Andy Watson

VICTORIA – A 31-point third quarter helped the UVic Vikes women’s basketball team to come from behind to defeat the Thompson Rivers WolfPack 73-65 at Ken and Kathy Shields Court at McKinnon Gymnasium in front of over 1,000 fans on Friday night.


With the win, the Vikes improve to 3-2, while the WolfPack slip to 3-2. They will play again in Victoria on Saturday night at 5 p.m. (FULL SCHEDULE)

Jessica Renfrew of Victoria led UVic with 27 points and five rebounds, with 18 of her points coming in the third quarter. Debbie Yeboah of Winnipeg was inspirational, adding 20 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Cassandra Goodis of Penticton, B.C., added 12 points an seven rebounds.

Fruitvale, B.C., native Sarah Semeniuk, who got into early foul trouble, came back in the second half to chip in with nine rebounds and was especially effective in helping to close the game out late in the fourth.

Jen Ju of Vancouver was lethal for the WolfPack. Despite being held to 7-for-21 shooting, she still put up 19 points in the loss. Diane Schuetze of Vernon, B.C., added 12 points but the CIS leading rebounder managed to just pull down one board – and UVic’s heart on the glass to outrebound Thompson Rivers was the difference in the game.

“I wasn’t really thinking out there, I was just trying to do what was needed,” said Renfrew. “In the past I’ve thought too much about what I’m doing and tonight I just put my head down and did what I could to help the team.”

It was a sloppy start for both teams, with six turnovers in first two and a half minutes. UVic led 11-10 after the first. Semeniuk picked up her second foul with over three minutes left in the frame, allowing for a mismatch for the WolfPack in the post.

Thompson Rivers exploited the advantage with Semeniuk on the bench and went on several runs in the second quarter and led 34-29 at the half.

A critical 8-0 run midway through the third quarter spurred by strong defence helped UVIc to get back into the contest.

First Yeboah got to the line and drained a pair of free-throws, then some in-your-face UVic defence forced a turnover which led to a Goodis pass to Renfrew for an open three.

The run continued after another great defensive stance and Goodis drained a three of her own before a time-out was called by Thompson Rivers.

On the ensuing possession, the Vikes stole the ball and Renfrew drained another bomb from beyond the arc to give UVic a 48-43 lead. She was not done. Another Renfrew steal and layup in transition stretched the lead to 50-43, a lead the Vikes would never surrender.

Another layup and a big three late in the quarter put turned the game around completely.

“We really dug deep,” Renfrew said. “And Nat (Janssens) stepped up when Sarah (Semeniuk) got into foul trouble and gave us some great minutes. We just tried to fight through the size (disadvantage) and we gave a great effort tonight.”