Vikes look to secure playoff spot in UNBC double header

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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

January 30, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The No. 9 University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team have an important pair of games this weekend, Feb. 1-2, against Canada West newcomers, the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves.

With only six regular season games left, the 11-5 Vikes will need two wins this weekend to keep them in the top four of the Pacific Division.

The UNBC Timberwolves are currently 6-10 and chase the Vikes in the standings. The Vikes will face the Timberwolves, the Mount Royal Cougars (5-11) and the No. 5 UBC Thunderbirds (12-4), each for two games in the next three weekends. The top two of the Pacific Division will earn quarter-final hosting rights in the best of three series, Feb. 22-24. The winners will move on to the Canada West Final Four, Mar. 1-2.

Last weekend, Jan. 25-26, the Vikes split their double header with Thompson Rivers with a 71-67 victory on the Friday and a 73-63 loss on the Saturday. Fifth-year guard Debbie Yeboah (Winnipeg, MB) was the scoring leader shooting double digits both nights, while Jenny Lewis (Fall River, NS) and Tessla Rennie (Red Lodge, MT) have emerged as confident supporting cast members.

Despite the loss to the WolfPack, the Vikes are still 5-1 for their 2013 record entering this weekend and will lean on Jessica Renfrew (Victoria, BC) and Yeboah, the team’s scoring leaders, to keep the team on scoring track. Cassandra Goodis (Penticton, BC) and Chelsea McMullen (Prince George, B.C.) are also regular starters and contributers who will look to show consistency over the next three weekends.

Looking down the roster, rookie Jenna Bugiardini (Hamilton, ON) has shown little shyness to get gritty on the court, as the five-foot-eleven forward has started all but three games and averages 5.4 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game.

The 10-member roster for the UNBC Timberwolves are led by fourth-year guard Mercedes Van Koughnett. The five-foot-ten Prince George native leads the team in scoring (average 12.8 points per game), three-point percentage (.358) and rebounds (average 7.9 per game). Other players to watch include fellow fourth years Emily Kaehn andJennifer Bruce.

The Vikes and Timberwolves tip off on Friday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. Both games will take place at McKinnon Gymnasium and will be broadcast live at http://UVic.canadawest.tv.

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