By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team were unable to recover from a 19-point first-half lead by the Thompson Rivers WolfPack, ultimately falling 74-65 in pre-season exhibition on Oct. 31 at the CARSA Performance Gym in Victoria.
The Vikes were led by second-year guard Kristy Gallagher, who put up 17 points and had four assists. Fourth-year Jenna Bugiardini led the home side defensively with 10 rebounds as the Vikes were forced to compete without star guard Amira Giannattasio, out with a lower body injury.
The WolfPack were led by fourth year Kassie Colonna, who put up 20 points, while Emma Piggin and Taiysa Worsfold each contributed with 16. Michelle Bos was the fourth Thompson Rivers player to score in double digits, with 14, while Colonna also led defensively with 12 rebounds. Bos also added eight nine rebounds in the win.
The opening half was all Thompson Rivers as the WolfPack out-scored the young Vikes 18-9 and 20-10 in the first and second quarters, respectively. A trio of WolfPack players each put up 10 points in the opening half including fourth year Colonna, fifth year Worsfold and second year Bos. The WolfPack shot 44 per cent from the field compared to the Vikes’ 24.
The Vikes had first-half points from Gallagher, who had eight, and rookie Marissa Dheensawwho had five. Thompson Rivers edged the Vikes 20-15 in overall rebounds, while the WolfPack led 38-19 at half time.
At the start of the third quarter the Vikes seemed to turn their offence around going on a 9-2 run thanks to some quality work under the boards from Nicole Karstein and Jenna Bugiardini. Thompson Rivers were suffocated around the key and were finally able to capitalize for a second hoop just over five minutes into the second half. Bos put up a jumper to finally end the Vikes’ run.
The Vikes put up two three-point shots, one each from Jenna Krug and Gallagher, but the WolfPack responded with a quality and-one play finished by Worsfold and four perfect free throws from Emma Piggin to push the visitors up 54-35.
Entering the final quarter the Vikes trailed 57-41 after out-scoring the WolfPack 22-19 in the third. The Vikes traded scoring possession with the WolfPack as a Brittani Yee three-pointer responded to a nice jumper in the key from Colonna. WolfPack’s Madeline Neumann hit a distance shot on the next possession, while Yee responded moments later with a long two to bring the score 64-53 for the visitors.
Thompson Rivers finished last season at the top of the Explorers Division with an 18-2 record, while the Vikes were fourth in the Pioneer Division with a 13-7 record. Both teams boast new-look rosters, while the WolfPack were able to come out on top today with a final score of 74-65.
Up next the Vikes women host MacEwan tomorrow, Nov. 1, at 2:00 p.m. at the CARSA Performance Gym in their last pre-season exhibition game. The Vikes begin their 2015 Canada West campaign Nov. 6-7 with a double header in Langley, B.C. at the home of the Trinity Western Spartans. Thompson Rivers also begin next weekend but travel to Prince George to face the UNBC Timberwolves or a pair of games. Regular season games will be available live via pay-per-view on uvic.canadawest.tv.
SCORING BY QUARTER
1 2 3 4 F
TRU: 18 20 19 17 74
UVIC: 9 10 22 24 65
TRU: Kassie Colonna (20), Emma Piggin (16), Taiysa Worsfold (16)
UVIC: Kristy Gallagher (17), Nicole Karstein (8), Jenna Krug (8), Avery Snider (8)