Ofori powers Cougars to first win of 2016-17 campaign

Ofori powers Cougars to first win of 2016-17 campaign

University of Regina Sports Information

REGINA - The University of Regina men's basketball team had the lead for all but 62 seconds on Saturday night, defeating the Victoria Vikes 77-57 for their first win of the Canada West season.

Victoria held an 8-5 lead early in the first quarter, but a bucket plus the foul from Brandon Tull and a layup from Travis Sylvestre put the Cougars ahead and they never looked back.

Brian Ofori led the way for the Cougars, tying his career best in points with 17 and chipping in a game-high nine rebounds.

After a 35-29 score at halftime the Cougars pulled ahead, outscoring the Vikes 26-17 in the third on the strength of a quick 7-0 run early in the quarter.

Ofori was the spark that the Cougars needed in the second half, collecting four offensive rebounds in the third quarter alone not to mention two dunks and an and-one finish over Grant Sitton.

The Cougars were energized by Ofori's play, pounding the ball inside for numerous buckets from Aaron McGowan, Sylvestre and Tull. An Alex Igual three at the buzzer capped off the third quarter and stretched the Cougar lead to 15.

Tull added 15 points on 7-7 free-throw shooting, while Igual and Sylvestre each scored in double figures with 11. Stephen Shields and Johneil Johnson each had seven points off the bench, including a breakaway slam by Johnson in the fourth.

Sitton led the way for Victoria, scoring 15 points on 5-13 shooting. Justin Kinnear had 15 points and eight boards while Wayne Tucker Jr. added 11 points .

A night after the Vikes shot the lights out at a 50.8 percent clip with eight threes, the Cougar defence clamped down and held the visitors to 29.4 percent and just two triples.

The Cougars will head to Edmonton next weekend to face off against the Grant MacEwan University Griffins, who are sporting an 0-2 record after two losses to Lethbridge. Victoria will be back at home to take on the 1-1 Calgary Dinos.