VICTORIA – Jenna Bugiardini registered a double-double with 10 rebounds and 20 points to help the UVic Vikes close out the Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament with a big 65-49 victory over the UNBC Timberwolves on Saturday afternoon.
Madison Landry and Maria Mongomo teamed up to lead the Timberwolves on the day, putting up 15 and 14 points, respectively.
The win was Victoria’s first of the preseason in their fifth exhibition game, although that stat doesn’t necessarily do the Vikes justice. Saturday was just the first time the Vikes, who are set to host nationals in March 2017, were rewarded for their hard work with a win.
“I thought it was a good bounce-back,” said head coach Dani Sinclair, referring to Victoria’s last-second loss to Ottawa on Thursday. “UNBC has some athletes. They have a number of players who are tough and it was tough keeping them in check. But we were able to wear them down and disrupt them defensively.”
The Vikes finished with eight steals and, though they didn’t convert on as many turnovers as they would have liked to, it’s hard not to appreciate the defensive efficiency they showed. Bugiardini and Nicole Karstein both had 10 rebounds while Karstein led the team with three steals.
Karstein also got it done on the other end of the court, adding 13 points and going six-for-eight from the field. She was bettered only by Bugiardini’s 20 points and Amira Giannattasio‘s 15.
Victoria relied upon the starting core for the majority of the game, not letting off the gas despite taking an 18-point lead into the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t go real deep into the bench but we had some important performances from players [off the bench],” said Sinclair. “I think it’s about finding the perfect balance. It’s not always perfect but we’re trying to get them in their rhythm while also finding some people who can come in and fill spots.”
With the Vikes rolling starters, the game could have been farther out of hand for UNBC than it ended up being. But Victoria struggled to put the game totally out of reach when they had their chances.
“We talked about that,” said Sinclair of taking advantage of opportunities to put the game out of reach. “We had a timeout and we were up 19 and we said we want to turn this into 25 and quickly it was 13. It was the way it happened—it was through turnovers and bad decisions.
“We started to get fancy and tried to make the tough pass instead of just the easy play. So yeah I was pretty disappointed with that. I thought we sort of lost focus and we’re not going to face a team that’s going to lay down and lose.”
The Vikes will get right back on the court next week for an exhibition game against George Fox University on October 7 at 7:00 p.m.
UVIC: 19-19-15-12: 65
UNBC: 19-8-8-14: 49
UVIC: J. Bugiardini (20), A. Giannattasio (15), N. Karstein (13)
UNBC: M. Landry (15), M. Mongomo (14), P. Nijjar (6)