Cap and Quest defeated in Basketball

January 22nd, 2013

Davidson still has scoring touch

Former Wellington Wildcat returned to Mariners to play with younger brother, scores 19 in win

Josh Aldrich
Daily News


Ryan Davidson returned to the Vancouver Island University Mariners men's basketball team for the opportunity to play with his younger brother.

On Saturday, Davidson showed he is much more than just a bit piece, scoring a game-high 19 points to lead the Mariners to a 93-59 win over the Capilano University Blues in Pacific Western Athletic Association action.

Brandon Jones ad Clayton Billett added 18 points each while Adam Connolly had 13 and Jason McKee 12. The Blues were led by Vincent Selina with 18 points.

VIU was on fire from the perimeter early, hitting on 11 of 15 three-pointers in the first half as they took a 66-26 lead through two quarters and never looked back.

If the Mariners are going to be a legitimate contender this year, they are going to need more performances like this one from the 25-year-old Davidson.

"It felt good, I came out and my shot was really going, so I just kept to it, played off of that and used the energy to keep going," he said.

Davidson's game has changed quite a bit since graduating from Wellington Secondary seven years ago. He redshirted for a year at the University of Victoria, then transferred to VIU where he played on two of former coach Tony Bryce's first teams. But he decided he needed to focus more on his academics and spent the last two seasons out of basketball altogether.

Last year, his younger brother Trevor Davidson, 20, played his first season in the PacWest at VIU and Ryan was coaxed into coming back.

"That was the goal this year," said Davidson. "Growing up, I've got an older brother too (Brett Davidson, 30), so we always hooped in the driveway and were real competitive."

Mariners head coach Matt Kuzminski was very familiar with Davidson. The two played against each other growing up playing for rival schools - Kuzminski is a Dover Bay alum - and then they spent one year together at UVic before they both transferred out.

Davidson's game has changed greatly since those days. During his first stint of college basketball, he was a "skinny, little guard," but at six-foot-three he has filled out and matured as a player and now plays more of a power forward.

On Saturday, Davidson finished 5-for-10, including 3-for-7 from three-point range, for 19 points and five rebounds.

Kuzminski is hoping to get more performances out of Davidson like this as they prepare for playoffs. Before Saturday's game, Davidson's season-high was 15 points in VIU's second game of the year, a 77-60 win over Douglas College on Nov. 9.

"He's a scorer, he's always been a scorer, and going ahead, he's going to be an X-factor for us," said Kuzminski. "If he can come in and give us that spark off the bench, he makes us a much better team."

The Mariners were playing the game down three of their big guns - Jon Bethell (foot), Jess Black (hamstring) and Trevor Davidson (dislocated finger) - but they should all be back in action in the next couple of weeks.

"As long as we can maintain our health, we should be going into the final push fairly healthy," said Kuzminski.

VIU is in Abbotsford on Friday to play the Columbia Bible College Bearcats (5-8) at 8 p.m., and then are in Surrey on Saturday to play the Kwantlen Eagles (4-9) at 3 p.m.

Mariners 73, Blues 43

The VIU Mariners women's basketball team capped a dominant weekend with a 73-43 win over the first-place Capilano Univeristy Blues (11-2) at VIU on Saturday.

Leading the way for the M's (85) was Shayna Worthington who had scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had eight steals.

Erin Vekic and Jocelyn Jones both chipped in with 13 points for VIU while Michelle Errico led Capilano with 11 points.

The 30-point win followed a 6839 win over the Quest Kermodes on Friday.

"The score doesn't really matter at this point, just the fact we got two wins is very important going forward," said head coach Bill McWhinnie.

Worthington finished two steals shy of a triple-double and McWhinnie is hoping she has a few more games like that under her belt as VIU tries to climb up the PacWest standings.

VIU was 4-4 in the first half of the season and has now improved to 8-5 and has jumped into third place.

"(Worthington) is so important to us, I'm glad she had a breakout game and hopefully that will give her some confidence going forward because we'll need her," said McWhinnie.

VIU hits the road next week, playing the CBC Bearcats (013) on Friday at 6 p.m. and the Kwantlen Eagles (7-6) on Saturday at 1 p.m.