The Voyageurs men's basketball team had their final pre-season tune-up this past weekend as they travelled to Manitoba to take on the Brandon Bobcats, Winnipeg Wesmen and Manitoba Bisons of the Canada West conference.
In Thursday's matchup against the Bobcats, the team's battled back and forth with offensive chances, ending the first quarter with the Voyageurs up 23-18. The second was a different story though, as the Bobcats put up 29 in the quarter, heading into the half up 47-42. After a successful regroup, the Voyageurs came out firing with a strong second half, leading the way to a 92-79 victory. Veteran guard, David Aromolaran was the game's high scorer draining 21 points and adding five assists. Anthony Iacoe added 18 points off the bench, while Nelson Yengue finished with 14.
In Friday's tussle against the University of Winnipeg, the team started the game with some strong defensive play and headed into the half up 48-39.
The Wesmen would come out of the half strong, slowly clawing their way back into the game. However, an outstanding performance from beyond the arc courtesy of veteran JD West, solidified the deal for the Voyageurs and the 87-81 victory.
West hit a career high 8 three-pointers and was the game's high scorer, draining 26 points, adding six rebounds. Kadre Gray chipped in with 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists. As a team, the Voyageurs shot 50% from the field, 48% from three and outrebounded the Wesmen 40-34.
In Saturday's finale, the Voyageurs upended the host University of Manitoba Bisons 87-80.
After a rough first quarter that saw the Voyageurs down 24-12, the group rebounded, draining 28 in the second, cutting the Bisons lead to just one at the half.
The team's would trade offensive chances in the third but the Voyageurs took over defensively in the fourth, holding the Bisons to just 14 points while netting 27 of their own and securing an 87-80 victory.
Gray collected a double-double (24 points and 11 rebounds) while also adding six assists. West added 15 of his own, going a perfect 5-5 from beyond the arc.
Head Coach Shawn Swords reflected on the Voyageurs' preseason weekend tallies and the strong finish on the defensive end in Saturday's finale. "We were able to bring the pressure we want for long stretches. Preseason is about building good habits and today was a day forward in that sense."
The Voyageurs will continue to prepare for the OUA regular season which commences on November 3rd as they welcome the Waterloo Warriors to the Ben Avery Gym at 8pm.