Andy Watson

The University of Victoria Vikes gutted out a 69-59 win over the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Saturday night on the road.


With the win, the Vikes improve to 5-3 on the season and are tied with Fraser Valley for first place in the Canada West conference’s West Division. (FULL SCHEDULE)

Despite losing forward Sarah Semeniuk of Fruitvale, B.C., in the first half with an undisclosed injury – she finished with five points and eight rebounds in just 17 minutes of play – and having forward Chelsea McMullen of Prince George, B.C., foul out late in the third quarter, the Vikes got great contributions out of their guards.

Jessica Renfrew of Victoria finished with 15 points and eight rebounds to lead UVic, while Cassandra Goodis of Penticton, B.C., added a team-high 16 points, along with six assists and four steals. Rookie Shaylyn Crisp of Victoria notched 11 points, all in the second half.

Deanna Dotts led Lethbridge, which falls to 2-6, with 13 points, while Natalie Nichols recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards. Pronghorns forward Kim Veldman also had 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Vikes trailed 31-27 at the half, but clawed back with an outstanding 26-15 advantage in the fourth quarter, part of a 42-28 second-half scoreline.

Head coach Rich Chambers said he was really pleased with the play of Renfrew, Goodis, Crisp and the ability to perform despite being outsized – especially after the loss of Semeniuk. UVic was also without the services of forward Jordyn Newman this weekend.

“The girls did a good job tonight,” Chambers said. “They came back in the second half and played very well in the fourth quarter. Our smalls were terrific especially late.”

UVic now takes the next month off conference play and rests some banged up bodies before they resume Canada West play on Jan. 6, 2012, when they host Saskatchewan at 6 p.m. at McKinnon Gymnasium.