Vikes women put on quality team display to eliminate Heat from playoff contention

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Vikes Amira Giannattasio

The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball out-scored the UBC Okanagan Heat by 19 points in the opening half en route to a 81-64 victory on Jan. 24 in Kelowna, B.C. The loss extinguishes the Heat from playoff contention, while pride will be on the line in tomorrow’s rematch for the final game for the Heat seniors.
 
Leading the way for the Vikes was Katie Langdon who was the beneficiary under the hoop from quality Vikes ball movement to total 18 points and seven rebounds. Calli McMillan showcased her dynamic ability to move the ball and see shots fall as the third year finished with 15 points and nine assists. Amira Giannattasio had 11 points, while Haily Weaver chipped in with five points and a team-high nine boards.

“Calli did a nice job of controlling the game,” highlighted Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. “She shot the ball well and she controlled the pace of the game really well. We had some good ball movement against their zone and Calli was a big piece of that.”

The Heat were led by a 19-point effort from fourth-year forward Jordan Korol. Korol also had a team-high 13 rebounds. Fifth year Vanessa Botteselle contributed 16 points along with nine assists and six rebounds, while Brianna Falk and Sadie Beers logged nine and eight points, respectively.

McMillan got the Vikes out in front earl putting up two three-pointers in the opening three minutes, while he third three of the game put the Vikes up by nine mid-way through the opening frame. Fourth-year Vike Morgan Roskelley jumped on the three train and dropped two of her own to propel the visitors to a confident 26-14 lead entering the second.

Korol continued to help the Heat peck away at the deficit, while Brianna Falk’s three got the Heat within 10, down 34-24 early in the second. Threes from McMillan and Aleah Ashlee kept the Vikes ahead, including taking a 22-point lead with 2:40 left in the opening half. The Vikes enjoyed a 51-32 lead by half time with a big thanks to McMillan’s five three pointers.

“We got off to a good start offensively and we shot the ball well,” added Sinclair. “(UBC Okanagan) made a run in the third quarter and we got a little bit tight but we did what we needed to do in the end.”

In the third quarter the Heat out-shot the Vikes 18-13 with Korol, Botteselle and Brianna Falk doing most of the damage. Sadie Beers dropped a three to get the Heat back within 10, trailing 58-48, with four minutes to go in the quarter. Roskelley was the first to respond, with a three, but Claire Feasby’s layup gave the Heat some hope. The Heat trailed 64-50 entering the final frame.

“We had a couple key stops,” recalls Sinclair when the game was tighter in the third. “Aleah kept us alive on one possession. They got it to 10 and she got a really key offensive rebound and we were able to extend our lead from there.”

Langdon had three early layups in the fourth that helped keep the Vikes ahead. Korol continued to do damage for the home side but it was not sufficient enough. Vikes rookie dropped a three in the final minute of the game to keep the Vikes ahead by 20 but with 30 seconds to go Beers hit a three of her own to leave the game 81-64 in favour or Victoria.

“It is their last weekend of games and they had nothing to lose and they played that way,” noted Sinclair about the efforts of UBC Okanagan. “It will be a battle tomorrow with it being seniors night. Overall though, it was nice to get the win tonight.”