The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds dug themselves out of an early hole to sweep the season series over the University of Victoria Vikes with a 74-66 victory on Saturday night at the CARSA Performance Gym.
The home team got out to an early 12-point lead when Tana Pankratz drilled a three and a pair of layups for seven of her 10 points in front of a strong crowd of 820.
The Thunderbirds kept chipping away in the Legends Cup rematch with their best player, Keylyn Filewich, on the bench with foul trouble.
In her absence, Hailey Counsell stepped up in the first half.
Counsell splashed three triples and was active around the basket for 17 first half points.
Gabrielle Laguerta nailed a three in succession with Counsell to give the Thunderbirds their first lead late in the second quarter. The Burnaby guard ended her evening with 10 points.
With Filewich on the sidelines, Ashlyn Day was able to find open shots in tight. She led the Vikes with 20 points and also ripped down nine rebounds.
Anytime the Vikes (7-7) needed a bucket to get out of a rut or to keep pace with the Thunderbirds, fourth-year guard Morgan Roskelley delivered. She used a layup late in the first quarter. She hit a couple jumpers in the second quarter and got the three-ball working in the second half to end with 10 points on 13 shots.
While the Vikes were knocking in shots on offence, they were also aware of their defensive responsibilities and did a great job to keep the Thunderbirds leading scorers in check.
Not only did they hold Jessica Hanson to eight points, but they kept Filewich to five points and one rebounder in the first three quarters.
Filewich was well shy of her 19.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game averages.
She got going in the fourth quarter by establishing position down low, as she connected on layups three consecutive trips down the floor, which put the T-birds up 63-58. She added seven points in the final frame to finish with 13 and grabbed four more rebounds, which included a missed three by Pankratz that could have brought the Vikes back in it.
Maddison Penn got into doubles figures late in the fourth quarter with a nice reverse layup underneath the hoop, which put the Thunderbirds up 71-63.
It was the first time the Thunderbirds (12-4) swept the season series over the Vikes since November 25 and 26 of the 2016-17 season.
The Thunderbirds are in Edmonton next weekend to take on the Grant MacEwan University Griffins (2-11), while the Vikes remain at home to host the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack (7-7) on Ken and Kathy Shields Court.