PREVIEW: Vikes Welcome T-Birds for Shoot for the Cure Night before Crucial Second Game in Vancouver

VICTORIA – The UVic Vikes women's basketball team will play their only home-and-home games of the 2016-17 season when they welcome the UBC Thunderbirds for the Shoot for Cure night before the return leg in Vancouver.

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UVics Jenna Bugiardini (13) led the Vikes to a 58-51 win over Calgary Friday night, scoring 21 points to lead all scorers (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Tale of the Weekend

VICTORIA – The UVic Vikes women’s basketball team will play their only home-and-home games of the 2016-17 season when they welcome the UBC Thunderbirds for the Shoot for Cure night before the return leg in Vancouver.

The tenth-annual Shoot for the Cure game will take place at the CARSA Performance Gym on November 25 with the opening tip scheduled for 6:00 p.m. The two teams will then travel to Vancouver for a game the very next day at 5:00 p.m.

“Every year the games against UBC are always meaningful, no matter what time of the year it is,” said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair.” It’s a big weekend for us to close off the first half of the season and for them it will be their first big test of the first half.”

“We’ve been toe-to-toe over the last five years and regardless of where either team is in the standings they are always competitive games.”

UVic got the better of their rivals from the lower mainland last season by securing two wins in Victoria the only times the teams met. Jenna BugiardiniNicole Karstein and Amira Giannattasio were the three top scorers for the Vikes in both of those games and all three are in mid-season form, as they get ready to once again take on the Thunderbirds.

Last Time Out

Both the Vikes and the Thunderbirds put two more tallies in the win column last weekend to help solidify their place near the top of the Canada West standings

The Vikes, ranked No. 10 in the latest U Sports national poll, travelled to Edmonton and managed to avoid falling victim to a team that has already proven they have the ability to record an upset by defeating the MacEwan Griffins in back-to-back games.

Giannattasio was named the named the Muscle MLK™ Vikes Female Athlete of the Week for her strong performances against the Griffins. The third-year guard registered 31 points over the two games.

“Amira is able to have success when the ball is moving,” said Sinclair. “We had way better ball movement last weekend and she was able to take advantage of that.”

UBC, currently tied for third in Canada West with eight points, won both the games they played against the University of Manitoba last weekend.

Maddison Penn, Kara Spotton and Jessica Hanson are the main scoring threats on the Thunderbirds. They each registered double-digit points in both of their contests last weekend.

By the Numbers

70.3: The number of points per game UBC is scoring this season, second in the conference.

22.9: The three-point shooting percentage of teams playing the Vikes, the fourth-lowest in Canada West.

Coach’s Take
Dani Sinclair, Vikes head coach

On the Shoot for the Cure initiative

“It means a lot. The initiative began with Kathy Shields and Kathy is someone that means a great deal to the program. She is my mentor, we talk on a daily basis. What she has done for this program and also the whole country in regards to her legacy and what a great coach she was is big. The battle she went through shows the support that is behind her as well as the greater initiative.”

“We expect a pretty lively gym and that’s great when it’s going in your favour, this could be a precursor to what it will be like at Nationals. I know from our perspective that it will be really fun. I think it’s going to be incredible, and Victoria is such a great city that we get good support every game but when you add in that rivalry with UBC it just takes it to another level, so the girls are going to have fun.”

“It would be really nice to go into the break with a couple wins. Every year you have that five to six week break and that is a long time to sit on a loss. We’ve experienced that before so there is motivation to finish off the first half of the season strong.”

Game Info
Friday, Nov. 25 – 6:00 p.m. – vs. UBC Thunderbirds, CARSA Performance Gym, Victoria, B.C. – Buy tickets at govikesgo.com/tickets – Watch live on canadawest.tv

Saturday, Nov. 26 – 5:00 p.m. – @ UBC Thunderbirds, Vancouver, B.C. – Watch live oncanadawest.tv

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