Connor Hood - Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON - The Victoria Vikes hit early and often from beyond the arc, going an incredible 18-31 from deep, as they upset the No. 3 ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears with a 92-83 win, Saturday night at Saville Community Sports Centre.
The loss was the first for the Golden Bears this season, as they entered Saturday's matchup as the only undefeated team left in Canada West with a 9-0 record. Victoria, who were blown out 89-63 the previous night, responded with a ferocious offensive outburst, as they improved to 6-4 after the nine-point win.
Six different players hit from three for the Vikes on Saturday, including six from Jordan Charles, who led the Vikes with 20 points on 6/12 shooting. Jason Scully (15), Mason Loewen (15), T Montgomery-Stinson (14), and Scott Kellum (13) also recorded double digit point totals for Victoria.
Golden Bears guard Austin Waddoups led the Bears with a game-high 34 points on 12/20 shooting, including 16 points in the fourth quarter. Third-year guard Brody Clare also chipped in 24, but fouled out late in the fourth quarter, halting the Bears comeback.
The Vikes three-point attack was incredibly lethal to start the game, as they took a sizeable 47-35 lead into the halftime, thanks to 11-18 shooting from three, and 6-7 in the opening quarter. Charles dropped in 14 of his 20 in the opening half, as the Vikes took advantage of a slow and unfocused Bears defence early on.
That lack of concentration continued to plague the Bears in the second half, as every offensive run was ended by poor passing, sloppy defence, or defensive fouls on the Vikes, who went 16/19 from the line. Victoria extended their lead to as many as 16 in the second half, leading 70-54 after three quarters.
Waddoups went off in the fourth quarter for the Bears, dropping in 16 points on 5-7 shooting, adding three 3's of his own, but his solo offensive outburst wasn't enough for Alberta to level the game. The Bears trimmed the Vike lead down to as few as four, but three late-game fouls, including Clarke's fifth ended the Bears comeback midway through the fourth quarter. Kellum also added six points in the fourth for Victoria, who ended the game with a stellar 50.9 field goal percentage, and 58.1 three point percentage.
Both the Vikes and Golden Bears will return to conference play during the first weekend of January, as Victoria hosts Thompson Rivers, while the Bears play Calgary in a home-and-home series.