Nathan Crosby, Sports Editor Ω
Six years after joining the league, the men’s basketball team beat a top 10 CIS ranked team.
The WolfPack were down by 21 points at one point in the second quarter but clawed back in the third to win 91-83 over the University of Fraser Valley Cascades.
It was their first ever win over a CIS ranked team since joining the Canada West, beating the seventh-ranked Cascades at the Tournament Capital Centre on Nov. 5.
“We fought hard, coach kept telling us to keep rebounding and that’s what we did and we stuck to it,” WolfPack forward Justin King said.
He led the WolfPack offense with his second double-double of the season with 32 points and 10 rebounds.
“We knew we couldn’t give it away, especially for all the fans that came out and supported us,” he said.
The Cascades were led by offensive weapons Kyle Grewal and Sam Freeman, who beat the ‘Pack the night before 77-69 in the season opener on Nov.4.
“It’s really important to get an early win, especially with all these young guys,” WolfPack forward Chas Kok said.
“Coach said we have to compete and if we don’t, we are going to get blown out of the water.”
‘Pack point guard Kevin Pribilsky was named Leader of the Pack for another strong performance with 12 points, including a clutch three in the fourth quarter.
Pribilsky led all Canada West players in court time in the 2010-2011 season, averaging 35.1 minutes a game.
He once again had lots of time on the court with teammate Chas Kok.
“I believe every single time I throw him [Pribilsky] the ball, regardless of where it is on our side of the court; he’s going to make a three from anywhere,” Kok said.
It looked like the WolfPack were en route to starting 0-2 after a rough first half, trailing the Cascades 49-32.
WolfPack head coach Scott Clark was charged with a technical foul and things looked like they would go from bad to worse.
Clark’s determination to motivate his team finally caught in the second half when the WolfPack went an incredible run, outscoring the Cascades 59-24.
“It’s all the players,” coach Clark said.
“We said, ‘let’s compete and take it possession by possession. Let’s see if we can get this thing down to single digits,’ and we did.
“The guys did the work, I never made a jump shot, I never did nothing. It was all them.”
The Cascades kept the ‘Pack offense in check for the first half, but ran out of gas trying to contain Justin King’s 32 point night.
King committed to the ‘Pack this past summer and after one weekend of play, has shown head coach Scott Clark he is ready to be the game-changer TRU is looking for.
“I knew we were getting a pretty good player with him, probably more than I bargained for, so it makes me look like a pretty good coach and he’s a smart guy,” coach Clark said.
King had 20 points and 16 rebounds in his first game for the ‘Pack on Nov. 4 in a losing effort in TRU’s season opener. He said the individual wasn’t important in the team’s win.
“I’m just going out there playing hard for my teammates, trying to get the W and I was fortunate to have two big games.”