Perimeter power propels Vikes over No. 9 Birds on Shoot for the Cure night

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by Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

February 14, 2014, VICTORIA (ISN) – All the pieces came together in the final home game for the University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team who knocked off their mainland rivals and the CIS No. 9-ranked UBC Thunderbirds 85-73 on February 14 at McKinnon Gym.

The Vikes women drained nine three-pointers to contribute to the night’s Shoot for the Cure three-point challenge. The Vikes now tie the T-Birds in the standings, both with a 15-6 record in the Pacific Division.

BOX SCORE

Consistent performance from the entire bench is something that Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair knew she needed to get the job done and that’s just what she got. Four players finished in double digits including Jenna Bugiardini with a game-high 25 points, while third year Shaylyn Crisp put up three treys to finish with 16 points. Fourth-year duo Jessica Renfrew and Cassandra Goodis chipped in with 13 points each, while fifth year Sarah Semeniuk capped off her final regular season home game with a game-high 10 rebounds.

UBC had an incredible shooting percentage of 56 per cent from beyond the arc thanks to five three pointers from Cassandra Knievel and a 22-point performance from Kris Young. Knievel finished with 20 points while guard Maggie Sundberg had 16. The Vikes held fourth year Harleen Sidhu to eight points but the six-foot-two forward still led the visitors with seven rebounds.

“We were a bit over excited in the opening of the game but we made some big stops and had a great team win against two of the best players in the conference (Young and Sidhu),” said Dani Sinclair, Vikes head coach. “We played solid for all 40 minutes and that’s what you need to do win games against teams like this. I am really proud of the full team effort tonight.”

The home team got off to a brief 4-0 run that was quickly squashed as the CIS-ranked T-Birds sorted themselves to go on a 9-0 run. The first quarter flew by as the Vikes shot 50 per cent while UBC was at 71 and four-for-five on three-pointers. The Vikes broke the T-Birds hot streak with a bucket from Bugiardini but back-to-back threes from Sundberg and Knievel continued the visitors towards a 17-6 edge midway through the quarter.

A much-needed time out was called by Vikes head coach Sinclair and it proved to make a difference as third-year guard Jenny Lewis drained Victoria’s three to get them back on the board. A slow clime back with some good play down low by Nicole Karstein helped the Vikes cut the lead to under 10.

UBC third year Knievel and second year Sundberg led the charge for the visitors, each with eight first-quarter points to grab a 28-19 lead entering the second.

It was a different story in the second quarter as the Vikes out-scored the T-Birds 24-12 thanks to the hot hands of Bugiardini. An 11-point quarter from the second year helped get the Vikes tied at 37 with three minutes left before the break. Renfrew started to find some rhythm earning all seven of her first-half points in a six-minute span.

Nine UBC turnovers allowed the Vikes to capitalize big on the counter-attack including the final play that allowed Goodis to spring Renfrew the buzzer-beater lay up that gave the home team 43-40 edge at half time.

It was a back-and-forth third quarter as both teams continue to shoot impressively from distance. The T-Birds got off to a good start with a 9-0 run solely from Knievel, including the completion of a four-point play after being fouled on a long three. The Vikes eventually found their stride with good transition and patient passing and were rewarded with small runs of their own to stay on pace basket for basket.

Late in the quarter UBC gave up several turnovers that led to a 7-0 run for the Vikes to have the home team enter the fourth with a 67-60 edge. After three quarters Knievel was five-for-six on threes while the ‘Birds were 67 per cent from the beyond the arc and the Vikes were 54.

To open the fourth Sundberg hit her third and forth three on sequential plays, while Sidhu’s jumper brought the T-Birds back within one, down 69-68. Third year Crisp hit her third three of the night after a UBC turnover to get the Vikes back up and take a 75-70 lead a minute later. On a following T-Birds turnover Crisp drained a very long two to get the Vikes up 77-70, forcing UBC head coach Deb Huband to call a time out with five minutes left to go.

The Vikes kept their high-intensity pressure up, forcing several uncharacteristic UBC turnovers. It was an 18-13 scoring quarter in favour of Victoria who went on to oust the ‘Birds 85-73 in their final regular season home game. Following the match the Vikes honoured graduating seniors Allison Mulock and Semeniuk.

“It was Sarah’s last home game and it was her day to shine. She really carried us today defensively and as happy as we are with the win, we know we have a job still to do tomorrow,” added Sinclair.

The Vikes and T-Birds will close out their regular season tomorrow, Feb. 15, in Vancouver at War Memorial Gym at 5 p.m. On the line will be second place in the Pacific Division but ultimately hosting right for the Canada West quarter-finals best-of-three series set for Feb. 28 – Mar. 1. All games will be broadcast live at canadawest.tv.

SCORING SUMMARY

UBC: 28-12-20-13 : 73

UVIC: 19-24-24-18 : 85

SCORING LEADERS

UBC: Kris Young (22), Cassandra Knievel (20), Maggie Sundberg (16)

UVIC: Jenna Bugiardini (25), Shaylyn Crisp (16), Jessica Renfrew (13), Cassandra Goodis (13)

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