DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Wesmen were one long-distance dagger away from potentially scoring a season-opening sweep.
After Narcisse Ambanza hit a three-pointer with seven seconds left, Scott Kellum drilled a three-pointer on the other end as the clock ticked to zero to give the Victoria Vikes a 75-72 win in Canada West men's basketball action at the Duckworth Centre.
The Wesmen trailed by as many as 19 in the first half, but chipped away in the third quarter with a 13-2 run to start the half.
Winnipeg took a brief lead in the fourth quarter, going ahead 61-60 on a Sean Tarver three with 4:17 to go.
"I think there's lots of favourable take-aways from the weekend," Wesmen head coach Mike Raimbault said moments after the stunning loss. "I think we've seen a lot of growth in our group, especially in the last two, three weeks. There's definitely a lot of good things there. The chemistry with the group is great, the effort and intensity has been where it needs to be for us to get better and we have to gain experience. Being in a close game like today will be good for us later on."
Sean Tarver had 20 points and nine rebounds to top the Wesmen, who are on the road at UNBC next weekend. Adam Benrabah had 14 points and six assists before fouling out in the fourth quarter, and Joseph Medrano had 11 for the Wesmen, who shot 39 per cent from the field.
Jason Scully led the way for the Vikes (1-1) with 16 points off the bench and Jordan Charles had 12 on 5 of 14 shooting. Victoria shot 38 per cent from the floor and hit on 9 of 28 three-pointers.