VICTORIA – The UVic Vikes women’s basketball team received a scare late in the game from the visiting University of Calgary Dinos but held on for a 55-54 victory on November 12.

“We gave ourselves enough of a buffer to hold on but we have to finish out games better than that,” said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. “It is tough in this league to beat a team back-to-back so I commend our girls for doing that against a tough Calgary team.”

Fifth-year Vike Jenna Bugiardini led all scorers in the game with 18 points while also picking up 12 rebounds. Nicole Karstein added 16 and Amira Giannattasio recorded 12 points in her 21 minutes on the court.

Brianna Ghali once again led the Dinos with ten points and ten rebounds. The Calgary attack was varied with ten different Dinos scoring in the contest.

The Vikes jumped out to an early lead with Giannattasio scoring the first five points in the game. Calgary did more than enough to stick around in the game though and took their first lead of the contest late in the first quarter.

A majority of the lead that served the Vikes so well late in the game was built in the second quarter, where an aggressive defence limited the Dinos to shooting just 23 per cent in the frame.

The teams traded buckets in the third quarter to head into the fourth and final frame with the Vikes leading 46-35.

A completely different Dinos teams came out on the floor to start the fourth. An 11-0 Dinos run was capped off by a sweet drive and finish by Ghali to draw the teams even.

The Vikes were able to respond when they needed it most however, putting an end to the Dinos run and then returning to their stifling defence.

Jenna Bugiardini made a tough basket to stop that run and that was huge for us,” said Sinclair. “That settled us down a little bit and we were able to get some stops.”

“Lots to learn for us from tonight and hopefully that is just going to make us better.”

With the Dinos doing everything in their power to tie the game back up, possession of the ball became more important than ever.

Securing multiple offensive rebounds late in the game allowed the Vikes to retain control of the ball and hold on for the one point win.

Jenna Bugiardini especially has been doing a tremendous job on the boards and finding a way in there on offence to create second chances for us,” said Sinclair. “That’s huge and we need more than her to help out on that.”

Calgary will have next weekend off before returning to action on November 24 in a game against the Lethbridge Pronghorns.

UVic heads out on the road next weekend for a pair of games in Edmonton against the MacEwan Griffins.