CJ Pentland, CapU Sports Information Director / Photos Paul Yates, Vancouver Sports Pictures; Capilano University
The Capilano Blues hung tough with the province’s top team in Saturday’s PACWEST Provincial Final, but the Vancouver Island University Mariners proved too much to handle in the second half, as VIU used a strong third quarter to deliver a 94-77 victory to hand the Blues the silver medal at the tournament. It’s Capilano’s first medal since 2011, and their first silver since 2004.
Both teams got off to strong starts, with Greet Gill scoring the first seven points for Cap to help them out to an early lead. Hassan Phills hit back-to-back threes a few minutes later to put his team up 17-12, but VIU hung around to tie the game up at 22 after ten minutes of play.
The second frame was more of the same, with both teams going back and forth and neither side able to take full control. The Blues switched between zone and man-to-man defence to keep the Mariners' high-powered offence in check, but on offence they struggled to make their shots. The play of Jesse Mushiana on the offensive boards helped keep Cap in the game, as the score was tied at 40 heading into halftime.
The Mariners found their offensive stride in the third quarter, building up a quick double-digit lead out of the break. VIU started to hit their shots from beyond the arc, while Cap’s struggles shooting from outside continued. Gill kept up his strong play to keep the Blues within reach, but the Mariners outscored the Blues 32-16 in the period and led by 16 after three.
VIU kept up their offensive pressure in the fourth, and while Capilano started to hit some shots from long distance, the Mariners’ lead proved insurmountable. Vancouver Island closed out the game 94-77, and won their third-straight PACWEST title.
The Blues shot 41.1% from the field in the contest, but were hindered by an 18.8% (6-of-32) mark from beyond the arc. On the other hand, VIU shot 49.3% from the floor and 44.4% from long range.
Gill led Capilano with 22 points and eight rebounds in the contest, while Phills again had an impact off the bench with 21 points. Wowie Untalan capped off his Rookie of the Year campaign with 12 points, nine assists, and two steals.
Both Gill and Phills were named to the PACWEST Tournament All-Star Team.