Karstein puts up 23 points despite Vikes’ loss to No. 3 Cougars

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vks women basketball

By Regina Sports Information

REGINA, Sask. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team fell 80-61 to the CIS No. 3-ranked Regina Cougars on Feb. 5 at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport. Regina’s Charlotte Kot had a career-high 26 points in the win.

The Vikes were led in scoring by fourth year Nicole Karstein who had 17 points in the first half only to go on to finish the game with a team-high 23 points and 14 rebounds. Second-year guard Amira Giannattasio contributed 11 points, while Kristy Gallagher got on the sheet with 10. The Vikes had big minutes from their starters Jenna BugiardiniJenna Krug, Gallagher, Karstein and Giannattasio, while rookie Brittani Yee also shared valuable floor time putting in 19 minutes.

“I thought we came out and played with good energy and pace to start the game,” said Vikes women’s basketball head coach Dani Sinclair about her team playing even, 19-19, after the opening quarter. “Regina are a very good team for a reason and they are going to make plays but we allowed them to make too many plays at once and didn’t stop their momentum effectively. We let them go to their strengths too much.”
For the Cougars, Kot was on fire all night long, going 10-for-12 from the field and 6-for-7 from the line as she eclipsed her previous career high of 24 set earlier this year in a game at Alberta. Kot also led the Cougars with 13 rebounds to notch her five double-double of the conference schedule.

The two teams played the opening quarter to a dead heat, with a pull-up jumper by Regina’s Sidney Dobner tying the game at 19-19 just before the end of the period.

But the second quarter was all Cougars, as Kehlsie Crone hit a pair of three-pointers as part of an 8-0 run over the first minute and a half. Victoria called timeout and quickly chipped the lead down to two, but the Cougars exploded for 15 consecutive points to go up 42-25 just past the midway mark of the second.

The Cougars led by 11 at halftime and saw Victoria get the lead down to seven at one point in the early going of the third quarter, but that was as close as the Vikes would get. Regina went on a 12-1 run sparked by Kot to go back up by 18, and the Cougars never led by fewer than 12 points after that to cruise to their 14th victory of the season with a final score of 80-61.

“A lot of what she got came through making second and third efforts to get offensive boards and loose balls,” commented Sinclair about Karstein’s team-leading performance. “It was an effort thing which was nice to see and I think that really allowed us to stay in the game. We did some good things and did make some good runs and I think Nicole was often the catalyst to that.”

The Vikes now drop to a 7-10 record, while the Cougars improve to 14-1. 

The two teams will finish off the two-game weekend series on Saturday night at the CKHS (4:00 p.m. PST, CanadaWest.tv).

“I think Regina are a good team on their home court and now that we have had a chance to play one night there it should be a different comfort level going in tomorrow,” said Sinclair about her young team’s ability to re-group for tomorrow. “We didn’t execute the game plan we had going in to tonight so it will remain the same for tomorrow and we just have to do a better job of executing it.”

SCORING BY QUARTER

REG: 19-16-12-14 : 61

VIC: 19-27-16-18 : 80

SCORING LEADERS

REG: Charlotte Kot (26), Alyssia Kajati (12), Britton Belyk (9)

VIC: Nicole Karstein (23), Amira Giannattasio (11), Kristy Gallagher (10)

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