The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team snapped its five-game losing streak, defeating the Manitoba Bisons 76-58 to improve to 6-8 and keep their playoff hopes alive with just four games left in the season.
The crucial win was a complete team effort for the visiting Vikes. Hometown girl and senior Vikes guard Debbie Yeobah of Winnipeg led UVic with 22 points and nine rebounds along with a steal. Cassandra Goodis of Penticton, B.C., added 17 points, seven steals, six assists and a block, and Victoria’s Jessica Renfrew netted 13 points and registered four steals. Sarah Semeniuk of Fruitvale, B.C., also had a double-double with 12 rebounds and 10 points.
With the loss, Manitoba falls to 3-11, and has now lost eight straight games. Stephanie Gill paced the Bisons with 16 points, while Mubo Ilelaboye scored 15. Bison and Czech Republic native Andrea Filipkova added eight points in the loss.
Manitoba led early in a seesaw start before Vikes pulled ahead for good, leading 16-11 with 4:03 to play. After the first, the score favoured UVic 20-15, paced by great balanced and led by a five-point and two-steal start from Shaylyn Crisp of Victoria. Gill had 11 first-quarter points for Manitoba.
The Vikes extended the lead to 36-28 thanks to a quick run led by the shooting and ball distribution of Goodis. Then Yeboah closed out the half with a great final two minutes, pulling her game total to 12 points and put UVic up by 10 points, 41-31 at the half.
UVic continued to lead 54-47 after the third with Yeboah and Goodis leading the charge, combining for half of the Vikes’ total points between them.
In the fourth, UVic stretched its lead to 60-50, and iced it on a Yeboah three that made it 63-50 with 6:30 left – a play set up by a strong defensive rebound from Chelsea McMullen of Prince George, B.C.
The Vikes will have a chance to rest with a bye weekend Jan. 27-2110 and will next play on the road in Kelowna, B.C., against the UBC Okanagan Heat, Feb. 2 and 3, with 6 p.m. starts both nights. The Vikes close out the season with a home and home with their rival, the UBC Thunderbirds, Feb. 10 in Vancouver and Feb. 17 at McKinnon Gymnasium on Shoot For The Cure night. Both tip-offs will be at 6 p.m.