Vikes Basketball look to extend win streaks with Wesmen in town

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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – Both of the men’s and women’s basketball teams at the University of Victoria got the new year start they were looking for after sweeping Manitoba last weekend, Jan. 9-10. The Vikes women improved their Canada West record to 4-6, good for seventh in the Pioneers Division. Meanwhile, the Vikes men near the top of the standings with an 8-2 record, with one game in hand to division leaders Calgary.

Jan. 16 – Vikes men vs. Winnipeg (8 p.m., McKinnon Gym)
Jan. 17 – Vikes men vs. Winnipeg (7 p.m., McKinnon Gym)

The Vikes men enter this weekend ranked No. 5 in the CIS Top-10 polls. Fifth-year forward Chris McLaughlin is third in the conference for scoring, averaging 19.2 points per game and totaling 41 points last weekend alone. The six-foot-ten senior is also fourth in conference rebounding, averaging 9.6 per game. The Vikes are continuing to show their well-rounded scoring after Mack Roth put up 23 points in the Vikes’ opening game against Manitoba on Jan. 9, while rookie Hassan Abdullahi added 10 in the 88-75 win. In game two, first year Grant Sitton scored in double digits for his first time in a Vikes uniform, adding 14 points in the 85-55 victory.

The Winnipeg men are unranked nationally and are in the middle of the pack with a 5-5 record. Most recently, the Wesmen suffered back-to-back losses to the Alberta Golden Bears. Forward Jelane Pryce led the Wesmen with 19 points in the Jan. 9 loss, while Mark McNee came off the bench to lead just one night later with 16 points. Pryce has been the most consistent Wesmen scorer, averaging 17.1 points per game alongside 29.6 minutes per game. Third year Christopher Baxter and McNee are not far behind averaging 12.5 and 11.7 points per game, respectively.

Jan. 16 – Vikes women vs. Winnipeg (6 p.m., McKinnon Gym)
Jan. 17 – Vikes women vs. Winnipeg (5 p.m., McKinnon Gym)

The Vikes women turned the corner after earning just two wins in the opening half of their season. Third year Jenna Bugiardini continued to show veteran strength scoring a total of 35 points in the Vikes’ two wins over Manitoba last weekend. On the Friday, the Vikes dropped Manitoba 72-57 and alongside her 18 points, Bugiardini also posted five assists and 15 rebounds. The Vikes enjoyed shared scoring duties throughout the weekend with senior Jessica Renfrew matching Bugiardini’s 18 points on the Friday, while Ashley McGinnis came off the pine to lead with 19 points the following evening.

It will be steep competition for the Vikes women as Winnipeg enters this weekend as the CIS No. 7-ranked squad. Winnipeg hold a 6-4 record after last weekend’s impressive split with the No. 3 Alberta Pandas. On Friday, the Wesmen dropped the Pandas 83-75 thanks to 25 points from guard Megan Noonan and 24 points from Samantha Donald. The duo was impressive from beyond the arc totaling seven of the team’s nine three-point shots made on the night The following evening Winnipeg were downed 76-54 by a regrouped Alberta squad despite an 18-point performance from Skylar Boulanger and 14 from Donald. Noonan is seventh in the conference for scoring, averaging 16.1 points per game.

Catch the Vikes men’s and women’s basketball teams this weekend, Jan. 16-17, at McKinnon Gym. Both games will be streamed live at uvic.canadawest.tv.

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