Dominant first half lets Vikes cruise to fourth-straight victory

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KELOWNA, BC – The UVic Vikes women’s basketball team continued their perfect start to 2017 with a win over The UBC Okanagan Heat by a score of 75-52 in Kelowna on Saturday night.

“It was a good all-around performance and a good team win,” said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. “We were able to get momentum right off the bat and we kept it throughout most of the game.”

The Vikes improve their Canada West regular season record to 8-4 and have won four straight games, while the Heat now sit at 2-12.

Victoria had the better shooting night overall, finishing  an impressive 55.2% from the field. The Heat finished with free throw percentage of 100%, making all nine from the stripe.

Rebounding was again a difference maker in the game, as the Vikes pulled down 41 to the Heat’s 27. Partly because of this, Victoria outscored UBCO 34-22 in the paint.
UBC Okanagan only led the scoring in one quarter, putting up 17 in the third and holding Victoria to 12. That wasn’t enough to jump-start a comeback, though, as the Vikes were up 46-24 at half-time.

Nicole Karstein scored most of her points in the first quarter, with eight through the first ten minutes of play. Only one Vike shot less than 50% in the opening frame, and they made 10 of their 18 field goals while the Heat made just five.

“It’s nice when you can get that (balanced scoring),” said Sinclair. “It helps get people rest and it’s also just more fun as a team when you have multiple people contributing.”

As they had on Friday night, the Vikes were able to shut the Heat down late to deny any chance of a comeback. The Heat were out-rebounded 8-2 in the fourth quarter, and the Victoria defence was consistently in the face of the UBCO shooters. As a result, the Heat were only able to score once in the final five minutes, with Emma Johnson making a layup with just under a minute left.

Nicole Karstein led the Vikes offence, with a game-high 17 points. Jenna Bugiardini put up another 15 for the visitors, and finished just a rebound shy of a double-double. Jenna Krug also put up double digits, finishing with 12 points.

Tamminen was the Heat’s high scorer on Saturday night, finishing with 13 points. Kennedy was close behind, with 12, and Botteselle rounded out the top three with 10.
The UBC Okanagan Heat (2-12) have a bye week next week, and will play their next games on the road when they travel to take on the Lethbridge Pronghorns (4-10) on January 27 & 28.
The Victoria Vikes’ (8-4) next games will also be against Lethbridge, in Victoria at the CARSA Performance Gym on January 20 & 21.

SCORING SUMMARY 
UVIC: 22-24-12-17: 75
UBCO: 13-11-17-11: 52

SCORING LEADERS
UVICNicole Karstein (17), Jenna Bugiardini (15), Jenna Krug (12)
UBCO: Shenelle Tamminen (13), Chloe Kennedy (12), Vanessa Botteselle (10)

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