Andy Watson

It’s a tale of two teams on Friday night as the red-hot Winnipeg Wesmen host the University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team on Friday Jan. 20 at 4 p.m. (PST)


It is arguably a must-win game for the 5-7 Vikes, currently tied for fourth spot and out of the playoff picture in the Pacific Division.

Meanwhile, Winnipeg (7-5) has won three straight to move into a tie for fourth spot in the Canada West Prairie Division, likely putting themselves into a spot to vie for a playoff berth when the season ends in February.

What happens on the court in Winnipeg on Friday night could have a major impact on the playoff future for both teams.

The Wesmen boast the best defence in the Canada West, allowing a conference low average of 57 points per game, and are the best offensive rebounding team in the conference averaging 16.4 a game.

Winnipeg’s Yael Kaplan of is tied for 21st in the Canada West averaging 11.7 points per game, but it’s been Amy Ogidan’s outstanding shot-blocking (1.2 BPG, T-3 Canada West) and rebounding (7.1 RPG, 7th Canada West) that has given the Wesmen an edge as of late – 34 of her 85 rebounds have come on the offensive glass.

Debbie Yeboah of Winnipeg continues to be the Vikes top scorer (14.5 PPG, 7th in Canada West), and returning to her hometown for two important games this weekend will only add inspiration. Jessica Renfrew of Victoria is the next-best UVic scorer averaging 11.3 points per game, while Chelsea McMullen of Prince George has been inspirational lately, leading the Vikes offence and making great second efforts in the paint.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Vikes face a struggling Manitoba team, as the Bisons women enter the weekend on a six-game losing skid. On paper, the streak should move to seven games as Manitoba faces the powerhouse UBC Thunderbirds (8-2) on Friday night.

Mubo Ilelaboye is the Bisons top scorer, averaging 12 points per game (T-18th in Canada West).


Record: 7-5, T-4th Prairie Division, Canada West

Recent Games: Three-game winning steak with victories over Brandon (71-25 and 63-47) and UBC-Okanagan (76-64)

2011-12 Wins: Brandon (2), UBC-Okanagan (1), Manitoba (2), Lethbridge (2)

2011-12 Losses: Trinity Western (1), Fraser Valley (1), Alberta (2), Thompson Rivers (1)

Did you know: The Wesmen are currently tied with Calgary for the final playoff spot in the Prairie Division but face teams with .500 or better records following Friday’s UVic game

Remaining Games:

Jan. 20 vs UVic

Jan. 21 vs UBC

Jan. 27 and 28 vs. Regina

Feb. 3 and 4 vs Saskatchewan

Feb. 10 and 11 vs. Calgary


Record: 3-9, 6th Prairie Division, Canada West

Recent Games: Six-game losing streak with losses to Regina (105-52, 84-60), Thompson Rivers (67-49), UBC-Okanagan (74-61), Winnipeg (56-42, 72-53)

2011-12 Wins: Brandon (2), Trinity Western (1)

2011-12 Losses: Regina (2), Thompson River (1), UBC-Okanagan (1), Winnipeg (2), Fraser Valley (1), Alberta (2)

Did you know: The Bisons have not won at home this season (0-5)

Remaining Games:

Jan. 20 vs. UBC

Jan. 21 vs. UVic

Jan. 27 and 28 vs Lethbridge

Feb. 2 and 3 vs Calgary

Feb. 10 and 11 v Saskatchewan