By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
February 15, 2013, Vancouver, BC (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team will not be getting any home-court advantage in the playoffs, as the No. 5 UBC Thunderbirds came out on top 64-54 on Feb. 15 at War Memorial Gym in Vancouver.
The Vikes women needed a weekend sweep in their final home-and-home series against the Birds but will now fall to a 15-6 record, while the Birds are lifted 17-4 in the Canada West.
Despite a very tight opening three quarters of ball, the Vikes were held to a 33 shooting per centage from the floor. A gritty performance by Victoria-native Jessica Renfrew earned her 17 points and three steals in the game. Debbie Yeboah (Winnipeg, MB) was the only other double-digit scorer, finishing the night also with 17 points and five rebounds.
For the Thunderbirds, five-foot-ten guard Kris Young showed so much ease cutting through the paint, earning her a game-high 22 points. Stelly’s Secondary grad and fifth year Leigh Stansfield tallied 19 points and 11 rebounds in the night’s win.
The Vikes ran the floor well in the opening quarter, forcing the Birds to concede 11 turnovers and shoot 36 per cent from the floor. Third-year Renfrew put up 10 early points including a long-range shot at the buzzer to put the visiting Vikes up 17-8 at the first break.
Momentum shifted as third-year T-Bird Young did all the hard work to cut the Vikes’ lead to one, earning eight points in the second quarter. UBC’s Adrienne Parkin sealed a jumper before the half time break to give the Birds a 27-26 edge entering half. For the Vikes, veteran Yeboah put up seven second-quarter points but a lack of conversion in the paint combined with foul trouble left the Vikes out-scored 19-9.
End-to-end scoring was the trend in the third as Victoria’s Renfrew first got the Vikes caught up and tied at 28 and then sealed two two shots from the line to take the lead. Parkin responded for the Birds, which was followed up by Victoria’s Yeboah as both teams continued to trade buckets.
Renfrew sunk her third trey of the night but UBC’s Young responded with her own from the top of the arc to give the Birds a six-point lead. UBC’s Stansfield put in a quick jumper with next to no time on the clock to help the T-Birds out-score the visitors 18-11 in the third to earn a 45-37 edge entering the fourth.
The Birds found some scoring comfort in the final quarter, but the Vikes hung in there as UBC earned a 19-17 scoring edge. Young’s second three of the night gave the Birds a 12-point advantage mid-way through the quarter, while a series of UBC foul shots continued to extend their lead.
With two minutes on the clock, second-year Jordyn Newman (White Rock, BC) drained a shot from distance but it would not be enough as the Birds finished strong to win 64-54. The Birds improve to 17-4, while the Vikes drop to 15-6 and turn around to host UBC Saturday, Feb. 16, at McKinnon Gymnasium at 5 p.m.
“I thought we gave in,” said Vikes associate coach Dani Sinclair. “Don’t get me wrong, [UBC] is a fantastic team and they took it to us but we just didn’t respond. They were too much for us to handle inside and Kris Young kind of took over the game. We need to respond better when teams do that to us.”
With the loss, the Vikes will be relegated to travel for the conference quarter-finals, with the destination to be determined following tomorrow’s Prairie Division games.
SCORING BY QUARTER
UVIC: 17-9-11-17 : 54
UBC: 8-19-18-19 : 64
UVIC: Jessica Renfrew (17), Debbie Yeboah (17)
UBC: Kris Young (22), Leigh Stansfield (19)