Vikings bounce back to sweep King's
University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings Austin Brulotte lays in two points on against The King's University Eagles Todd Cash, Jr. (15) and Malik Mate (4) during Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference men's basketball action in Camrose, Alta. on Friday November 3, 2017. Augustana won 91-67. Josh Aldrich/Camrose Canadian/Postmedia Network
Week 3 is a little early to say a season hung in the balance, but for the University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings men’s basketball team it was not far off.
The Vikings beat The King’s University Eagles 91-67 on Friday in Camrose and 98-78 on Saturday in Edmonton. In a difficult Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference North Division, there is a major difference between being 0-6 and 2-4 especially when they carried post-season aspirations into this campaign.
“The weekend was all about who doesn’t want to be last in the division, that was our reality going in,” said Augustana head coach Dave Drabiuk. “We found our groove and managed to come out of there with the taste of a couple of wins and hopefully that will manage to get us back on track here for where we want to be.”
They showed toughness below the rim with star forward Spencer Marion taking a beating while putting up 25 points and 15 rebounds on Friday and 11 points and 10 rebounds on Saturday, and second year shooting guard Nathan Bowie stretched out the TKU defenders on Saturday hitting on six of 10 three-point attempts.
“We worked really hard in practice
Driving their offence, however, was third year point guard Austin Brulotte who finds himself in a starting role after fourth-year senior Darian Smigorowski went down with an injury in practice two weeks ago. Brulotte brings more of a high-energy, shoot-first ask questions later mentality to the position, and when he’s on like he was this past weekend, he can be incredibly effective. On Friday, he scored a game-high 27 points with six assists, and on Saturday he tied Bowie with a game-high 22 points.
“Austin’s had some tragic games in that King’s gym, and for him to come out and sustain the effort, not only at home, but again on the road in a gym that seems to have been full of Celtic leprechauns for him, I think he really overcame a lot of stuff and I’m really happy for him and for our team,” said Drabiuk.
This weekend they have their work cut out for themselves as they try to dig out of the hole they have created for themselves. They are on the road to Fort McMurray to play the Huskies, who have won three in a row to sit at 4-2 on the season and in third place in the ACAC North.
Drabiuk is not exactly sure what to expect systems-wise from the Huskies, but says new head coach Jeremy Wielenga has them playing at a high level already.
“He’s got them playing hard right now and they’re pretty athletic, so they’re going to be a challenge,” said Drabiuk.
Women swept by Eagles
The Vikings (2-4) women’s basketball team had a frustrating weekend dropping both games against TKU (3-3), 79-76 in overtime on Friday in Camrose and 63-57 in Edmonton on Saturday.
Friday night went back and forth, but the game turned on a five-point swing by the Eagles in the overtime period as TKU’s Kenna Jacobsen made a two-point shot to put TKU up 75-72, then she stole the ball and set up and drained a three-pointer to go up 78-72 with 2:40 left.
Samantha Dargis led the Vikings with 24 points while Jessica Haenni had 21 and Beliana Slikker 16.
TKU got out to a big 41-18 lead at the half on Saturday, and while Augustana fought back, they could not close the gap completely. Slikker had a team-high 12 points, while Dargis, Haenni and Emma van Bruinessen each had 10 points.