Vikes fend off Cascades down the stretch in exhibition action

Joban Pandher looks for an open teammate during first-half action on Saturday vs. UVic.

The Victoria Vikes pulled away in the fourth quarter to knock off the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team 71-58 in exhibition action on Saturday afternoon.

The Vikes led 18-13 after the first quarter and 33-24 at the half, but the host Cascades found some traction in the third quarter, outscoring the visitors 21-15 in the frame to cut the deficit to 48-45.

The fourth quarter, though, belonged to the Vikes, and they put the finishing touches on a second consecutive win over the Cascades. UVic was coming off a 76-53 win on Friday.

Daniel Adediran scored a team-high 14 points on Saturday.

“The third quarter was a real bright spot for us,” UFV bench boss Adam Friesen said afterward. “We’re a young group, and there’s no answers to many questions right now. Any time we can find out some answers, it’s a great moment. It lets us know how we’ll need to play this year.

“We have to play at a certain pace, and we’ve got to be aggressive. If we ever stand still, that’s going to make life hard for us.”

UFV’s Daniel Adediran was a standout for the second straight day – the sophomore forward notched a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, leading the team in both categories. Mark Johnson counted a trio of three-pointers among his 11 points, and rookie guard Kenan Hadzovic notched 10 points off the bench. The Cascades struggled from the free throw line as a team, going 6-for-15.

“Daniel’s been great this weekend, and we’re hoping or big things from him over the course of the year,” Friesen said of Adediran. “He’s playing with confidence, playing aggressive, and making some opportunities happen for himself.”

UVic’s Jordan Charles led all scorers with 19 points, and Mason Loewen (17 points) and Jason Scully (15) also scored in double figures.

Up next for the UFV men’s hoopsters is a stateside exhibition trip to Northwest University in Kirkland, Wash. They’ll face the Eastern Oregon University Mountaineers on Friday and the host Northwest Eagles on Saturday.

The Cascades basketball teams open the Canada West regular season Oct. 27-28 at UBC, and host their home openers Nov. 3-4 vs. the Mount Royal Cougars.

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