The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team improved to 7-8 in conference play with a 74-46 win over the host UBC Okanagan Heat in Kelowna, B.C., on Friday night.
Debbie Yeboah of Winnipeg led UVic with a double-double on 18 points and 10 rebounds. Sarah Semeniuk of Fruitvale, B.C. had a strong night, netting eight points and adding 10 rebounds and doing a remarkable job defensively on Roslyn Huber of the Heat – holding the star to six points while forcing seven turnovers and early foul trouble. Semeniuk had four steals on the night.
Also with a strong night for UVic was guard Cassandra Goodis of Penticton, B.C. The Okanagan Valley product scored seven points but was most impressive defensively, adding five assists, seven steals and three rebounds. Allison Mulock of North Vancouver, B.C., was terrific off the bench with 16 points and three steals along with four rebounds.
Emily Kanester was the lone Heat player in double-digit scoring, putting up 11 points for the host UBC Okanagan squad which falls to 2-13.
The two teams face each other again in the second half of the two-game weekend series on Saturday Feb. 4 at 4 p.m. (LIVE STATS AND VIDEO at http://canadawest.tv)
On Friday night, UVic opened with a 13-2 lead in the first 6:30 of the quarter, paced by strong performances from Semeniuk and Renfrew with four points each. But the Heat went on a 8-6 run to lose out the quarter to cut the lead to 18-10 at the quarter break.
“We did not play startlingly well, but just had a good effort,” said Vikes head coach Rich Chambers. “Ally (Allison Mulock) had a good game, and Sarah (Semeniuk) played really well even though I did not play her very much in the second half. As did Cassandra, who also did not play a lot in second half.”
Chambers said the defensive effort was the most impressive facet of the game from his perspective.
“Sarah did an outstanding job on their top scorer and we had a lot of players with improved efforts. Jessica Renfrew played well tonight, as did Cassandra,” Chambers added. “Now we have to get the job done again tomorrow night to keep ourselves in the hunt.”
The Vikes spread their cushion to 25-12 two minutes into the second quarter, leading by as much as 23, still ahead 39-16 at half.
UVic led 55-31 after three quarters and continued to play strong defensive ball in the fourth.
With Thompson Rivers recording a 66-61 upset win over Trinity Western, the Vikes could move into a playoff position tomorrow night with another win over the Heat. Trinity Western sits at 8-8 with a game in had on the Vikes. A UVic win over UBC Okanagan Saturday night would vault the Vikes into a tie with Trinity Western for the third and final playoff spot in the Pacific Division setting up an important home-and-home series with the first-place UBC Thunderbirds (12-3) in which UVic would need at least one win to secure a post-season position. The Spartans face Thompson Rivers again on Saturday and close out the season against Fraser Valley on Feb. 9.
The Vikes, Spartans and WolfPack are all still in contention of the final playoff spot in the Pacific Division.
NOTES: This was UBC Okanagan’s CIS Shoot For A Cure game to raise funds for breast-cancer research as both teams donned pink to support the cause… UVic will host its annual Shoot For A Cure fund-raising game on Feb. 17 in the season finale against the UBC Thunderbirds at 6 p.m. at McKinnon Gymnasium.