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.
The win kept the Thunderbirds (5-0) undefeated in Canada West play and halted the Vikes (4-3) win streak at four.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.”
“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.”
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.
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.”
UVIC: 14-17-18-13: 62
UBC: 21-18-22-20: 81