Third quarter push powers VIU over CapU

CJ Campbell drives to the hoop for a reverse lay-in. Photo Paul Yates / Vancouver Sports Pictures
CJ Campbell drives to the hoop for a reverse lay-in. Photo Paul Yates / Vancouver Sports Pictures

The Capilano University Blues men’s basketball team led going into halftime, but the #2-ranked Vancouver Island University Mariners went on a 23-0 run out of halftime en route to a 96-73 victory on Friday night in North Vancouver.

The Mariners stormed out of the gate in the first half as well, jumping out to a 13-0 lead over the first couple minutes. Yet Capilano slowly chipped away – getting tougher on defense and finding better looks on the offensive end to trail by six after one period of play.

CapU found their offensive stride in the second quarter, and was able to break down VIU’s defense despite seeing different looks from the visitors. The Blues were dialled in from long range in the frame, with four different guys hitting from beyond the arc, and they dished out 10 assists compared to just six turnovers; on the other hand, VIU had 10 turnovers and six assists. The two teams went back and forth at each other, but a three-pointer from Niko Mottus at the buzzer put the home side up 41-40 at the break.

The undefeated Mariners quickly erased that deficit out of halftime, and then quickly put the game out of reach. The 23-0 run was part of a third quarter where VIU outscored Capilano 37-4, as the Blues mustered just one field goal in the frame. VIU led by as much as 36 in the fourth, but CapU battled to make it a 96-73 final.

Hassan Phills led Capilano with 17 points off the bench, while Mottus had 12. The Blues shot just 31.3% from the field in the contest and 24.1% from beyond the arc – including a 1-for-11 mark in the second half. On the flip side, VIU shot at a 47.1% rate.

Capilano falls to 5-4 on the season and sits in a tie for second in the PACWEST with Langara and Camosun. VIU improves to 9-0 and remains in first.

The two sides will rematch tomorrow afternoon in their final meeting of the regular season, with tip-off at 3:00pm in the Sportsplex.