By Cameron Doherty, Vikes Communications
Photos by Christian J. Stewart, ISN
January 5, 2018, VICTORIA, BC (ISN) – A third quarter in which they outscored their opponents by 15 points, led the UVic Vikes women’s basketball team to an 83-65 victory over the visiting Thompson Rivers University WolfPack, inside the CARSA Performance Gym Friday night in Victoria.
With the win, the Vikes improve to 7-4 on the season as the team is riding high on a three-game winning streak. The WolfPack meanwhile, fall to 7-6 and now sit in eighth place in the conference, just one spot back of the Vikes.
“We were able to get some stops and rebounds,” said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. “We also shared the ball a lot better than we have been. We have been talking a lot about moving the ball and I think we probably had a record for us tonight with 20 assists.”
As a team the Vikes dominated the stat sheet: securing 44 rebounds to the ‘Pack’s 37, as well as forcing the WolfPack into committing ten more turnovers than they did.
“We have to improve on that,” said WolfPack head coach Scott Reeves on his squad’s rebounding disadvantage. “Traditionally our program has rebounded the ball well and tonight we just got it handed to us.”
First-year forward Haily Weaver had by far the strongest game of her young Vikes career. The native of Edmonton, AB recorded 15 points and 12 rebounds for her first double-double in Canada West play.
“Haily Weaver stepped in with Marissa Dheensaw going out early [with a knee injury] and got some huge boards for us,” said Sinclair. “As a first-year player for us, she is playing behind some of our veteran players. She is starting to find her rhythm now that we are into January and when given the opportunity she clearly took advantage of it.”
Shenise Sigsworth led the way for the WolfPack, scoring a game-high 18 points and adding eight rebounds.
“She’s a very versatile player, can guard big and small and it was nice to see her breakout offensively like that,” said Reeves.
Michelle Bos was the only other member of the ‘Pack to break double-digits in points as the fourth-year forward scored 15 points in her 24 minutes on the floor.
The Vikes showed no signs of rust despite being back in Canada West action for the first time since Dec. 2. Back-to-back three pointers from Ashlee to start the game helped Victoria jump out to a 10-2 lead before the WolfPack were able to get their feet underneath them and battle back. Sigsworth had six points in the first frame to cut the Vikes lead to 22-15 after the first quarter.
The second quarter saw the two teams battle back and forth as the WolfPack fought hard to prevent the Vikes lead from getting larger than ten points. Foul trouble forced both teams to play their bench for much of the quarter and the reserves from both teams played to a virtual stalemate, with the “Pack” eking out a 19-18 advantage in the frame to send the teams into the halftime break with the Vikes leading 40-34.
“We rely on that second unit,” said Sinclair. “In my time here we haven’t really had a second unit, we’ve only played seven or eight players, so to be able to rely on ten to 12 people is huge. Whether it’s foul troubles or people just not playing well, we have a lot of different people who can come in and keep our momentum going.”
Much like the start of the game, the Vikes were on a tear when the teams came out for the second half. Opening with a 10-2 run, the Vikes eventually widened the gap all the way to 66-45 going into the final quarter.
“We didn’t follow our scouting report the whole night, we did everything that we shouldn’t do,” said Reeves. “They got hot, with Giannattasio back in the game after some foul trouble and her and (Kristy) Gallagher were a handful.”
These two teams are back in action for a rematch tomorrow night. The game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. tip-off inside the CARSA Performance Gym and can be watched live on canadawest.tv.
VIC: 22-18-26-17: 83