A desperate University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team fell 72-64 to the Winnipeg Wesmen at the Duckworth Centre in Winnipeg on Friday night.
With the come-from-behind Wesmen win – Winnipeg outscored Victoria 22-12 in the fourth quarter – the playoff hopes for the Vikes get slimmer with just seven games remaining.
UVic falls to 5-8 with the loss while Winnipeg improves to 8-5. The Vikes face the Manitoba Bisons (3-10) on Saturday night at 4 p.m. PST (LIVE STATS AND VIDEO AT CANADAWEST.TV). They are currently two games behind Trinity Western (7-6) for the final playoff spot in the Pacific Division in the Canada West.
On Friday night, Chelsea McMullen of Prince George, B.C., was outstanding for UVic, leading the team with 21 points and seven rebounds. Winnipeg native and Vikes senior guard Debbie Yeboah netted 13 points, while Victoria native Jessica Renfrew added 10. Sarah Semeniuk of Fruitvale, B.C., pulled down 16 rebounds and added seven points in the loss.
The Vikes struggled at the free-throw line going 8 for 18, and hitting just two three-pointers on 13 attempts. UVic was 27 for 65 from the field despite a hot shooting start (UVic was 10 for 14 from the floor after the opening quarter).
The Vikes out-rebounded the Wesmen 47-42.
Amy Ogidan scored a game-high 23 points to lead Winnipeg, adding 11 rebounds, four steals and a block. Stephanie Kleysen added 12 points and 16 rebounds, while Mackenzie Prasek also scored 14 points. Winnipeg struggled to score going just 22 for 67 from the field, but they scored nine three-pointers in the win and were very effective with their fourth-quarter opportunities.
UVic lead several times early, with McMullen scoring eight of the Vikes first 10 points, finishing with 12 of UVic’s 20 first-quarter points, posting an impressive 6-for-7 line to start the Vikes off with a 20-12 cushion at the first-quarter break. UVic was lights out, going 10-for-14 from the floor.
McMullen continued to shine in the second quarter, scoring again to help UVic lead 27-20.
UVic led 35-33 at the half and 52-50 after three quarters. But the Vikes ran out of gas in the fourth, and timely Wesmen shooting in the final five minutes proved to be the difference, highlighted by a Kleysen three-pointer that extended the lead to six points at 64-58 for Winnipeg with just over three minutes left.