By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – Following a split weekend for both the men’s and women’s University of Victoria basketball teams, the Vikes have just six regular season games left. With CIS championship hopes on the line the Vikes will host the Lethbridge Pronghorns this weekend, Jan. 30-31, in McKinnon Gymnasium.
This week the Vikes men are No. 7 in the CIS top 10 polls while the Pronghorns are unranked. Last weekend the Vikes dropped the No. 10 Calgary Dinos 81-63 after a 22-point performance from fourth-year point guard Marcus Tibbs. The following night the Dinos retaliated with a 79-73 triumph despite four Vikes hitting double digits. After logging their fourth loss of the season the Vikes men now boast a 10-4 record, tied for second in the Pioneers Division with Saskatchewan. Both the Huskies and Vikes have one game in hand to division leaders, Calgary (11-4). Lethbridge hold a 6-8 record.
Lone fifth year Chris McLaughlin continues to lead the blue and gold, averaging 18 points per game to be seventh in conference scoring. Lethbridge’s Brandon Brine is eighth in the conference, averaging 17.8. Tibbs and guard Mack Roth are also averaging double-digit scoring for Victoria with 15.4 and 10.1 points per game, respectively.
The Vikes women are still on the rise after the starting half of their season included just two wins. Since then the Vikes won five straight that was ended after Saturday’s 62-51 loss to the Dinos. Third-year guard Jenna Bugiardini shot double digits both nights including a team-high 23 points in Friday’s 71-60 win over Calgary. Fifth year Jessica Renfrew continues to also lead the charge in scoring, while point guard Cassandra Goodis’ play making is inevitably the foundation of the Vikes’ offence.
The Horns have a 4-10 record in the Canada West, while the Vikes are split at 7-7. Senior forward Kim Veldman leads the Horns with an average of 20.6 points per game, while Allexia Barros and Mariah Miller are also averaging double digits with 14.0 and 10.9 points per game, respectively. All three have started nearly every game and average over 30 minutes per game.
The Vikes will host the Pronghorns on Friday, Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. (women) and 8 p.m. (men), and both teams will square off again on Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men).