The 2013 Canada West Final Four treated us to four highly competitive games over two days at UBC’s historic War Memorial Gym. Throw in season-high crowds, plus some impressive individual performances, and it made for great weekend of basketball.

After a quarter final round last weekend that had an average margin of victory in the mid-teens, it was a nice change to have four tightly contested games. NPH’s own Wayne Thomas recapped day one here, so let’s take a look at Saturday night’s final, featuring the two teams that will represent the Canada West at the CIS Final 8:

University of British Columbia 72 – University of Victoria 69

Coming into the game with five straight victories, including a 3-0 record in the playoffs and a late season home-and-home sweep of UBC, the Victoria Vikes looked to be in a great position to take the Canada West crown.

UVic big man Chris McLaughlin started out 3-3 from the field and scored Victoria’s first 9 points before heading to the Vikes bench with two early fouls. UVic would take a 21-17 lead into the second quarter, but with McLaughlin on the bench for the rest of the half they were outscored 22-8 and trailed by 10 at the break.

The story for the host Thunderbirds was the play of fifth year senior Doug Plumb. After averaging only 9 points per game in last weekend’s three game series with Alberta, Plumb broke out for 22 points on 7-8 shooting and 7-11 from the line. The 6-4 guard also added team highs in both rebounds (9) and assists (5).

While UBC was in control for the majority of the second half, Victoria used a late run to cut the lead to three late in the fourth. On their last possession, senior guard Brandon Dunlop –who put together a solid game off the UVic bench, tallying 12 points in 31 minutes of action – had an open look to tie it, but it fell just short.

Of note, Victoria’s bench accounted for 35 of their 69 points, with Dunlop and 4th year guard Terrell Evans scoring 12 apiece and playing 30+ minutes. Chris McLaughlin was the high scorer for UVic with 21 points and 6 rebounds in only 22 minutes of work.

For the T-Birds, Tommy Nixon added 13 off the bench and Jordan Jensen-Whyte chipped in with 10 points and 2 assists.

Both teams will advance to this weekend’s CIS Final 8, and UBC was granted the fourth seed and will take on wildcard entry Acadia in the opening round. UVic drew the eighth seed and will face off against the host, and prohibitive favorite, Carleton Ravens.

CIS Final 8 action tips off this Friday, March 8th from Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, and the full schedule can be found here

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