By Andy Watson, Vikes Communications
(ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team dropped their final regular season game of the year in a 69-57 loss to the No. 4 nationally ranked UBC Thunderbirds in front of 1,223 fans at McKinnon Gymnasium on Friday night.
On Shoot for the Cure night – funds raised from the evening are donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation as part of a nationwide initiative now in its fifth year amongst Canadian Interuniversity Sport schools – and graduating players night, it was former Vikes guard Kristen Hughes of North Vancouver, B.C. who led both teams, with 19 points and eight rebounds to pace UBC.
Chelsea McMullen (right) drives past UBC Thunderbird Alexandra Vieweg Friday night at Mckinnon Gym – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
With the loss the Vikes are now eliminated from post-season contention and will finish in fourth spot in the Canada West’s Pacific Division with a record of 8-10.
UBC finishes at 15-3 and wins the Pacific Division title. They will host a best-of-three Canada West quarter-final series beginning next Friday.
Vikes Guard Cassandra Goodis found herself surrounded in the paint. Goodis finished with 15 pts against the UBC Thunderbirds – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
“We just didn’t play well tonight and did not deserve to make the playoffs,” said UVic Vikes head coach Rich Chambers. “We will be better next year and it was tough on the girls this year, having to adjust to a new coach and a new system. We will be much better next season and we begin the work tomorrow.”
Jessica Renfrew of Victoria was terrific for UVic, keeping the Vikes close with an 18-point effort along with a pair of rebounds. Cassandra Goodis of Penticton, B.C. – who Chambers said was UVic’s most valuable player this season – added 15 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Forward Natalie Janssens of Surrey, B.C., finished with three points and three rebounds in her final game as a Vike.
Jessica Renfrew (4) was high scorer for the Vikes against the Thunderbirds, shooting 50 percent from the field – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
UBC also had double-digit scoring efforts from Kristjana Young of North Vancouver with 16 points and 14 boards, Zara Huntley of Halifax who netted 12 points and 10 boards, and Alex Vieweg of North Vancouver, scoring 10 points and five rebounds.
Uncharacteristically, the Thunderbirds committed 13 turnovers, while UVic turned the ball over just nine times. It was a 38-24 edge in the paint that helped UBC to victory.
Deborah Yeboah slashes to the net for 2 of her 4 pts on the night. Yeboah had quiet night on 2-11 shooting from the field. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
UBC led 21-18 after an entertaining first quarter and led by just three points, 35-32, at the half. They opened up a 12-point lead in the third quarter on back-to-back three-pointers from Hughes, before Renfrew settled the Vikes down with several key baskets of her own, cutting the lead to 53-48 after three quarters.
In the fourth, the Thunderbirds outscored UVic 16-9 and led by 12 points when the final buzzer sounded.
This is the first time UVic’s women have missed the playoffs since 2001.
1 2 3 4 – T
UBC 21 14 18 16 – 69
UVIC 18 14 16 9 – 57