners men’s basketball team edged the Camosun Chargers 82-81 on Thursday night at the VIU gym

The VIU Mariners only needed one game to find out that they can come through in crunch time on the court.

Vancouver Island University’s men’s basketball team won its PacWest home opener Thursday night at the VIU gym, edging the Camosun Chargers 82-81 as Usama Zaid scored a game-winning basket with 12 seconds left.

“I thought the guys did a really good job of keeping their composure in a tough spot. When things got tough there, we stayed together,” said Matt Kuzminski, the team’s coach.

Zaid said the close win is good for the Mariners because it shows them right away that there will be tough games throughout the PacWest season and reinforces the importance of having “that grit, that focus to never stop playing and to keep competing no matter what.

“In that game right there, if we would have hung our head for one second, then we would have lost, but we didn’t do that,” he said. “And that shows character from our guys and that’s instilled in us from our coaches.”

The M’s had a hot start, up by 10 points after one quarter, but things got closer and the Chargers took the lead with 20 seconds left in the game.

Zaid said VIU’s final possession didn’t go exactly as planned, as Camosun double-teamed him, but he was able to force his way between two defenders.

“I got a nice look at the basket, so I took it,” he said.

Zaid finished with 28 points and six rebound, Tyus Barfoot and Jerod Dorby scored 15 points each and Bryson Cox added 14.

Kuzminski said overall, his team had good spurts, but didn’t sustain its defensive intensity for 40 minutes and sometimes got away from the ball movement it strives for on offence.

A new season means some new additions and new contributors to the team, and Kuzminski said guys are still getting comfortable in their roles.

“That’s totally been something we’ve seen in the pre-season is there’s an adjustment period, there’s a period of chemistry that takes some building and guys figuring out who they are, who their teammates are and how we fit together,” the coach said.

Zaid said he sees, on the Mariners, “a lot of guys that can go” and a lot of raw talent.

“But if we don’t bring that together as a team and keep building from here, then we’re not going to get where we want to go,” he said. “Looking at the season from now, I feel like, man, we have great things ahead of us. I feel like we’ve got all the pieces to do everything we want to do this year.”

Also at the VIU gym Thursday, VIU’s women’s basketball team lost its home opener to Camosun by a 75-68 score. For more on the women’s team, click here.

GAME ON … The Mariners teams visit the Columbia Bible College Bearcats on Friday, Nov. 10 in Abbotsford. The next home games are Nov. 17-18 against the Douglas Royals and Capilano Blues, respectively.



sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate different paths for party

Third debate held Sunday, Nov. 19 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Naked man arrested in Nanaimo, provided with pants

Suspect arrested for causing disturbance Nov. 13 near Bowen and Northfield roads

Highway 19A washed out north of Qualicum Beach

UPDATE: Highway to remain closed overnight Nov. 19

Suspended Snuneymuxw chief issues statement on suspension

John Wesley denies wrongdoing and said suspension is invalid under First Nation council rules.

Nanaimo RCMP warn of NAC and Beban Park pool thefts

Nanaimo RCMP warning of increase in locker room thefts at public pool complexes.

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

VIDEO: Great Nanaimo Toy Drive kicks off 2017 campaign

Toys can be donated at various locations throughout Nanaimo until Dec. 16

‘An officer and a gentleman’: Const. John Davidson is laid to rest

Thousands attend memorial service for slain Abbotsford Police officer

VIDEO: Coquihalla closed both directions near Merritt

Detours are available via Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 1

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week.

PHOTOS: Procession and funeral for Const. John Davidson

Thousands attended celebration of life for Abbotsford police officer

Apology to Canadians persecuted for being gay coming Nov. 28: Trudeau

Thousands were fired from the military, RCMP and public service because of their sexual orientation

Heavy rains, winds hit B.C.’s south coast

Localized flooding, gusts up to 70 km/hr expected for the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

Most Read