Junior guard Leif Anderson fights up the court against SFU. // Photo by Emily Porter
The Vikings escaped with a homecourt victory, 89-81, against Great Northwest Athletic Conference rival Simon Fraser University on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at Sam Carver Gymnasium. Juniors Tucker Eenigenburg and Trevor Jasinsky each contributed 20-plus points to pace the Western win.
This contest was the first game back home for the Vikings after playing two on the road last week. The home cooking was evident as they entered the game with abundant hustle and high energy. They maintained a high tempo throughout the first half of the game with Eenigenburg leading the Vikings with his hot shooting, scoring 10 points in the first half.
At the break, the frustrated Canadian visitors retreated to the locker room, down 16 points. However after the break, Simon Fraser came back in the second half to nearly overtake the Vikings.
With 10 minutes left in the game, Simon Fraser evened the score at 64-64. At this point it was anybody’s game, but the shift in tone made the Vikings dig deep and work harder. They utilized not only their defensive skills but especially their offensive skills to keep pace with SFU’s improved second-half shooting.
Jasinsky was the top-scorer for the Vikings in the second half, and his 10 points through the half helped the Vikings match Simon Fraser’s offensively-focused game style.
With 2:10 left on the clock the score was 78-75, with the Vikings only leading by three. Through the remainder of the game, both teams made numerous shots. But in the end it was the Vikings’ defense that came through and secured a close homecourt win.
The Vikings’ victory improved their home record to 5-1 and conference mark to 4-3, good enough for fifth place in the GNAC.
The Vikings will take on Montana State Billings Thursday night at 7 p.m, Jan. 17 at Carver Gym.