“You have to commend the girls for just a great show of heart in the second half, you get down 23 points to a really good team and it’s not easy to comeback,” said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. “Jenna Krug really sparked us in that regard.”
The T-Birds came out firing, with Shilpa Khanna nailing a big contested three to put UBC up 10-7 in the first quarter, and Keylyn Filewich got the hoop and the harm to double the Vikes 30-15 in the second quarter. Maddison Penn let a deep three fly with the shot clock winding down and got a friendly kiss off the glass as the Thunderbirds coasted to a comfortable 47-24 advantage at the half.
A Vikes three halfway through the third by Amira Giannattasio cut the T-Bird lead to 10, but the Thunderbirds reasserted themselves and were up 60-45 heading into the final frame.
In the fourth, UBC found itself in foul trouble, and Victoria capitalized – narrowing the deficit to just four points after Jenna Bugiardini hit two free throws with 3:40 remaining. Bugiardini then nailed a clutch three with 1:27 left to make it a two point game, and Jenna Krug hit two huge foul shots to complete the comeback at 69-69 with 38 seconds left in regulation time. UBC couldn’t close it out as Shilpa missed a contested layup – sending it to overtime.
“We moved the ball a bit better and were aggressive off the dribble,” said Sinclair on how her team was able to get back into the game. “We got to the free-throw line and were able to get some stops defensively.”
To start the five-minute extra period, Penn hit a long two before coming up with a steal and drawing a foul – converting both free throws. With a minute left, Penn made her way to the line for the twelfth time and gave her team a momentary lead – but Krug kept pace with two of her own.
Tied 77-77 with 2.1 seconds remaining, Hanson inbounded to Filewich, who’s layup rattled off the rim and out.
Double overtime was on the docket and Krysten Lindquist opened the scoring on a hard take to the rim. Hanson pulled up for two from the top of the key to put the Thunderbirds up 86-80 with 2:13 to go. Lindquist closed it out with her second free throw of the night as UBC held on to win it, 93-85.
Giannattasio had a team-high 26 points in a whopping 44 minutes for Victoria, going 6 for 10 from three, while Bugiardini earned an impressive double-double with 20 points and 13 boards in 44 minutes in the loss.
“All of our girls fought,” said Sinclair. “They played well together in the second half and what’s on all of their minds is the fact that we lost, but I think if we can harness some of that heart and passion for the rest of the season then we are going to put ourselves in a good spot.”
For the ‘Birds, Penn racked up 21 of her 36 points in the first half – finishing with 10 boards, 3 steals and was 15-16 from the free throw line.
Six Thunderbirds played 25 minutes or more, as Khanna notched 14 points and 4 assists in 36 minutes, while Lindquist contributed 11 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals.