Vikes undefeated in four with sweep over Cougars

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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

February 9, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team picked up their fourth consecutive victory with a convincing 94-58 win over the Mount Royal Cougars on Feb. 9 in Calgary.

The Vikes improve to 15-5, still with quarter-final hosting hopes, while the Cougars drop to 5-15.

The Vikes were led in scoring by first-year Jenna Bugiardini (Hamilton, ON), who put up a game-high 20 points after going 4-6 on three-pointers and 50 per cent from the field. Fifth-year Debbie Yeboah (Winnipeg, MB) was quiet in the first game against the Cougars but came alive for 19 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Two other Vikes tallied in double digits including Tessla Rennie (Red Lodge, MT) with 13 points and Jessica Renfrew (Victoria, BC) with 12.

Senior Emily Larson closed out her final game on home court with 13 points for the Cougars, while third-year Hilary Annich added 12. Larson also added three steals and three rebounds, while Annich was 3-5 from beyond the arc.

“The biggest thing we improved on was our defence in transition and picking up their shooters better,” said Vikes associate coach Dani Sinclair. “Tess helped us early on defensively, matching up well against their post and then finishing with a double-double. That was a huge spark for us. Also, Jenna was on a roll hitting some big shots.”

Following Friday’s 79-50 victory, it was not surprising that the Vikes found success early. Despite the final scoring margin of 36, it was the Cougars who got on the board first going on a short 4-0 run. Second-year Vike Shaylyn Crisp (Victoria, B.C.) hit her first shot of the night from three-point land to help set the tone as the Vikes finished the quarter on a 10-0 run to cruise to a 28-15 opening quarter.

Play continued in the visitor’s favour as Yeboah hit back-to-back threes to extend the Vikes’ lead to 17. Putting up their own long-range shots following were Vikes Allison Mulock (North Vancouver, BC), Renfrew and Bugiardini. Tough work under the hoop by Rennie was also key as the Vikes took a 51-28 edge entering half.

In the third, the feisty Cougars pushed back as the Vikes out-scored the Cougars only 23-19. Cougars’ Annich hit two and Larson hit one three-pointer to chip away at the Vikes’ lead but it would not be enough as Vikes starters Chelsea McMullen (Prince George, B.C.), Cassandra Goodis (Penticton, BC), Bugiardini, Renfrew and Yeboah effortlessly continued the scoring magic.

In the final quarter, the Vikes silenced the Cougars going 20-11 to end the game 94-58. The Vikes, now 15-5, will quickly turn around for next week’s home-and-home series with the UBC Thunderbirds as the playoff race narrows for the final Canada West weekend. The Vikes will need to win-out their remaining games and get some help from the other Pacific Division match-ups in order to get a chance at hosting the quarter-final, division cross-over games.

“We had two back-to-back, very good games and we are very happy with it,” said Sinclair following the weekend sweep. “We just want to keep building leading into playoffs but before that we have a huge weekend against UBC.”

BOX SCORE  /  FULL SCHEDULE

Next week’s games against the T-Birds will take place on Feb. 15, in Vancouver, and on Feb. 16, in Victoria. Both games will tip off at 5 p.m. and will be broadcast live at http://UVic.canadawest.tv. On Feb. 16, the Vikes will also host their sixth annual Shoot for the Cure event and will honour their graduating athletes competing in their final regular season home game.

SCORING BY QUARTER

UVIC: 28-23-23-20: 94

MRU: 15-13-19-11: 58

SCORING LEADERS

UVIC: Jenna Bugiardini (20), Debbie Yeboah (19)

MRU: Emily Larson (13), Hilary Annich (12)

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