The VIU Mariners will head to nationals as the country’s top-ranked men’s college basketball team after winning a provincial championship this past weekend.
Vancouver Island University’s men defeated the Capilano Blues 81-78 in the gold-medal final Saturday, March 5, at Columbia Bible College in Abbotsford.
The Mariners men had already qualified for nationals by winning their semifinal game the day before, 98-80 over the Langford Falcons.
In the provincial final, Tori Odom was player of the game for the M’s with 24 points, while Cameron Gay added 16.
The night before, it was Odom also leading the way with 28 points and Gay contributing 24. Also in the semifinal, Akoi Yuot scored 21 points and added 13 rebounds and Richard Henderson had 19 points and 10 boards.
After the tournament, Gay was chosen MVP and Yuot and Odom were all-stars.
National championships will be March 25-27 at Toronto’s Humber College.
Meanwhile, the VIU women’s basketball team is also going to nationals, but will do so with the host berth as they were upset in their gold-medal final, 79-74, by the Okanagan Coyotes on Saturday in Abbotsford. The Mariners women won their semifinal the day before, beating the Douglas Royals 59-45.
Amber Lease and Shayce Johnston were chosen tournament all-stars.