Vikes Streak Stopped at Four as UBC Stays Undefeated

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November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC - UVic forward Amira Giannattasio (3) heads through a pair of UBC defenders during third quarter action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart, ISN
With Files from Vikes Communications

VICTORIA – The UVic Vikes women’s basketball team clawed back from an early 14-point deficit, but the visiting UBC Thunderbirds made every shot when it counted, to come away with an 81-62 victory in the annual Vikes “Shoot for the Cure” game at the CARSA Performance Gym on Friday evening in Victoria.

November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC - UVic's Nicole Karstein (10) looks for two of her 16 points against the UBC Thunderbirds on Friday evening (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).
November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC – UVic’s Nicole Karstein (10) looks for two of her 16 points against the UBC Thunderbirds on Friday evening (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).

The win kept the Thunderbirds (5-0) undefeated in Canada West play and halted the Vikes (4-3) win streak at four.

November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC - UVic's Jenna Bugiardini (13) looks for an option during action against UBC on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).
November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC – UVic’s Jenna Bugiardini (13) looks for an option during action against UBC on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).

The Thunderbirds jumped out to a big lead early in the game. Efficient shooting, including 60% from the three-point line and a high-pressure defence put them ahead 19-5 midway through the first quarter and they finished the frame with a 21-14 lead over the Vikes.

November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC - UBC's Krysten Lindquist (7) looks for an escape from pressure by UVic's Jenna Bugiardini (right) and Amira Giannattasio (left) during forst half action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).
November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC – UBC’s Krysten Lindquist (7) looks for an escape from pressure by UVic’s Jenna Bugiardini (right) and Amira Giannattasio (left) during forst half action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).

While the veterans on the Vikes, including Nicole Karstein and Jenna Bugiardini, pulled them back into the game in an evenly played second quarter, the Thunderbirds were able to increase their lead by 8, taking 39-31 lead into the half.

November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC - UVic's Jenna Krug soars to the hoop for two of her 12 points Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).
November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC – UVic’s Jenna Krug soars to the hoop for two of her 12 points Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).

The T-Birds didn’t come into the contest with an undefeated record without reason however, and they outscored the Vikes 22-18 in the third quarter to open up a 61-49 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish, outscoring the Vikes 20-13 in the final frame to finish with the 81-62 victory.

November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC - THe Vikes Nicole Karstein (10) looks for a path to the net past UBC defender Andrea Strujic (12) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).
November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC – THe Vikes Nicole Karstein (10) looks for a path to the net past UBC defender Andrea Strujic (12) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).

The T-Birds put up a balanced scoring effort, with four different players finishing the game in double-digits. Maddison Penn went four-for-seven from beyond the arc en route to 26 points. Shilpa Khanna and Keylyn Filewich added 13 and 12 points respectively, while Kara Spotton added 10.

November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC - UVic's Aleah Ashlee drives to the hoop during first half action on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).
November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC – UVic’s Aleah Ashlee drives to the hoop during first half action on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).

Jenna Bugiardini had another big night to lead the Vikes with 27 points in the game. Nicole Karstein added 16, while Jenna Krug went 7-for-11 from the field for 12 of her own.

November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC - The Vikes Nicole Karstein puts a jumper over UBC defender Keylyn Filewich (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).
November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC – The Vikes Nicole Karstein puts a jumper over UBC defender Keylyn Filewich (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).

“They are a good team and they took it to us,” said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. “We responded here and there, but not enough. We just let them get blow after blow without fighting back and you can’t do that against a team that good.”

November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC - The Vikes Amira Giannattasio (3) looks for a way past UBC defender Keylyn Filewich (9) during second half action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).
November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC – The Vikes Amira Giannattasio (3) looks for a way past UBC defender Keylyn Filewich (9) during second half action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).

For the Thunderbirds, head coach Deb Huband has been pleased with the contributions all players have been making thus far in their five-game streak. “I think we came out tonight with good intensity,” said Huband. “We had a good team effort and held our energy throughout the game and got some good contributions from different places.”

November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC - UVics Jenna Bugiardini would lead all scorers with a 27-point night on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).
November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC – UVics Jenna Bugiardini would lead all scorers with a 27-point night on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).

“The last few games we have had three or four players in double-figures and not always the same people,” added Huband. “We are trying to build comfort with our systems and when multiple players are in double-figures, it looks like that is starting to happen for us.”

November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC - UVic's Cali McMilan (2) looks to drive past UBC's Ali Norris during second half action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).
November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC – UVic’s Cali McMilan (2) looks to drive past UBC’s Ali Norris during second half action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).

UBC went 9-for-14 from three-point line in the game and shot over 45% from the field as a team. The Vikes finished at just over 30% from the 3-point arc and just over 38% as a team.

November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC - UVics Calli McMillan (2) brings the ball up court during the second half Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).
November 25, 2016, Victoria, BC – UVics Calli McMillan (2) brings the ball up court during the second half Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).

These same two teams will do battle Saturday night in Vancouver in the Vikes only home-and-home game of the season.  Game time from Vancouver is at 5:00 pm. That game can be watched live on canadawest.tv

When asked what her team could do better in the second game of the double-header, Sinclair responded.

“Fight and defend, our post defence was not good, we gave up too many offensive boards so we have to do a better job inside,” said Sinclair. “We just have to fight harder from start to finish.”

SCORING SUMMARY 
UVIC: 14-17-18-13: 62
UBC: 21-18-22-20: 81

SCORING LEADERS
UVICJenna Bugiardini (27), Nicole Karstein (16), Jenna Krug (12)
UBC: Maddison Penn (26), Shilpa Khanna (13), Keylyn Filewich (12)

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