Photos by Erich Eichhorn / ISN
Press Release / Cameron Doherty, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA – In what was a close contest through three quarters of action, the UVic Vikes women’s basketball team were able to outlast the Thompson Rivers WolfPack to pick up the weekend sweep by a score of 83-64 inside the CARSA Performance Gym on Jan. 6.
“More of a grind was to be expected,” said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. “They are a tough team and have a fifth-year forward (Shenise Sigsworth), who plays like a fifth-year kid. They didn’t back down and put our backs against the wall a bunch of times.”
The win was the fourth straight in Canada West play for a Vikes team that improves to 8-4 with the victory. The WolfPack meanwhile, have now lost three of their last four games to fall to 7-7 on the season.
“We battled hard but we were in foul trouble,” said WolfPack head coach Scott Reeves. “Our matchups weren’t good and I knew we were going to have a tough second half. UVic is very good at home and they had so many kids contribute all weekend, which is obviously good from their standpoint but led a tough weekend for us.”
In a game that was a lot closer than the final score indicates, one of the main differences was the Vikes ability to force the ‘Pack into committing 20 turnovers on the night. Despite missing defensive stalwart Marissa Dheensaw due to injury, Victoria recorded ten steals in the game.
“Marissa has set a tone for us, she is absolutely a leader for us,” said Sinclair. “Those girls have all learned from her.”
Fourth-year Vike Kristy Gallagher kept up her amazing offensive output so far this season with 29 points on 11-for-17 shooting from the field. Rookie Ashlyn Day continued the trend of different players stepping up for the team on different nights with 16 points, nine rebounds, four steals and four assists.
“It’s nice to see some performances like Haily Weaver last night and Ashlyn tonight but I think we need to see more consistency across the board from more people,” said Sinclair. Amira (Giannattasio) and Kristy just do what they do, but we need a couple more people to step up and be consistent players for us.”
Shenise Sigsworth was a dominant force down low for the WolfPack finishing the night with 20 points and 10 rebounds while playing 39 of a possible 40 minutes in the contest. Emma Piggin went 5-for-7 from the field to be the only other member of the ‘Pack in double digits with 11 points.
Not a lot of defence was played in the first quarter as the two teams combined for 47 points. Gallagher scored all eight points in an eight-0 run for the Vikes in the middle of the quarter, but Sigsworth answered with seven of her own for make the score 27-21 after first quarter.
The WolfPack were able to kick things up a notch defensively and limited the Vikes to just 14 points in the second quarter. The Vikes responded with better defence play themselves however, and managed to hold on for a 41-39 lead at the half.
After a stalemate of a third quarter, the Vikes absolutely dominated the fourth. On minute into the final frame Giannattasio hit a three-pointer to give the Vikes their first double digit lead of the second half and the home team never looked back after that, cruising to the eventual 19 point victory.
“After the first half we talked again about letting them get to the line too much,” said Sinclair. “They run a very good motion offence and I thought we responded to that better in the second half.”
The WolfPack will return to Kamloops next weekend for their first home games in 2018. They will take on the Fraser Valley Cascades on Jan. 12 and 13.
“We have to rebound and guard bigs better,” said Reeves on what his team needs to improve on. “We are going to have people playing out of position and we will just have to find ways to win.
Next up for the Vikes is a trip to Manitoba where they will take on the Bisons in a rare Saturday, Sunday matinee set on Jan. 13 and 14.
Those games can all be watched live on canadawest.tv
VIC: 27-14-18-24: 83
TRU: 21-18-15-10: 64
VIC: Kristy Gallagher (26), Ashlyn Day (16), Amira Giannattasio (13)
TRU: Shenise Sigsworth (20), Emma Piggin (11), Michelle Bos (9)