Vikes Upset Bid Falls Short Against Carleton

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Carleton's Elizabeth LeBlanc (21) blows by UVics Jenna Bugiardini en route to two of her 16 points on the night. The Ravens would emerge with a 77-66 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

March 9, 2017, Vicotria, BC (ISN) – Oh the upset it could have been.  The #8 seeded Victoria Vikes took a 37-30 lead into the half, only to see the #1 seeded Carleton Ravens storm back for a 77-66 victory Thursday night in quarter-final action at the U Sports Women’s National Basketball Championships being played at the CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria.

UVic fans in the Spirit Section show some great team spirit during the National Anthem ahead of the Vikes game against Carleton (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
UVic fans in the Spirit Section show some great team spirit during the National Anthem ahead of the Vikes game against Carleton (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

With the teams playing in front of a near capacity crowd at CARSA, things began as most expected Thursday, with the favoured Ravens jumping out to 6-0 and 15-6 leads, en route to a 22-16 lead at the end of one quarter.

Jenna Krug (6) helped lead the Vikes to a 37-30 half-time lead over Elizabeth LeBlanc (21) and the Carleton Ravens (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Jenna Krug (6) helped lead the Vikes to a 37-30 half-time lead over Elizabeth LeBlanc (21) and the Carleton Ravens (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Kristy Gallagher (9) was on fire early for UVic, charging to 12 points and leading the Vikes to a 37-30 half-time lead over the Ravens (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Kristy Gallagher (9) was on fire early for UVic, charging to 12 points and leading the Vikes to a 37-30 half-time lead over the Ravens (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Vikes would then begin to feed off the energy of their boisterous supporters and thanks to a 12-point half from Kristy Gallagher, begin to take it to the Ravens, outscoring them 21-8 in the second quarter and taking a seven point lead into the intermission.

There was no shortage of fan support for the home Vikes squad on Thursday against Carleton, as CARSA was nearly full to capacity with crazy UVic fans like these (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
There was no shortage of fan support for the home Vikes squad on Thursday against Carleton, as CARSA was nearly full to capacity with crazy UVic fans like these (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

If ever there was a rule that would allow a team to defer the half-time break, the Vikes would have used it Thursday, as that break  proved extremely untimely for them.  Shooting 57% to the Ravens 20% in the second quarter and having the tournament favourites on the ropes, the tables turned rapidly in the third, as the Ravens came out shooting 53% to the Vikes lowly 14% (just two of 14 field goal attempts made), taking the lead back, 41-40, with 4:23 to go in the frame and outscoring the Vikes 23-7 overall to hold a 53-44 lead at the third quarter break.

Carleton's Catherine Traer (11, right) would lead all scorers Thursday with 23 points, helping the Ravens to a 77-66 win over UVic (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Carleton’s Catherine Traer (11, right) would lead all scorers Thursday with 23 points, helping the Ravens to a 77-66 win over UVic (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Try as they might to recover, pulling to within three at 55-52 with 7:27 to go and trailing by just five, 63-58 with just under three minutes to play, the Vikes simply could not find a way to overcome that deficit down the stretch, eventually falling by that 11-point margin.

UVic's Amira Giannattasio (3) pulls up for  alook at the hoop in first half action Thursday.  She would finish with nine points on the evening in the loss to the Ravens (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
UVic’s Amira Giannattasio (3) pulls up for a look at the hoop in first half action Thursday. She would finish with nine points on the evening in the loss to the Ravens (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

“We got into halftime and I just told the kids that we weren’t playing very well and that we were fortunate to be in the game,” said Carleton head coach Taffy Charles. “We knew that if we went back to playing how we can play, we would have a chance.  I’m proud of the girls, because it’s always hard to win. Victoria had a great crowd and it was a tough game.”

UVic's Jenna Krug (6) soars to the hoop for two of her 18 points Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
UVic’s Jenna Krug (6) soars to the hoop for two of her 18 points Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Ravens had four players in double figures on the evening, including Catherine Traer, whose 23 points led all scorers. Elizabeth Leblanc, with 16, Stephanie Carr, with 12, and Heather Lindsay with 11, were the other three hitting double digits for Carleton on the night.

Carleton's Elizabeth LeBlanc (21) puts up a shot against the defence of UVic's Kristy Gallagher (9) and Jenna Bugiardini (13) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Carleton’s Elizabeth LeBlanc (21) puts up a shot against the defence of UVic’s Kristy Gallagher (9) and Jenna Bugiardini (13) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Carleton's Stephanie Carr (5) lays up two of her 12 points on the night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Carleton’s Stephanie Carr (5) lays up two of her 12 points on the night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Leblanc, with her 16 points,  was named the Player of the Game for Carleton. She was five-for-six from the free throw line and added three rebounds.

UVic's Nicole Karstein (10) pushes her way past Carleton's Nicole Gilmore (13). Karstein would finish with 13 points on the night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
UVic’s Nicole Karstein (10) pushes her way past Carleton’s Nicole Gilmore (13). Karstein would finish with 13 points on the night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
UVic's Jenna Bugiardini (13) goes up for two of her 10 points against Carleton on Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
UVic’s Jenna Bugiardini (13) goes up for two of her 10 points against Carleton on Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Vikes also had four players in double figures, including fifth-year guard Jenna Krug with 18, Gallagher, who finished with 14, Nicole Karstein with 13 and Jenna Bugiardini with 10.

Both teams finished an identical 42.6% from the field, with Carleton topping the Vikes at the free throw line 83% to 65%.

UVic point guard Jenna Krug captained the Vikes offence Thursday and led the way with 18 points against the Ravens (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
UVic point guard Jenna Krug captained the Vikes offence Thursday and led the way with 18 points against the Ravens (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

“It was really special for [graduating seniors] Jenna Krug, Jenna Bugiardini and Nicole Karstein considering everything they have put into this program,” said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. “For them to have the opportunity to go out like this, on this weekend, is just amazing.  Our crowd was incredible. It obviously hurts to lose, but the crowd is one of the things our girls will never forget.”

Carleton's Nicole Gilmore (13) looks for a way past UVic's Nicole Karstein (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Carleton’s Nicole Gilmore (13) looks for a way past UVic’s Nicole Karstein (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Ravens now move on to play the McGill Martlets in Saturday’s second semi-final at 4:00 pm.  The first semi-final sees Queen’s take on Laval at 2:00 pm.

The Vikes now move into the Consolation round and they will take on the Regina Cougars at 8:00 pm Friday evening.  The earlier game Friday will see Cape Breton take on Saskatchewan at 6:00 pm.

Remaining Schedule

Friday, March 10

6:00 p.m. Consolation 1: Cape Breton vs. Saskatchewan (USPORTS.LIVE)

8:00 p.m. Consolation 2: Regina vs. Victoria (USPORTS.LIVE)

Saturday, March 11

2:00 p.m. Semifinal 1: Queen’s vs. Laval (Sportsnet 360/SN Now)

4:00 p.m. Semifinal 2: McGill vs. Carleton (Sportsnet 360/SN Now)

7:00 p.m. 5th-place game (USPORTS.LIVE)

Sunday, March 12

10:00 a.m. Bronze (USPORTS.LIVE)

1:00 p.m. Final (Sportsnet 360/SN Now)

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