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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

December 1, 2012, VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team let a 21-point lead slip away to concede a 63-58 loss to the University of Calgary Dinos on Saturday at McKinnon Gymnasium.

The win improves the Dinos’ record to 9-1, while the Vikes drop to 6-4 in both teams’ final game of 2012.

For Calgary, speedy guard Tamara Jarrett was the second-half spark, earning 17 points and seven rebounds, while Ashley Hirons was the X-factor that put up two treys in over time to end the game with 12 points. Kristie Sheils and Jessica Franz chipped in with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Victoria’s Jessica Renfrew (Victoria, BC) led the pack with 18 points and nine rebounds, while fifth-year Chelsea McMullen (Prince George, B.C.) had the toughest job of the night. McMullen tasked with neutralizing Franz and did so while adding 11 points and 14 rebounds. Fifth-year Debbie Yeboah (Winnipeg, MB) added 16 points, as well as the heroic trey that sent the game to over time.

From the opening whistle, both teams played gritty and aggressive defence, with the Vikes being the beneficiaries that kept Calgary off the board for almost four and a half minutes in the opening quarter. The Vikes had an early 8-0 streak to end the first quarter with a 16-6 lead.

The Vikes continued to run the floor in the second quarter despite some crafty persistence from Calgary’s Jarrett and Sheils. First-year Jenna Bugiardini (Hamilton, ON) found a sweet spot on the court, draining back-to-back perimeter shots to open the Vikes’ lead to 21. The Vikes dominated with 21 defensive rebounds in the opening half and 10 second-chance points to finish the half with a 33-18 edge.

In the second half, Jarrett put up seven opening points to help the Dinos chip away at the Vikes’ lead. Calgary continued to poor on pressure and capitalize on Vikes turnovers to out-score the Vikes 15-8 in the third quarter.

An even-matched fourth quarter found the Dinos finally tying the game 48-48 on a Franz lay up with two minutes on the clock. Both teams traded buckets but some foul trouble put the Vikes down by three with eight seconds on the clock. Yeboah nailed a three pointer to send the game, tied 53-53, to over time.

In over time, Hiron drained two shots from beyond the arc to give the Dinos some breathing room en route to a 63-58 victory.

Both teams will pick up Canada West action again on Jan. 11-12 with the Vikes on the road facing Winnipeg and Manitoba and the Dinos travelling to face UBC Okanagan and Thompson Rivers. All games will be broadcast live at http://canadawest.tv