Story by Ardi Ramezani, Vikes Commincations  Images By Erich Eichhorn, ISN

VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team captured their first victory of the new year at the CARSA Performance Gym on Jan. 8 against the Manitoba Bisons. The Vikes downed the Bisons 73-64 to improve their record to 4-5 while the Bisons remain winless at 0-9.

Vikes Jenna Bugiardini drives to the net for 2 of her 29 pts on the night, posting double-double of 28 points and 15 rebounds in 35 minutes of play to lead the Vikes womens team to a 73-64 win over the Manitoba Bison – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The Vikes’ standout performance came from fourth year Jenna Bugiardini, who posted a double-double of 28 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Vikes to victory. Fellow fourth year Nicole Karstein also logged double-digits, posting 16 points for the home team.


Vikes forward Nicole Karstein meets some stiff Bison opposition in Rebecca Potter on the way to the hoop for 2 of her 16 pts in game one action – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Third-year Bisons forward Claire Harvey led the charge for Manitoba, capturing a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.  She was joined on top of the scoreboard by second year Montana Kinzel, who posted 10 points.
“It’s our first win at home this season and (Manitoba) made it interesting,” said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair of her team’s opponents. “The Bisons have had a tough schedule up until this point and played their hearts out tonight. (Bugiardini and Karstein) were working for us all night, and I thought for periods of time we went away from them.

“The league is tough and you have to take your wins where you can get them.”


Nicole Karstein turns to the net, sliiping under the Bison’s defense – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
In the first quarter, both teams suffered from lacklustre defense but the Vikes managed to prove their superior offense as they led the Bisons 17-11 at the end of the quarter. Karstein used her physicality against the young Bisons roster to score 11 points in the opening quarter.
At the start of the second quarter the Bisons did a successful job in containing the Vikes offense to turn the game around. With the Vikes unable to put up points, the Bisons went on a nine-point run to overtake the lead for the first time in the game. The Bisons’ lead was short-lived, however, as Bugiardini posted seven points in the last three minutes before half time to give the Vikes a 29-25 lead at the whistle.


Vikes forward Bugiardini is double teamed under the hoop. Bison’s had a hard time containing the fourth year senior – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The close margin between both sides widened at the start of the second half. Bugiardini carried her momentum into the third quarter as she helped kindle the Vikes’ offensive spark. First-year Brittani Yee successfully shot the Vikes’ first basket from behind the arc to give the Vikes their first double-digit lead in the game. Despite the Bison’s best comeback efforts, the Vikes led the visitors 53-41 going into the final frame.


Britanni Yee scoops the shot past the outstretched arm of the Bison defender – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Bisons picked up the momentum in the beginning of the final quarter, coming off the whistle to post back-to-back baskets to put the deficit into single digits. The Vikes dealt with a setback as Karstein hit with foul troubles and had to go to the bench with four minutes remaining in the game.
Although the Bisons tried to use this to their advantage, the Vikes stepped up their game to extend their three point lead to seven points with less than two minutes remaining. The Vikes were able to fend off the visitors in the last minute, capturing the victory 74-63 at the final whistle.


Bugiardini draws contact from Clair Harvey of the Bisons.  – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Both teams will be back at it again at the CARSA Performance Gym tomorrow night, Jan. 9. The game will tipoff at 5:00 p.m. and will be streamed live with pay-per-view video and stats on canadawest.tv.
UVIC 17-14-24-20: 73
MAN 11-12-16-23: 64
UVIC: Jenna Bugiardini (28), Nicole Karstein (16), Jenna Krug (8)
MAN: Claire Harvey (19), Montana Kinzel (10), Rebecca Potter (6)