By Elizabeth Chan, Vikes Communications

(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team completed a desperate second-half comeback to defeat the visiting Calgary Dinos, 80-78, in Game 2 of the best-of-three play-in series. With the victory, the Vikes move on in the post-season and will challenge Thompson Rivers in Kamloops on Feb. 27-Mar. 1 in a best-of-three quarter-final series.

Tonight the Vikes saw energy bursts from fifth year Jessica Renfrew who totaled a game high 23 points and eight rebounds. Third year Jenna Bugiardini was a catalyst for the Vikes’ turn around in the final quarter, totaling 20 points, five rebounds and three assists. Fifth-year point guard Cassandra Goodis chipped in with 13 points and six steals in her final home game.

“We just thought of chipping away at the points,” said an elated Goodis at the end of the game after the Vikes trailed by 14 at the half. “We had the support of the crowd and the team. It felt like we were going to win and we did.”

Calgary’s scoring efforts came from fourth year Kelsey Lund with 19 points and five rebounds, and 13 points each from Brianna Ghali and Claire Colborne. Colborne also hauled down seven rebounds. Fourth year Kristie Shiels contributed 12 points, four rebounds and three assists.

The Dinos dominated the first half as six-foot-one Lund set the offensive pace after converting six-straight points for the visiting team. The Vikes struggled to find momentum against a sized Calgary squad who had no trouble getting 34 points in the paint after two quarters. A couple of three-point shots and buckets from the line kept the Vikes ticking away. A long trey in the corner from Ghali lifted the Dinos to their largest lead of the night. At halftime, the Vikes trailed 48-34.

Early in the third quarter, Calgary’s Colborne increased the visitor’s lead to 21 points as she was easily finding room in the paint. Senior Vikes Renfrew and Goodis had hot hands on the ball as the third progressed, combining for 17 of Victoria’s 24 points in the quarter.

It was in the last three minutes of the third that the Vikes were able to comeback and out-score the Dinos 24-18. Third-year guard Jenna Krug found swift offensive strides, while Goodis landed a three just as the buzzer expired. The Vikes cut the Dinos lead to 66-58 entering the final quarter.

Bugiardini returned to the floor as the spark the home team needed. The Hamilton, Ont. native dropped 14 points in the final frame, while Goodis made four steals in that quarter alone. Calgary’s Colborne added seven points in the final stretch and Sheils downed a three to tie the teams at 78. With under a minute left in the game, it was inevitably Bugiardini who had a decisive jumper drop to seal the 80-78 victory for the home team.

The Vikes will now prepare to travel to Kamloops on Feb. 27-Mar. 1 for the Canada West best-of-three quarter-final series against Thompson Rivers.

CGY: 22-26-18-12 : 78
UVIC: 16-18-24-22 : 80

CGY: Kelsey Lund (19), Brianna Ghali (13), Claire Colborne (13), Kristie Sheils (12)
UVIC: Jessica Renfrew (23), Jenna Bugiardini (20), Cassandra Goodis (13)