Large first quarter deficit hurts Vikes in loss to Cougars

REGINA, Sask. – The University of Regina women’s basketball team used 14-0 runs at the start of the first and third quarters to power them to a 69-53 win over the Victoria Vikes at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport on Saturday night.

“We got off to a really bad start. It was an even game after the first quarter but we got down big early and we had to spend a lot of energy to recover from that,” said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair.

Jenna Bugiardini led the way for the Vikes on the scoresheet, scoring 16 points on 8-8 free throw shooting. First-year Vike Calli McMillan scored eight points while Amira Giannattasio and Jenna Krug each pitched in with seven points.

The Cougar’s defence was stifling right out of the gates, holding the Vikes scoreless through the first five minutes of the game.

“We got out-rebounded and didn’t shoot the ball very well. We worked hard and kept fighting until the end but we weren’t able to make up the deficit against a very good team,” said Sinclair.

The Cougars took a comfortable 37-21 lead into halftime, but put the game out of question with another 14-0 burst to start the third.

Charlotte Kot was the leading scorer for the Cougars with 17 points in 17 minutes. Katie Polischuk added 16 of her own including two three-pointers to go along with six rebounds. Michaela Kleisinger collected a game-high 11 boards.

Regina’s defence kept up the pressure all night, holding the Vikes to just 26.3 percent shooting from the field and 11.8 percent from behind the arc.

Two losses to open the season is definitely not how the Vikes envisioned their weekend going but every game they play is another step on the road to nationals and the experience they gained against the No. 1 ranked Cougars will be valuable.

“There are probably a thousand lessons that we learnt this weekend. We need to be better in practice to create an atmosphere where games become easier than practice,” said Sinclair.

The Vikes are back in action next weekend for their first home games of the season against the University of Calgary Dinos. Calgary won both of their opening weekend games against the University of Manitoba.

8-13-12-20: 53
REG: 24-13-20-12: 69

: J. Bugiardini (16), C. McMillan (8) J. Krug (7),
REG: C. Kott (17), K. Polischuk (16), K. Giles (10)

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