The VIU men’s basketball team had the exciting opportunity to host two Div. 1 NCAA clubs in exhibition play. The Northwestern State Demons and Cal State Northridge Matadors both visited Nanaimo to take on the Mariners during their preseason tours.
The action began versus Northwestern on Aug. 14, falling 89–71 to the visitors. Greg Gillies led the M’s with 20 points while Jon Bethell sunk 14. The Demons crushed Quest University 105–40 in their previous game and returned home undefeated on their Canadian tour.
The Mariners were defeated by Cal State in their next match, dropping the Aug. 22 game 85–45. Though a lopsided loss, the Matadors are a Big West Conference team and the chance to battle a university of such calibre is a great learning experience for the M’s. Forward Tyler Olsen led VIU in scoring.
In other hoops news, the women’s team began holding tryouts Sept. 4 in preparation for their upcoming season. Head coach Bill McWhinnie, returning for another year at the helm, is looking forward to getting back on the court.
“We are excited to get back to work and build on our silver medal from last year,” McWhinnie comments about the previous season’s success.
“We return nine players from last year’s team and have added five new players that will hopefully help us reach our goal,” McWhinnie says.
The next home games for both the men’s and women’s teams are Nov. 2 against Camosun.