Vikes hoops fall to Vanguard in holiday exhibition tour

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by Vanguard Athletics

(ISN) – Costa Mesa, Calif. – Back in the friendly confines of The Pit, #3 Vanguard University (7-3) picked up a 80-72 non-conference victory over the University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team.

Senior Jessica Renfrew scored a game high 27 points and Jenna Bugiardini added 18 points along with 12 rebounds. Cassandra Goodis tossed out a game-high 16 assists in the loss that drops the Vikes record to 2-8.

Amber Alexander(JR/Grand Blanc, MI) scored a team-high 22 points, her highest total in a Lions uniform. Maya Kennedy (SO/Huntington Beach, CA), Samantha Doucette (JR/Irvine, CA), and Riley Holsinger (JR/Spokane, WA) added 54 of the Lions other 58 points.

The University of Victoria jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead with Jenna Krug and Shaylyn Crispboth knocking down three-point field goals.

Vanguard took their first lead of the game, 9-8, when Holsinger drained a jumper. Kennedy swished in a shot from distance on the following possession, pushing the lead to four points. Alexander dropped home a layup in the paint and added another point from the charity stripe, before getting in the action on the other end of the court by taking a charge to force a Vikes turnover.

In the first five minutes of the contest, the Lions had forced five turnovers including three steals.

Rounding the 12 minute mark, Vanguard maintained a 21-12 margin after Kennedy’s triple. Defensive pressure by Lauren Martin (JR/Torrance, CA) forced the fourth turnover of the game, leading to an easy fast break layup for Kennedy.

The Vikes pushed Vanguard into the bonus with 11 minutes remaining in the half, where the Lions shot 15 more free throws, making 12 more than the University of Victoria.

Martin grabbed her second steal of the game and then found Holsinger for a three point basket. VU held a 15 point lead with 10 minutes left in the period.

Alexander was fouled on a three point attempt with 8:56 to go, and hit all three shots from the free throw line. On the following possession she stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for the left handed layup.

The Vikes cut the lead to 18 points on a bucket by Jenna Bugiardini with 8:38 to go before halftime. She added a three-point basket, assisted by Goodis, and a layup to cut the lead to 12 points with 6:39 remaining.

Vanguard stopped the Vikes run with two free throws by Alyssa Durr (FR/Oregon City, Ore.), with just under six minutes before halftime. Over the next three minutes, the Lions built their advantage up to 17 points.

Over the final two minutes of the period, the Lions went on an 8-5 run with Holsinger and Alexander each scoring four points. Vanguard led 50-32 going into the intermission.

In the first half, Alexander led all scorers with 18 points (6-7 shooting) and seven rebounds. Kennedy added 11 points shooting 3-5 from behind the arc; Holsinger chipped in 13 points, three steals, and three assists.

For the Vikes, Bugiardini scored 11 points (5-8 field goals) and six rebounds. Renfrew scored nine points and Goodis posted a game high seven assists in the first half.

Alexander picked up right where she left off, scoring the first two baskets of the second period building the Lions game high 22 point advantage.

In the first minutes of the period, Crisp scored five points as well as Nicole Karstein and Buigardini both scoring two points as the Vikes now trailed 54-41.

On the possession following Doucette making two shots from the charity stripe, the Vikes cut the Lions lead to 10 points on Renfrew’s three-point field-goal from downtown.

Two difficult shots by Kennedy sandwiched another pair of throws made by Doucette which pushed the Lions advantage to 64-48 at the 9:11 mark.

As the game ticked under seven minutes remaining, Goodis scored from behind the arc, bringing the University of Victoria within nine. Doucette responded with a triple from the top of the key, only her second field goal of the contest. Holsinger quickly scored on a right handed runner to build the lead back up to 14 points.

Following a University of Victoria timeout at the 2:44 mark, Renfrew scored her sixth straight point to bring the Vikes within eight points.

Bugiardini dropped in a left handed layup with just over one minute left in the contest, cutting the margin to 75-66. Crisp made her third shot from behind the arc, trimming the Vanguard lead to six points with 38 seconds left in the game.

Following two free throws by Holsinger, Bugiardini connected on an off-balance triple to cut the Vanguard lead to 77-72. Doucette put the game away for VU, making both attempts from the foul line with six seconds remaining.

Holsinger lit up the stat sheet scoring 20 points, grabbing six rebounds, dishing out five assists and snatching four steals, all while shooting 7-8 from the foul line. Doucette scored 16 points, doing most of her damage by going 11-12 from the charity stripe. Kennedy shot 50% from behind the arc for most of her 18 points.

The Vikes will now head to La Mirada, Calif. to play Biola University on Dec. 30 at 5:30 p.m.

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