Terrell Evans of Las Vegas may not reverse the usual trend of Canadian basketball players looking to the U.S., but he's still a good advertisement for what the CIS brand of hoops has to offer.
Evans scored a team-high 13 points Saturday night as the University of Victoria Vikes (7-3 in conference) recorded a 72-68 Canada West victory over the Calgary Dinos (4-6) at McKinnon Gym.
"There's a life behind those lights [of his hometown] but I love it here in Victoria," said Evans, in his second season with UVic.
"I know the history of UVic basketball with [legendary coach] Ken Shields and the past national championships and Canadian Olympic players produced. The Vikes alumni are closely connected to this team and keep in touch with the current players. We want to write a chapter of our own."
The Vikes led 37-27 at the half but the scrappy Dinos made it close.
"Canada West is the toughest conference in Canada and sometimes you have to grind it out," said Evans, who had 25 points in Friday's win over Leth-bridge.
Michael Acheampong struggled early but came through with some clutch play late to score 12 points for UVic. Jarred Ogunghemi-Jackson had a game high 20 for Calgary.
The Vikes have a California tour later this month before returning to Canada West action Jan. 11 in Winnipeg. The next home date at McKinnon is Jan. 18 against Regina.
The UVic Vikes women, meanwhile, simply must learn to put teams away. For the second straight night, they squandered a big halftime lead in losing 63-58 to the Calgary Dinos in overtime earlier Saturday at McKinnon.
The Vikes blew an 11-point halftime lead Friday night in losing to Leth-bridge.
With that in mind, UVic coach Dani Sinclair was especially emphatic in the dressing room at halftime Saturday stressing second-half diligence.
"I talked about being disciplined and getting a good start in the second half and we didn't do that at all," said Sinclair.
"We got casual with the ball and let them have momentum."
Leading 33-18 at the half, UVic didn't score its first basket of the second half until four minutes had elapsed as there was suddenly a chill put on halftime's warm promise.
The game featured two CIS nationally top-10 ranked teams with UVic No. 7 and Calgary No. 8.
"Give the Dinos credit. They are a good team," said Sinclair.
Calgary (9-1 in Canada West) surged until it finally took a 50-48 lead with 2: 35 left. A three-point basket by UVic star Debbie Yeboah with 4.6 seconds remaining in regulation sent the game into extra time at 53-53, but it wasn't enough as the Vikes fell to 6-4 in conference.
Jessica Renfrew led UVic with a game-high 18 points while Yeboah scored 16 and Chelsea McMullen 11. Tamara Jarrett led Calgary with 17 points.
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