Metro Vancouver…..The KPU Eagles (PACWEST, CCAA) men’s basketball team fell 111-68 to the host UFV Cascades (Canada West, CIS) in pre-season exhibition action in Surrey, BC today at Tamanawis Secondary School. This marks the first official university game of the 2014-2015 pre-season exhibition schedule for the Eagles in preparation for their October 31st regular season opener on the road.
The Eagles had a strong start in the first quarter as they controlled the ball and kept the Cascades scoreless for the first two and a half minutes. A number of fouls would tighten up the score and at the end of the first quarter the teams were tied at 28. UFV took over the lead early in the second quarter and held it for the remainder of the game. At halftime the score was 62-45 in favour of the Cascades. The Eagles’ leading scorers in the first half were second-year guard Obi (Obiajulu) Udevi, Surrey, BC with 12 points and fifth-year center Devan Haynes, Sechelt, BC with eight points. The leading scorer for the Cascades at the half was Tamanawis Secondary Alumni and third-year guard Manny (Manjohd) Dulay, Surrey, BC with 12 points.
The third quarter proved much more difficult for the Eagles as the Cascades increased the point-gap by 30 with a score of 92-62. The fourth quarter was a demonstration in defense as both teams shut down any offensive momentum. At the end of the game, UFV defeated the Eagles 111-68. KPU Eagles’ first-year guard Jaiten Rana, Delta, BC led scoring for his team with 18 points on the night, followed by Udevi with 14. UFV Cascades’ leading scorer was third-year forward Nate Brown, Fresno, CA, USA with 18 points. Other standouts for the Eagles included first-year guard Brendan Bailey, Coquitlam, BC. Bailey distributed the ball well, had excellent shot selection, and was a strong defender. Veteran third-year point-guard Spencer Maichin, Delta, BC demonstrated strength and perseverance, while first-year forward Trevor Schulz, Richmond, BC provided consistency on both offense and defense.
Today’s game was first-year Eagles’ head coach Vladimir Nikić’s debut in the exhibition pre-season after taking over KPU’s men’s basketball program in April 2014. Coach Nikić is a former semi-professional player for Vojvodina, a club team in the former Yugoslavia. He is an NCCP Level 3 certified coach, and comes to KPU with coaching experience at the CIS, CCAA, IBS, and FIBA levels.
“We wanted to give UFV a good game and show that we could compete at this level. We are a young team, but as long as we play together we are going to do great things,” said Coach Nikić, “We learned a lot from our game last week against our KPU alumni. I thought they improved tremendously, they played harder today, and they learned fast. We see positive progress as they play for the team, not just on the team.”
KPU will travel to Abbotsford, BC on October 31st to open the 2014-2015 PACWEST CCAA season on the road versus the CBC Bearcats at 8:00pm. The Eagles' home opener will take place in the Eagles' Nest on the Surrey Campus on Friday, November 7th with an 8:00pm tip-off versus the Capilano University Blues.
For more information on the Department of Athletics & Recreation, please contact Junelle Mah, sports information and marketing, at 604-786-0804 or at email@example.com.
The KPU Eagles Department of Athletics & Recreation enters its 14th season of interuniversity competition. The Eagles are members of the PACWEST conference and play in the Canadian College Athletic Association (CCAA) with 100 student-athletes participating on eight varsity teams in men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, badminton and golf. KPU athletics plays its home games at the Eagles’ Nest (Surrey Campus), Northview Golf & Country Club, Newton Athletic Park, all located in Surrey, BC and the Ace Badminton Centre in Richmond, BC. The Eagles are active in the conference with staff members on various advisory committees and competing to host both provincial and national championships. The student-athletes are mainly from the lower mainland but KPU’s rosters have included student-athletes from North America, South America, Asia and Europe.