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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team cruised to a 97-73 victory over the visiting Calgary Dinos on Feb. 20 at McKinnon Gym. On the line is a spot in the quarter-finals but the road will not be easy as the two teams will square off again tomorrow, Feb. 21, for game 2, and, if needed, again on Feb. 22 in the best-of-three series.

Fifth year Jessica Renfrew once again surpassed 30 points finishing the night with 32 while making five shots from beyond the arc. Third year Jenna Bugiardini and rookie Amira Giannattasio were the other Vikes to hit double digits finishing with 21 and 18 points, respectively. Cassandra Goodis added another seven assists to her career stat totals, while the fifth year also logged four steals.

No Calgary player seemed to find their scoring rhythym as Kelsey Lund was held to a modest 14 points and Brianna Ghali and Kristie Sheils followed closely with 11 and 10 points, respectively. The Dinos had 17 turnovers to the Vikes’ 11 and the visitors needed 25 points to come from their bench. Sheils did, however, go 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and Lund logged three blocks.

Home court tilted kindly in favour of the Vikes in the opening quarter as Bugiardini nabbed 12 early points to boost her squad up 31-17 after the first 10 minutes of play. The former CIS All-Rookie member was a force in the paint, making good on two and-one plays. For Calgary, Lund established herself early as her six-foot-one presence was tough to beat, while second year Ghali was also key on Dinos defence.

In the second, the Vikes started to utilize their bench but seven turnovers allowed the Dinos back in the game. Senior Goodis quickly nabbed five more assists in the opening half, while three-point ace Giannattasio had two timely long bombs drop to give the Vikes a 48-37 lead entering half time. Calgary’s Lund finished the first half with eight points and four rebounds, while Sheils was slowly finding her strides to finish with six points coming from her two three-point shots.

In the third quarter the Dinos started to see their work under the hoop pay off, out-scoring the Vikes 21-20 to cut Victoria’s lead to 68-58 entering the final quarter.

Renfrew kicked it into high gear with 17 fourth-quarter points, while contributions from the bench allowed the Vikes to propel themselves to a 97-73 win. The Dinos will need to split the series with a win tomorrow if they hope to keep their post-season alive.

The Vikes will square off again tomorrow, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. PST, in Game 2 of the Canada West Play-in series. Game 3 will happen on Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. PST, if needed. All games are played at McKinnon Gym and are live streamed with live stats at uvic.canadawest.tv. The winner of this best-of-three series will move on to the Canada West Quarter-Finals and play Thompson Rivers on the road next weekend.

SCORING SUMMARY
CGY: 17-20-21-15 : 73
UVIC: 31-17-20-29 : 97

SCORING LEADERS
CGY: Kelsey Lund (14), Brianna Ghali (11), Kristie Sheils (10)
UVIC: Jessica Renfrew (32), Jenna Bugiardini (21), Amira Giannattasio (18)

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