The University of Victoria Vikes were unable to overcome a slow start Saturday and their Canada West men’s basketball season is over as a result.
The fifth-seed Vikes fell behind 26-8 in the first quarter to the fourth-seed University of Manitoba in their conference playoff quarter-final game en route to an 81-61 Bisons victory in Edmonton.
Manitoba led 39-28 at the half. UVic brought it to within hailing distance and trailed 55-47 after three-quarters time. But the Bisons outscored the Vikes 26-14 in the fourth quarter to pull away.
The Vikes tried to climb back into the game using the long ball, but that effort failed as UVic was a miserable 4-for-22 from three-point range.
Fifth-year forward Hayden Lejeune scored 13 points in his final career game for UVic. Matthew Ellis also scored 13. Guards Aaron Tesfagiorgis and Trent Monkman scored nine points each and forward Jason Scully eight.
Rashawn Browne had 21 points for a Manitoba squad that was ranked in the U Sports national top-10 poll for much of the season.
The Vikes and Bisons split their regular-season series 1-1.
The conference top-seed University of Alberta Golden Bears dispatched the Lethbridge Pronghorns 92-81 in the other quarter-final played in the Edmonton bracket.
The Bisons and Golden Bears meet today in a semifinal game with the winner advancing to the Canada West final next weekend.