Vancouver Island University’s basketball teams showed winning form in their home openers this past weekend.
The VIU Mariners women’s and men’s b-ball squads took to their home court on Friday, Nov. 18, for PacWest action against the Douglas Royals, and the M’s were big winners in both games.
The M’s women started things off with a 69-48 victory. Harriette Mackenzie scored 23 points, hauled in a remarkable 23 rebounds, and added nine blocks to finish one short of a triple-double. Ranika Guyton also scored 23 points.
The men’s game started off somewhat close but didn’t finish that way as the Mariners rolled to a 106-61 victory. Richard Henderson led VIU with 26 points and 12 rebounds, Tori Odom added 18 points and Landon Radliff scored 14.
Matt Kuzminski, coach of the VIU men, said new players and returning players alike get some nerves for a home opener, even after playing a few PacWest games already this fall.
“The home opener always provides a little bit of a different environment…” he said. “There’s an excitement, hopefully, around everybody in the community getting to see our new team.”
He said the group, led by its vets, has been making strides and showing improvement playing together.
“We’ve been progressing and coming along pretty well,” Kuzminski said. “I think with our mix of returning veteran guys and the new guys that we have added who are getting to play some significant minutes, it’s been a process.”
GAME ON … VIU plays the Capilano Blues and then the Langara Falcons this coming weekend, Nov. 25-26. The women’s game Friday is at 5 p.m. and the men tip off at 7 p.m. On Saturday, game times are 3 p.m. and then 5 p.m.