Off the heels of a narrow 86-82 defeat last night to the Lethbridge Pronghorns, the University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team fell to the ‘Horns for a second straight night due to a dominant first half and defeated the Vikes 97-85.
After outscoring the home-side 26-19 in the third quarter, the Vikes found themselves within 10 points to start the fourth quarter. Opening the fourth with a basketball, the Vikes would put them within eight points, but the Pronghorns would find a second gear thanks to the emergence of their three point shooters. Three triples on four shots from Amy Mazutinec and Danielle Fritzke would put the ‘Horns back in the drivers’ seat with a 14 point lead with four minutes remaining.
Victoria quickly answered back with four straight points to pull back within nine points with 2:30 remaining. With every Vikes basket, the ‘Horns would respond, matching the desperation of Victoria in the final minutes. With the Vikes unable to go on any sustained run, a late steal by Katie Keith would halt any chance for a Victoria comeback.
Entering the weekend, the ‘Horns were one spot below the Vikes in the Canada West standings, but with the win, the ‘Horns improve to 9-7, while the Vikes drop to 8-8.
Victoria was led by five players in double figures, including Cali McMillan (19 points – 4 of 8 from three), Ashlyn Day (16 points), Amira Giannattasio (13 points), Aleah Ashlee (13 points), and Haily Weaver (10 points).
The Pronghorns were led by a monster double-double from Katie Keith who recorded 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 assists. Four other Pronghorns recorded double figures in points, with Kacie Bosch, Danielle Fritzke, Logan Moncks, and Amy Mazutinec registering 15, 12, 16, and 13 points respectively.
Unlike Friday’s matchup where the Pronghorns came out flat being outscored 16-7 in the opening three minutes, the team came out with their foot on the gas. Outscoring the visitors 11-2 in the opening three minutes. However, the Vikes quickly got their feet under them, as Calli McMillan would spark her team with a three pointer, and then draw a foul for two shots. Almost a mirror image of Friday’s game, except with the roles reversed, the ‘Horns would answer with a 7-0 run to build an 11 point cushion. The teams would trade baskets from that point on, as Pronghorns would take a 28-17 lead into the second quarter. Although she would miss her only shot from the field in the quarter, fourth-year guard Kacie Bosch would shoot a perfect six for six from the free-throw line. Danielle Fritzke, Logan Moncks, and Katie Keith would score all but two of the other Pronghorns points, recording 6, 7, and 7 points in the quarter.
The opening minutes of the second quarter would see the same four players take over the game for the Pronghorns. Outrebounding the Vikes by 15, the Pronghorns would use their physical play to smother the Vikes offensively. Varying their offensive looks between attacking the rim, mid-range shots, and three-point shots, the visitors would be unable to find a way to stop the Lethbridge offense. The ‘Horns would see late contributions from second-year wing Amy Mazutinec. The Stirling, Alberta native would score eight of the Pronghorns’ 12 points in the final five minutes of the quarter. The ‘Horns would head into the break with a significant advantage on the glass, outrebounding the visitors 26-11, with eight offensive rebounds. The home side would also find great success sharing the ball, recording 12 assists on 37 shots.
The Vikes came out of halftime seemingly rejuvenated. Amira Giannattasio and Katie Langdon would show up for the Vikes early in the quarter, combining for their team’s first eight points of the quarter. Although the Vikes would cut the ‘Horns lead to 12, a quick 5-0 run by the home side would re open their lead to 17. For the remainder of the quarter, it would be all Victoria, as the road side would use runs of 7-0, and 7-3 to pull within 10 points after three quarters of play.
The fortunes of the teams would seemingly reverse in the third quarter, as the ‘Horns would struggle with their shot, connecting on only six of their 19 attempts. The Vikes on the other hand would find success on 10 of 18 shots, while matching the ‘Horns with 10 rebounds in the quarter.
The fourth quarter saw an even frame between the teams, as the Vikes would be unable to sustain any momentum. The ‘Horns regained their stroke, shooting 9 of 16, while holding the Vikes to 8 of 20 shooting.