VIU Mariners player Emily Clarke looks to move the basketball during Saturday’s game against the Langara Falcons at the Vancouver Island University gym. (KARL YU/The News Bulletin)

VIU women’s hoops team wins big to start new year

Mariners teams host Langara Falcons as PacWest play resumes

The Vancouver Island University Mariners women’s basketball team got 2018 started on the right foot, downing the Langara Falcons 61-37 on Friday and 70-25 on Saturday.

Kaitlyn LaFontaine, VIU guard, led the M’s in scoring both games at VIU’s gym, with an 11-point effort Friday and 15 points on Saturday. Tony Bryce, VIU head coach, said his team is doing the right things as it pushes for the playoffs.

The team went 1-2 in three exhibition games over the holidays and Bryce says league games are what his team plays for. Despite the sweep of the Falcons, there are areas the M’s could improve, according to Bryce.

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“We’ve got to value the basketball a little bit better,” said Bryce. “There were times we got sloppy and I think that happens when you’re ahead. Maybe you get a little bit loose with the ball and make poor decisions, where if it’s a closer game hopefully you don’t, but I want us in the habit of always looking after the basketball and valuing the ball regardless of score.”

Bryce was happy with the Mariners’ performance on their own end.

“We were extending ourselves defensively and we took advantage of, what I think is a strength for us, which is our depth,” Bryce said. “I felt everybody was in the game kind of went as hard as they could, as long as they could … I think it wore [Langara] out over the weekend.”

As of Saturday, VIU’s women’s team is tied with Camosun College atop the Pacific Western Athletic Association standings with 6-2 records.

As for VIU’s men, they beat Langara 91-83 on Friday and then won the next day’s rematch by a lopsided 107-63 margin. Usama Zaid was top scorer with 22 points the first night, with Harry Fayle adding 15. Stats from Saturday’s game weren’t available at press time.

GAME ON … Both VIU basketball teams are on the road Friday, Jan. 12 and Saturday to face the Capilano Blues.

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