By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team capped their pre-season on a high note winning 76-70 over the visiting MacEwan Griffins on Nov. 1 at the CARSA Performance Gym in Victoria. Fourth year Jenna Bugiardini peaked just in time for the start of the regular season as the Hamilton, Ont. native put up an impressive 26 points and 13 rebounds in the win.
The Vikes were led by Bugiardini’s double-double but also had a healthy contribution from fourth year Nicole Karstein who had 18 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Guard Jenna Krug chipped in with 11 points as the Vikes rolled through their entire bench to gain experience before the start of the season. The Vikes shot 49 per cent from the field and were 15-for-16 from the line. The Vikes’ largest lead came mid-way through the fourth, up by 16 points.
Canada West newcomers MacEwan steadily improved over the course of the game. Three players scored in double digits including a team-high from fifth-year forward Megan Wood with 17 points and seven rebounds. Paige Knull had 16 points, while Kayla Ivicak contributed with 12 points and five rebounds. The Griffins were hurt by their rebounding, just 24 to the Vikes’ 35. MacEwan shot 39 per cent from the field.
In the opening quarter the Vikes got ahead by as much as six points, up 9-5, while a jumper from Kelly Fagan tied the game at 13. First-year Vike Avery Snider responded with a three-point from the left side of the court to push the home side up, while six-foot-one Karstein battled through traffic for a quick jumper on the next possession to keep the Vikes on a roll. Karstein’s seven points paced the home side to a 23-20 edge entering the second frame and Ivicak led the Griffins with six points.
The Vikes continued to show their strengths in the second quarter with Bugiardini putting up 12 points to help the Vikes out-score MacEwan 18-11. The Vikes out-rebounded the Griffins 17-11 to finish off the first half with a 41-31 lead. The Vikes earned their largest lead so far of 10 points on their last bucket from Bugiardini just before the break. MacEwan struggled after shooting just 32 per cent in the opening half.
MacEwan had a much better third quarter as they evened the Vikes in scoring, 16 each, with six points coming from fifth year Megan Wood and five coming from third year Knull. The Vikes relied heavily on the quality work of Karstein who seven rebounds in the third quarter alone. Kristy Gallagher, who has led the Vikes in double-digit scoring the last four pre-season games, was forced to sit the third quarter after totaling four fouls in nine minutes played. The Vikes led 57-47 entering the final quarter.
The Griffins made an impressive scoring comeback in the fourth quarter, out-scoring the Vikes 23-19. The Vikes went up 74-67 after two free throws made from Gallagher, while Griffins fourth year Kendall Lydon hit a clutch three with five seconds on the clock to bring the game to 74-70. Back the other way Bugiardini put in another two from the line to give the Vikes some breathing room. The Griffins were unable to muster a shot on their final possession play and the Vikes took the game 76-70.
Up next the Vikes will gear up for the start of their Canada West regular season, on the road, Nov. 6-7, in Langley, B.C. for a pair of games against the Trinity Western Spartans. The Vikes play Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m. with both games available with live video and stats at canadawest.tv.
SCORING BY QUARTER
GMU: 20-11-16-23: 70
UVIC: 23-18-16-19: 76
GMU: Megan Wood (17), Paige Knull (16), Kayla Ivicak (12)
UVIC: Jenna Bugiardini (24), Nicole Karstein (18), Jenna Krug (11)