By Ardy Ramezani, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – For the second straight night, the University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team captured victory to sweep the Manitoba Bisons at CARSA on Jan. 9. The Vikes dropped the Bisons 86-75 to improve to a 5-5 record while the Bisons fall to 0-10.
It was an impressive night for the Vikes starters as all five players posted double-digits to contribute to the victory. Second-year guard Amira Giannattassio was the Vikes leader as she shot 58.8 per cent from the field as well as four-for-seven from behind the arc to log 27 points. Fourth years Jenna Bugiardini, Nicole Karstein and Jenna Krug posted 17, 16 and 12 points respectively while second year Kristy Gallagher rounded the scoreboard with 11 points.
For Manitoba, third-year forward Claire Harvey was their leading scorer for the second straight night. Harvey posted 22 points and had five rebounds while first year Alyssa Lucier and fourth year Rebecca Potter contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively.
“I think offensively we did a good job by putting up some big numbers,” said Vikes head coachDani Sinclair, whose team adds to their win streak to stretch their tally to four in a row. “(Manitoba) is a young team with some great athletes and knew it’d be a battle tonight. Our starting group had to play a lot of minutes tonight and they did a great job.”
The game tipped off in favour of the Bisons, who vied redemption following the previous night’s loss. The Manitoba offense shot for eight straight points to take their largest lead early in the quarter. Despite trailing for the entire quarter, back-to-back three-pointers by Giannattasio in the last minute put the Vikes within a two-point margin of the Bisons.
With the Vikes picking up drive, the home team managed to overtake the Bisons in the second quarter. Although Giannatassio and Krug’s offensive stride helped the Vikes sustain the lead for the remainder of the quarter, a buzzer-beating jump shot by Manitoba’s Alyssa Lucier gave the Bisons a one-point advantage going into half time.
At the start of the third, UVic went on an 11-point run to give the Vikes their first double-digit lead over the visitors. Manitoba tried to chip away the deficit but a standout offensive performance by the Vikes gave the home team a 64-57 lead going into the final frame.
Giannatassio continued to test her hot hand from behind the arc, sinking a three right off the first possession to set the pace for the rest of the final quarter. Despite the Bisons’ best efforts to take advantage of turnovers and fouls, the UVic starting five continued their offensive control to give the Vikes the victory with a scoreline.
Bugiardini posted her second double-double in as many nights, following up an explosive performance on Jan. 9 in which she scored 28 points and 15 rebounds, to continue her impressive streak of performances.
“We expect those kind of performances every night,” commented Sinclair on her star forward. “Her and (Karstein) have really come into their own. They’re two veteran forwards in this league that are playing very well. They do a lot of little things strongly that don’t show up on the stat sheet.”
Next weekend, the Vikes travel to Edmonton to face the Alberta Pandas on Jan.18-19 while the Bisons return home to meet the UBC Thunderbirds. Both games will be available for live streaming on pay-per-view at canadawest.tv.
SCORING BY QUARTER
UVIC 17-23-24-22: 86
MAN 19-22-16-18: 75