Young wills UBC to a comeback victory

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VANCOUVER — Fifth-year guard Kris Young scored the final eight points of the game to give her No. 2-ranked UBC Thunderbirds (1-0) a 63-60 comeback victory over the University of Victoria Vikes (2-1) on Friday night at War Memorial Gymnasium.

With UBC down 60-55 with three minutes to go, Young hit two free throws and then massive back-to-back jump shots, the second with just nine seconds left in the game to put her team back in the lead 61-60.

Despite Young’s heroics, Victoria had one last chance to win the game and head coach Dani Sinclair drew up a perfect play. Coming off a back screen, Jenna Bugiardini had a wide-open layup opportunity for the win but UBC guard Cassandra Knievel came out of nowhere to knock the shot away and perserve the home side’s slim lead.

On that game winning block, Knievel said: “I don’t know what happened, the player who was marking Bugiardini tripped and fell so I knew I had to do something so I jumped and blocked that shot.”

The Vikes fouled on the ensuing inbounds play and Young finished the game off with two more free throws. She scored 23 points, 10 of them in the deciding fourth quarter, to lead UBC. The North Vancouver native added 16 rebounds in a spectacular performance. Harleen Sidhu chipped in with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Bugiardini was just as good for Victoria, notching 32 points on 13-of-24 shooting from the field.

Before Young’s late-game surge, it was the Vikes who had an 8-0 run of their own to take the lead 60-55. Cassandra Goodis hit a pair of foul shots. Bugiardini followed up with two of her own and then a layup with 3:06 to push her team back in the lead 56-55. Amira Giannattasio capped off the run with an inside layup that gave Victoria its biggest lead of the night.

Young’s foul shot with 2:11 left before halftime gave UBC its largest advantage at 36-25, and the home side took a 39-31 lead into the mid-game break.

The Vikes got back into the proceedings in the third with a momentum-changing 12-0 run, with six of those points coming from Bugiardini, to take a 45-43 lead with 3:49 left, setting up the fantastic final quarter of play.

“We played good defence but we stalled offensively in the third quarter which hurt us a little bit, but at the end it was a good win,” said Knievel.

Victoria made 24 of its 63 shots from the field for a 38.1 per cent clip, while UBC was 24-of-68 (35.3 per cent) on Friday night. The T-Birds also outrebounded the Vikes 49-40. 
 
The teams will meet again at 5 p.m. on Saturday at War Memorial Gym.
 

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