Sometimes in the game of basketball, your shot just won’t fall. On Wednesday, Nov. 18, the Vikings were no different as they watched their opponent, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, drain one after another winning by a 13-point margin, 93-80.
After the game, head coach Tony Dominguez voiced his displeasure with the final outcome.
“We didn’t play well tonight, definitely struggled in every area which is very unusual, we haven’t done that in a long time,” Dominguez said.
The Vikings hovered around a five-point deficit all game and never closed the gap. Anytime they would make a shot, BYU-Hawaii would march back down the court and make one. The Seasiders were led by their 6-foot-11 center Ian Harward, who would end the night shooting 12-14 with 28 points and nine rebounds.
“We did lots of different things against him and the way [the referees] were calling the game we didn’t know how we were supposed to defend him because he was able to do whatever he wanted to do,” Dominguez said.
Junior forward Jeffrey Parker led Western with 26 points and two blocks, but shot 10-21 from the field. Senior guard Ricardo Maxwell had 17 points and six assists while shooting 6-12 and senior center Blake Bowen came off the bench to add 16 points shooting 7-9.
Starting off, BYU-Hawaii had definite game momentum. In the first half, the Seasiders made 65.5 percent of its shots for a game average of 59.3 percent. The team also shot 90 percent from the free-throw line. In comparison, the Vikings shot 46 percent from the field and made only 64 percent of its free-throws in the second half.
Although he lead the team in scoring, Parker knew the team needed to play a lot better as a whole, especially on defense if it wants to make a deep run this season.
“We just weren’t in defensive sync tonight,” Parker said. (00:08) “We let them get a lot of easy points. Their big man was killing us on the inside, but that’s stuff we got to work on in practice and we will. We’ll get it together.”
Three key takeaways from this game for the Vikings:
- Better defense. Western can’t give the opposing team easy looks or let it pass as effectively as it did during this game. Parker said they are best when they hold teams to 60 or 70 points.
- Double team big men in the post. Dominguez said this is not something they have practiced much of but will start to after getting walked on by Harward.
- Shoot a higher FG percentage. The numbers don’t look as bad on paper, but especially in the first half, nothing was falling for the Vikings. In the second half, Parker and Maxwell started to be more aggressive on offense, but other players like senior center Mac Johnson, senior guard Kyle Impero and sophomore guard Brett Kingma made 13 points combined and shot 4-16.
Next up for the Vikings is a home game against Flagler College at 7 p.m. on Friday Nov. 20, at the Whatcom Community College Pavilion.