As the PacWest basketball season enters its final few weeks, the VIU Mariners are playing some of their strongest basketball of the year.
The team traveled to the mainland for games against the Kwantlen University Eagles and Columbia Bible College Bearcats on January 30 and 31.
The Mariners jumped out to an early lead against the Eagles and kept the pressure on. At halftime, the Mariners had built a 31-16 lead. The Eagles came out strong in the third quarter, determined to cut into the Mariner lead. As the fourth quarter began, the Eagles had cut their deficit to 35-30. But the Mariners didn’t let the Eagles complete the comeback, winning by a final score of 56-50.
The Mariners made their weekend road trip a successful one the next day, picking up a 65-48 win in Cranbrook over the hometown Columbia Bible College Bearcats.
The Mariners returned home from games against the Douglas College Royals and Langara Falcons on February 6 and 7.
The Mariners jumped out to a 29-17 lead at halftime against Douglas. In the second half, the Mariners did a good job of staying competitive with the Royals, not letting Douglas mount any sort of comeback. The Mariners led 45-33 as the game entered the fourth quarter and came away with the 60-47 victory.
The next day against the Langara Falcons the Mariners once again jumped out to an early advantage, this time leading 20-12 after the game’s opening quarter. The Falcons weren’t able to cut into the Mariner lead in the second quarter, as VIU led 37-29 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Mariners came out strong and expanded their lead to 15 as the score stood 53-38 as the game entered its final quarter. The game ended with the Mariners’ victory at 69-55.
With just five games to go before the end of the regular season, it looks like the Mariners will finish the year in second place. The team’s 13-3 record gives them 26 points on the season. The Mariners are six points behind the first place Quest Kermodes, but are also six points ahead of the third place Douglas Royals.
The Mariners’ next home game is Saturday, February 14 against the visiting Camosun Chargers. The game begins at 6 pm.