VIU’s Brandon Jones had on off-night against Douglas, but still led all scorers with 19 points. In the throwback above, Jones goes to the bucket during the 2012 PacWest championship semifinals. – Brian Jones photo
The Vancouver Island University Mariners had everything to lose on Friday night.
They had an undefeated record. They presented perfection dating back to last season’s national title. They came in ranked third in the CCAA’s national rankings. And, they had something a little more tangible to lose – their pride and confidence.
But it’s those last two that mattered most. Those two crucial facets of VIU’s identity, the building blocks of their genetic makeup that make them so good in the first place, were what helped them walk out of their battle with the Douglas College Royals not quite unscathed, but still undefeated.
VIU left New Westminster with an 83-79 win over Douglas last night, though the outcome was in question up until roughly 19 seconds left in the game.
Second-year UBC forward Tommy Nixon looks to kick it out to the corner as he drives baseline against two Brandon defenders. - Brian Jones Photo
No one is doubting Malcolm Williams anymore.
The UBC Thunderbirds freshman guard gained many critics after a lacklustre performance in the preseason, but after a career-high 19 points, along with five rebounds and four assists in Friday night’s 91-55 blowout of the Brandon Bobcats, Williams is primed to play a big role in this year’s championship-calibre squad.
“We’ve been tough on this group,” said UBC head coach Kevin Hanson. “We’ve set the bar pretty high by going to the national championships eight of the last nine years. Even freshmen coming in, we expect them to be great right away, and sometimes we forget that they’re true freshmen.”